Slide in the rankings a disaster for Murray’s Grand Slam hunt

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Stanislas Wawrinka’s history-making win at this year’s Australian Open, where he became the first player to beat Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic in the same Grand Slam, has kick-started an sensational shake-up of the tennis world rankings.

Currently, two members of the “Big Four” (Nadal, Djokovic, Andy Murray and Roger Federer) are outside the top six. The Scot is seventh, with the storied Swiss player as low as eighth in the latest list of the great and good of the sport.

It highlights a shift in the make-up of men’s tennis, with Murray’s injury problems and Federer’s lack of form allowing the likes of Wawrinka, Juan Martin Del Potro and Thomas Berdych to join Spaniard David Ferrer as perennial contenders.

For Murray, who has lost three times since returning from back surgery, it is worrying and it’s a concern that Ladbrokes are very much aligned with.

The company have priced the Wimbledon champion up at an odds-on 4/6 not to claim a Grand Slam tournament win this season, which looks a cracking bet considering the subtle shift in power.

After his quarter-final defeat to Federer at the Australian Open recently, Murray moves to France next to take on the clay courts of Roland Garros, his worst of the four Slams available.

Assuming his semi-final best of 2011 is not bettered Murray is left with Wimbledon and the US Open as his two chances to claim a Slam.

But if he can’t haul himself to a loftier position on the ranking ladder, it’s likely he’ll have to face the big names far earlier in those tournaments than he would if he was inside the top four.

That Wawrinka was the first man to topple two of the world’s best to win a major tournament shows how difficult a task that will be for Murray, making the odds offered by Ladbrokes ones to snap up with haste.

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

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.