Andy Murray may have breathed a sigh of relief when Rafael Nadal’s absence from the US Open was announced, but the draw has not been so kind to him.
The Scot is priced at 10/3 to win his maiden grand slam at Flushing Meadows, but he will have to do it the hard way if he is to succeed.
First Murray faces Alex Bogomolov Jr in the first round, the man who beat him in straight sets last year in Miami.
And if the seedings go to plan, the Olympic gold-medal winner will clash with Fernando Verdasco in the third and hard-hitting wildcard Milos Raonic in the fourth round.
Providing Murray negotiates his passage through those matches, it is likely that the New York-loving Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga lies in wait in the quarter-finals.
Whilst the 25-year-old Great Briton has a good record against the fifth seed, an upset at this stage should not be discounted.
In the semi-finals there is ever chance that Murray will face his Wimbledon conqueror Roger Federer, although he can take heart in his recent Olympic victory over the Swiss.
If Scotland’s tearful son can make his way to the final it is probable that he will be up against Serbian machine Novaj Djokovic, who took three of a possible four majors in 2011.
Therefore it begins to appear that Murray’s task at the US Open this year is just a little strenuous, as the draw has not helped him capitalise on the missing Nadal.
Despite Andy’s mum Judy saying her boy had ‘lifted a big burden’ following his gold-medal success at Wimbledon earlier this summer, the pressure remains on Murray in the genuine grand slam tournaments.
Going into the New York competition, his form and fitness have not been great, pulling out of the Toronto Masters through injury and being knocked out in Cincinnati in the third round.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.