After a season in which Andy Murray failed to make a single Grand Slam final appearance, exiting at the quarter-final stage in three of the campaign’s four major tournaments, many will already be writing off the 27-year-old’s chance at the Australian Open this January.
Murray heads to Melbourne as the 8/1 fourth-favourite for victory following an admittedly disappointing season but his record Down Under suggests that price is more than a little generous.
Because, while the Scot may have failed to capture the first Major title of the year, his record in Australia over the past five years is arguably his most consistent.
During that time Murray has reached the final of the Melbourne tournament on three separate occasions, as well as making one semi-final appearance and the quarter-finals last season.
That means that, despite winning the US Open and Wimbledon in previous years, the Australian Open is arguably where he has been most consistent.
And while the French Open is likely to remain elusive as long as Rafael Nadal can walk, it’s Down Under where Murray looks most dangerous.
The Scot lost finals at both Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows before taking his two Major titles and having come close on no fewer than three occasions, he will fancy his chances of finally delivering when the season starts.
Last year’s last-eight exit may have disappointed, but with current favourite Novak Djokovic exiting at the same stage, Murray should be optimistic about his chances should he encounter the Serb.
After all, the two Major titles he has secured to date have come after defeating Djokovic in the final.
The 2014 season may have been one to forget but it’s important to remember that Murray ended the campaign on something of a high, winning three ATP Tour titles at the back-end to halt a recent trophy-drought and put him in fine fettle for the season ahead.
The 2013 Wimbledon champion may have been less than impressive at the end-of-season ATP Tour Finals, but come the start of 2015 Murray may well arrive with a bang in Melbourne.
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