Murray a fine US Open punt despite expected Djokovic backlash
Before an umpire was even questioned at Wimbledon 2016 this writer had a sneaky suspicion that Andy Murray would pick up his second title, mainly because his nemesis would, for the first time in a very long time, allow his concentration to wane.
Anybody who had the conviction to back Murray at 3/1 ante post with us, will now be feeling deservedly smug (this writer not included).
So it transpired that having finally landed that elusive French Open title to complete the career Grand Slam, Novak Djokovic fell victim to a most un-Djokovic like shock third-round exit.
Without discrediting Murray, a fine champion in his own right, Djokovic’s removal from the picture surely played an instrumental role in the Scot recapturing the grass-based Slam he last won in 2013.
To put things into context, six of the other eight Grand Slam finals the British number one has come up short in, were against the Serbian genius.
However, taking a glass half full approach, two of the three Slam titles Murray has now amassed saw Djokovic thwarted in the final and one of those was his breakthrough at the US Open.
Coincidentally, back then in 2012, Murray had been a big winner at SW19 the same summer. Albeit that victory arrived in the shape of an Olympic Gold medal to swiftly exorcise the demons of a first Wimbledon final loss to same opponent Roger Federer weeks earlier.
Galvanised by his success over arguably the game’s greatest ever performer on grass, Britain’s best headed to New York with a renewed belief he could compete at tennis’s top table and duly took his first Slam title at Flushing Meadows.
Another Olympic cycle later and the prospect of doubling up his tally of US Open titles has arguably never looked better for Murray, who is, coincidentally, a 3/1 chance one more.
No doubt slightly embarrassed by events at Wimbledon, Djokovic is a wounded animal to be very wary of in the Big Apple.
The 12-time Grand Slam winner and early 10/11 favourite will be fully expected to mount a more customary defence of his US Open title come September than he managed at Wimbledon,.
Even so, of his eight defeats in Slam showpieces, half have arrived at Flushing Meadows. If any loss of focus lingers from earning his spot in tennis immortality at the French can be exploited, then Murray is the best-placed by a mile.
Playing so well at Wimbledon, dropping just two sets en route to glory, the Dunblane native’s odds are too good to resist once more.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.