Murray back to defend Valencia title but it may not be all plain sailing
Andy Murray is likely to take all of the beating as he heads into the Valencia Open looking a worthy favourite to defend his title.
The Scot beat Mikhail Youzhny in the final in Spain last year and arrives for his defence high on confidence after beating Roger Federer to win his 16th career trophy at the recent Shanghai Masters.
Murray is the 7/4 favourite to win the Valencia Open and his chances are also boosted by the fact that he is the number one seed for the tournament due to him being the highest ranked player taking part at number four in the world.
He opens up against Spanish left hander Feliciano Lopez, who he has beaten in all of their three previous meetings.
Murray is 1/9 to beat Lopez again, but should not underestimate his opponent as their clash in the semi finals of the ATP Tour event in Los Angeles earlier this year went to a deciding set.
Although the top three in the world – Rafael Nadal, Federer and Novak Djokovic – are all absent from the tournament, there are still numerous players that could cause Murray a problem.
Robin Soderling is the second seed and 7/1 to win the Valencia Open, while French duo Gael Monfils and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga will also fancy their chances of challenging at the business end of the event.
There is also a strong Spanish contingent taking part, with David Ferrer and Fernando Verdasco perhaps presenting the best chance of a home victory.
Meanwhile, Youzhny returns to try to go one better than last year and is 16/1 to secure victory, alongside Gilles Simon and Stanislas Wawrinka, who beat Murray in the third round of this year’s US Open in four sets.
Nikolay Davydenko is 10/1 to win the Valencia Open despite not winning a tournament since beating Nadal in Doha in January. See the full Valencia Open winners betting odds market.