Andy Murray is hard to back to win his second round clash with Ivo Karlovic at such short odds of 1/16, but the 8/13 that there is a tie-break in the encounter looks worth taking given the record of the Croat in losing efforts on grass.
In Karlovic’s last 16 games on grass, 11 of them have seen at least one set go to a tie-break, while all of his last eight defeats on the surface dating back to 2008 have gone to a tie-break.
This run includes defeats to Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer, so Karlovic has a track record of making life difficult for those players at the top of the men’s game.
Being 6ft 10ins, Karlovic has a major serve which can be tough to break and although Murray is renowned for being one of the best returners in tennis, breaching the Karlovic serve will not come easily.
The pair have met three times before, with Murray securing a service break in both sets on the last occasion, on the hard courts of Cincinnati back in 2008.
All of these meetings have been on hard with Murray emerging victorious each time, but the earlier two matches did go to a deciding set and Karlovic’s best Grand Slam performance is reaching a Wimbledon quarter final, suggesting that he is better suited to grass of all of the surfaces.
However, the rain delays mean that Karlovic will have less than a day’s rest between finishing off a victory over Dudi Sela and facing Murray, which is even more of a negative given that he is getting no younger at age 33.
This should help Murray prevail in straight sets, especially if repeating the quality of performance that saw him brush aside Nikolay Davydenko in the opening round.
Murray is 4/9 in the Wimbledon odds to win 3-0, but punters can find some extra value in the 1/2 on offered that the match is over in exactly three sets.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.