Scot handed favourable draw

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Fifth seed Andy Murray was always going to get a tough Australian Open draw, but the Scot has avoided the two in-form players in the men’s game.

Murray will avoid meeting Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic after he was drawn in the top half of the draw, but despite his favourable draw, his Australian Open odds have drifted to 7/1 from 6/1.

Rafael Nadal awaits Murray in the semi-final should both players prevail and while Nadal is chasing his fourth consecutive Grand Slam – he is 7/4 from 9/4 to win after the draw was announced – the concerns around his knees are still there.

Murray opens his Australian Open campaign against Karol Beck, the world number 104, and his toughest opponent en route to the quarter-finals is likely to be Jurgen Melzer.

Punters wishing to stake a patriotic bet would struggle to find a better one than Murray for the Australian Open and a £25 stake on Andy Murray winning the Australian Open would return £200.

New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

Following the announcement of the draw, the Australian Open betting odds have seen Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal share the favouritism at 7/4, while Novak Djokovic is out to 8/1 from 6/1.

The reason for Djokovic’s drift is the fact that he is drawn in Federer’s half and the Serb has only managed six wins to Federer’s 13 in their 19 head-to-head matches.

Robin Soderling is a potential quarter-final opponent for Murray and is next best in the betting at 16/1, while Andy Roddick, who is starting to find some of the form that won him a US Open in 2003, is available at 40/1.

Juan Martin del Potro has played just three tournaments since last year’s Australian Open but is a big price at 50/1 to win the Australian Open.

A £25 stake on Roger Federer winning the Australian Open would return £68.75. New customers can sign up here for a free £25 bet.

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