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Shock Djokovic exit frees up Berdych for first Grand Slam title

| 22.01.2014

There is no longer a dominant force ruling over the Australian Open, as king-of-the-Melbourne-courts Novak Djokovic was sent packing in a thrilling quarter-final match with Stanislas Wawrinka.

The four-time champion succumbed in five sets to the Swiss eighth seed, leaving the bottom half of the draw as wide open as many of the front doors on Channel 4’s Benefits Street, with Tomas Berdych the most likely beneficiary.

Berdych, who sealed his semi-final berth with an upset of his own in beating David Ferrer, would have been a far lengthier shot to win at the Rod Laver Arena than the 6/1 he currently finds himself at had Djokovic come through.

The Serb had beaten Berdych in all bar two of their previous 17 meetings, but instead of looking at impending defeat, the number seven seed is now just one far more winnable match away from just his second career Grand Slam final.

He has supreme form behind him too, having lost just one set in total so far in the tournament, and has five wins under his belt over Wawrinka. It therefore makes his odds to win the tournament far more of a solid proposition than that of any of the remaining big-three players.

Andy Murray and Roger Federer meet in the quarter finals and are both the same 6/1 price as semi-final bound Berdych, the winner of that clash will then meet overwhelming new favourite Rafael Nadal in the semi, providing the Spaniard breezes past 50/1 shot Grigor Dimitrov as expected.

At 1/1 Nadal still represents a sound investment, especially as Juan Martin del Potro’s exit has already eased his path to the final, but at 6s it’s hard to ignore a player in Berdych’s form in what is now an upset-laden tournament.

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.