As the old saying goes revenge is a dish best served cold, but given the temperatures and the blistering form of Andy Murray at the Australian Open, it will have to be dished up on the warmer side against fourth-round opponent Grigor Dimitrov.
Vying to win the year’s first Grand Slam, Andy Murray has already been buoyed by the early exit of Roger Federer in his side of the draw, but next up the British number one is gunning for the man who ended his Wimbledon defence last summer.
Relayed in betting form, here’s how we see this tasty-looking clash transpiring, scheduled for about 9:00 GMT on Sunday morning:
Murray to beat Dimitrov (-4.5) @ 4/6
The injury-plagued Murray of 2014 has been replaced by a fresh, refocused and altogether more formidable one in 2015, as nine straight wins for the loss of one set so far this year attests.
Having conceded just 26 games at Melbourne Park thus far, an aggressive Murray hit 39 winners during his straight-sets, second-round victory over Joao Sousa, compared to just three more for Dimitrov in five sets against Marcos Baghdatis last time.
Meanwhile, since the Bulgarian upset Murray at SW19 the pair have met again, this time at the Paris Masters in late October, where the Brit prevailed with minimum fuss, 6-3,6-3, which would have landed this handicap.
Murray to beat Dimitrov 3-0 @ 6/4
All the hard hours of brutal physical conditioning and court practice with coach Amelie Mauresmo during the off-season in Miami have clearly paid off early in the year.
The signs were there when the Scot brushed aside Rafael Nadal 6-2, 6-0 in the season-opening exhibition tournament in Abu Dhabi, that Murray was back in business after all 2014’s troubles.
Having only been taken to a single tie-break in 15 sets of tennis since, it’s easy to see why this is deemed the most likely scoreline by Ladbrokes.
1st set correct score: 6-3 Murray @ 9/2
Murray has won his last two opening sets 6-1, but given the calibre of his next opponent in comparison and the scoreline in both of the last two sets they contested in Paris, a double-break win looks a measured guess.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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