If Andy Murray is crowned Australian Open champion 2015, the British number one will be a very worthy winner indeed thanks to a particularly dicey draw Down Under.
A first-round tie against a qualifier is just the tip of a sizeable iceberg for Murray, who is a 7/1 chance to finally land the major he has been runner-up at three times.
The Briton has been drawn in the same half as 5/1 second-favourite Roger Federer and finalist in two of the last three years, Rafael Nadal, at 9/1.
Bumping into Federer at the quarter-final stage is an ominous tie given the Swiss legend’s renaissance in 2014, while Rafa could well wait in the last four should Murray progress.
It’s from as early as round four where things could get tough for the Brit though, with the man responsible for capsizing his Wimbledon defence last year also on a collision course.
Grigor Dimitrov (33s), spoilt the SW19 party at the quarter-final stage for Murray last season.
In the top half of the draw, hot 10/11 favourite Novak Djokovic seems to have lucked out, though the world number one could well wind up facing the man who ended his defence last season.
Defending champion Stanislas Wawrinka shocked the Serb in the quarters and is deemed a 14/1 shot to cling on to the trophy in 2015.
Murray backers shouldn’t be too disheartened though, if the Scot’s early-season form is anything to go by.
The 27-year-old has already taken Nadal’s scalp, albeit in an exhibition tournament, before going on to record three straight-sets victories at the Hopman Cup in Perth.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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