Murray favourite, but will Federer continue resurgence in Dubai?

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Andy Murray returns from a month-long break this week, but can the Scot make up for that surprise fourth round exit in the Australian Open?

The Scot leads the charge for this week’s Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships, and is 13/8 favourite.

But it remains to be seen how the world number one fares in the Middle East.

For one, Roger Federer is also in action, and the reigning Australian Open champion is 7/4 second favourite.

The Swiss maestro took six months out last year, and it clearly paid dividends with that sensational fortnight in Melbourne.

But in Dubai, we should get a clearer indication of just what we can expect from the 35-year-old this year, in an event has he won seven times previously.

Neither man has been completely injury-free, with Murray nursing a minor bout of shingles, and Federer trying not to aggravate a groin injury which threatened to derail his Aussie hopes.

We won’t see a Federer-Murray final as we did in 2012 however, with the pair scheduled to meet in the last four.

That could open the door for reigning champion Stan Wawrinka. The 31-year-old reached the semi-finals in Melbourne, only to be defeated by compatriot Federer in a five-set thriller.

But over three sets, there could be plenty of value in backing Stan to be the man and defend his title at 5/1.

A mention should go to Tomas Berdych too, who is a two-time finalist in this competition. The Czech was another man halted by the Fed-Express Down Under, but should either of the two favourites trip up or suffer injury woes, Berdych could be right in the mix at 9/1.

The focus however, will be on Murray and Federer. Can the Scot bounce back from that surprise in Australia? And is Federer really back in tip-top shape for the full season?

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

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