It looks very much like the ‘dream-makers’ at Carlsberg were not in the employ of Andy Murray ahead of the French Open draw, as the Scot landed a nightmare slot for the second Grand Slam of 2014.
Naturally the man any mere mortal wishes to avoid in their half of the draw at Roland Garros is eight-time champion Rafael Nadal, the joint 6/4 favourite.
However, that’s exactly the fate which has befallen the British number one, leading Ladbrokes to label his chances of winning the tournament at a slim 25/1.
The grim news for the number seven seed doesn’t cease there though, as although any potential meeting with the King Of Clay would have to wait until the semis, Murray has also been thrown into the same quarter as Australian Open champion Stanislas Wawrinka (8/1).
Stan not only won the recent Monte Carlo Masters 1000 event by beating Roger Federer (16/1) in the final last month, but he’s also bettered Murray in all three previous meetings on clay.
If Murray is to win, he’ll have to do it the extra hard way. Meanwhile the cookie arguably crumbled the kindest for world number two Novak Djokovic, also a 6/4-shot alongside Rafa.
The Serb, who won’t be lacking in any confidence after defeating Nadal on the dirt in the Rome final just weeks before, will not be phased by the likes of eighth-seed Milos Raonic or local favourite Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in his quarter.
A potential semi-final showdown with Roger Federer awaits, though, and considering the Swiss triumphed over him at this stage in Monte Carlo last month – there is some food for thought for Djokovic.
In light of this draw, it’s hard to look beyond the two favourites before the action begins.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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