“Baby effect” could be key to landmark 2016 on court for Murray


His Davis Cup heroics helped earn Andy Murray a knighthood to cap off the most memorable of years in which he also tied the knot with fiancée Kim Sears, but the approaching birth of the couple’s first child in February is set to eclipse all his achievements to date.

On the court Murray finished the 2015 season at a career-high world ranking of two, despite not adding to his pair of Grand Slam triumphs, but with fatherhood on the horizon, there is reason to suspect 2016 could be a seminal year for the 2013 Wimbledon champion.

As part of their array of tennis specials for the forthcoming year, Ladbrokes price Murray up at 6/5 to remain in the world’s top two ranked players by the end of 2016, which looks a terrific bet.

The Scot need only look at the heights reached by imperious world number one Novak Djokovic in the year just gone to gain inspiration of the positive effects fatherhood could have on his game.

After claiming the second of three Slam titles in 2015 at Wimbledon this year – which would form part of a record-breaking season – Djkovic openly admitted the renewed focus gained from the birth of his son in the preceding October was the key to his newfound dominance of the men’s game.

Getting hitched in April this year paved the way to unprecedented clay-court season success for Murray, so life affirming events have already proved to be good news on the court for the British number one.

Elsewhere in Ladbrokes’ fascinating selection of specials, French Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka, who caused a shock by defeating Djokovic in a second Slam final, looks a pretty tasty price at 1/1 to defeat the Serb at any time in a main ATP Tour event.

Meanwhile, with a new hard-court season brewing and having proved her prowess on the surface by reaching the Australia Open semis last year, rising American star Madison Keys looks a fine bet at 2/1 to be the first women’s youngster to win a WTP Tour event in 2015.

For a full rundown of all the 2016 tennis specials, please click here.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Christian Crowther

Give Christian a sport with anything remotely spherical in it and he’ll happily while away the hours watching it on the box. However, he’d much prefer writing about, playing or betting on golf, football, cricket, tennis, snooker.... you get the picture.