A first Grand Slam exit before the quarter-final stage since 2010 has pulled a veil of doubt over Andy Murray’s chances of adding to his collection of Slam titles before he hangs up the racket.
In the wake of Murray’s fourth-round defeat to Kevin Anderson at the US Open, bookmakers Ladbrokes have labelled it a 4/6 shot the British number one retires without any more Grand Slam trophies on the mantlepiece.
That the firm offer odds of 5/4 the Scot has at least one more biggy in the tank imply it’s by no means all over for the former US Open and Wimbledon champion, but there are genuine causes for concern in the Murray camp.
At 28, opportunities for Murray to write more history ought to be plentiful, while his ascent to world number three (pre US Open) shows his game is not in critical health.
An unexpectedly fine 2015 clay court season, which accounted for half of the four ATP titles gained this year, does slightly mask the fact that Murray’s Slam zenith may already have been reached.
Including his full-blooded Olympics triumph in London, 2012 witnessed Murray reach the Wimbledon final and claim his maiden Grand Slam victory at Flushing Meadows, where he has now failed to navigate the quarters in three subsequent cracks.
In fact, since his crowning glory to date at Wimbledon in 2013, the Brit’s fourth unsuccessful Australian final appearance in January was the only Slam showpiece Murray’s made in the last nine he has entered.
Given world number one Novak Djokovic is just days apart in age and is now displaying a stranglehold over the Aussie Open title bordering on Rafael Nadal’s unparalleled Roland Garros reign, there is no guarantee Murray will go on to land the one he deserves most.
Ladbrokes deem it a 5/2 chance that Murray wins another Wimbledon, having failed to reach the last two finals in SW19.
Roger Federer’s resistance to fading, Stanislas Wawrinka’s rather belated arrival to the Slam winners’ enclosure and a vanguard led by the likes of Kei Nishikori will only make life more difficult for Murray in the near future too.
Those who believe the Brit is made of sterner stuff should not miss the opportunity to cash in on such pessimism however.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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