Federer a tad overpriced to rob Murray of Australian Open final spot

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Maria Sharapova has already shown at the Australian Open that blazing through the early rounds without a proper examination can prove a hindrance more than a benefit and British hopes will hinge on Andy Murray not suffering from the same fate.

Murray has barely put a foot wrong in reaching the semi finals, spending the minimum possible time on court in winning all five matches in straight sets.

This is in comparison to opponent Roger Federer, who was on court for over three hours in pulling through a five-set quarter final with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The lengths of their respective quarter finals is arguably the leading reason why Murray is the 8/13 favourite to beat Federer and move into a second successive Grand Slam final with Novak Djokovic.

However, from a value standpoint, punters would find it difficult to agree that Federer is not the better call to win the match at 5/4.

Although Murray won the gold medal match at the Olympics, Federer is unbeaten in his three Grand Slam meetings with Murray.

Furthermore, Murray has played all of his matches in the afternoon sun of Melbourne thus far and a move into the night air may bring about a change in his game.

In contrast, Federer is well versed in night matches so knows exactly what to expect.

The big determinant on the result is how well Murray plays from the baseline.

He has indicated that his timing has been off earlier in the tournament and he cannot suffer in this department against Federer, who will take full advantage if allowed to step in from the baseline.

Murray must keep Federer pinned behind the baseline to prevent him from dictating.

Meanwhile, Federer’s serve showed the first sign of the wobbles against Tsonga, where he was broken five times, having previously held serve on each occasion in his opening four matches.

Murray’s greater defence could put additional pressure on Federer’s serve and if the Swiss maestro’s first-serve percentage is down, he will be up against it.

All odds and markets accurate as of publication’s time and date

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.