Murray heavy favourite after Djokovic defeat
Andy Murray has been a losing finalist at the Australian Open on five different occasions although perhaps 2017 will herald a new dawn, with Novak Djokovic having exited the men’s singles on Thursday.
Djokovic was surprisingly beaten by Denis Istomin, with the Serbian having been the outright favourite to claim a seventh victory at Melbourne Park although the second seed’s defeat means that Murray is now a strong favourite with the bookies to win.
Djokovic did lead Istomin by two sets to one, although the Uzbek tennis player managed to rally to claim the biggest victory of his career and it now means that Murray won’t have to beat his arch-rival to land his first Australian Open title.
The world number one is 1.91 (10/11) with Ladbrokes to claim this Grand Slam title although his path to glory is fraught with danger and he might have to overcome Roger Federer and Stan Wawrinka simply to reach the final.
Even so, there was little hint that Djokovic would suffer an early exit when winning ATP Doha a few weeks ago, with Murray having lost the final in three sets although there have been no issues for the Brit in Australia thus far.
Murray is yet to drop a set in Melbourne and faces Sam Querrey in the third round, with the American having beaten Djokovic at Wimbledon last season and he won’t be fazed by the prospect of clashing with the favourite to win the tournament.
Milos Raonic lies in wait on the other half of the draw, with the Canadian trading at 7.50 (13/2) BetVictor to claim a first Grand Slam title, having reached the Wimbledon final in 2016 before losing to Murray.
Rafael Nadal is also in the bottom half of the draw and bet365 have shortened the Spaniard’s odds to 11.00 (10/1) in the light of Djokovic’s exit along with the fact that Rafa looks to be in form judging from his first two performances Down Under.
Roger Federer is not a man to be discounted and the Swiss is 23.00 (22/1) BetVictor to claim the spoils after a couple of solid performances although he has a third round test in the form of Tomas Berdych and the winner of that clash will then go through to potentially meet Kei Nishikori.
Meanwhile, Serena Williams remains the favourite at 3.25 (9/4) William Hill to get the better of the field in the ladies tournament, although there are plenty of pretenders also lining up including reigning champions Angelique Kerber.
The German is a 5.00 (4/1) chance with Hills although the big market mover is Johanna Konta. The Brit is now 13.00 (12/1) with Ladbrokes and might cause a big stir after her victory in Sydney.