Andy Murray will be fully examined by one of the game’s best shot makers in Stanislas Wawrinka, but his quest to retain his US Open crown won’t end in the quarters.
Murray’s evolution since being dumped out of the 2010 version of this event by his next opponent has been nothing short of awe-inspiring.
After that third-round defeat Murray sought out Ivan Lendl’s services and ever since the Scot has become a force at every Grand Slam he’s contested, going further than the quarters in nine out of the 10 proceeding Majors he’s played in, making his 1/4 price to progress fully justified.
The only blip occurred with defeat to David Ferrer in last year’s French Open, a surface Murray is yet to fully master.
The Murray which Wawrinka now faces is a different kettle of fish all together, a double Grand Slam champion for starters, though there’s no masking the danger his opponent possesses.
Wawrinka has a wicked one-handed backhand and the way he zips around the court means Murray will have to step up his aggression levels from previous rounds.
The Swiss actually won their last encounter, on clay, though Murray won the last three before that, including twice on this surface and at Queens last year.
As he did in the last round, the possibility of Murray conceding a set on his way to victory at 12/5 on the 3-1, or even being taken the distance at 11/2, are both worthy of consideration.
Meanwhile, Wawrinka defeated world number five Tomas Berdych in the last round and Murray will have to be at returning best, as their respective fourth-round ace count reads 14-5 to the world number 10.
Murray will be made to work for this victory, but as he’s proved since winning that Olympic title, there’s no better ‘big game’ player than Britain’s best in the world right now.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.
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