More for Murray in Melbourne?
The latest instalment of the Djokovic/Murray rivalry will be played out on Sunday when the pair meet at Melbourne Park in the Australian Open final.
Both have Grand Slam records in their sights. Djorkovic (8/15) is aiming for his third title Aussie Open title in a row, a feat not achieved in the Open era. Should Andy Murray (6/4) win, he will become the first man to follow up his maiden Grand Slam win by winning the next. The Brit won the US Open back in September again against Djokovic in a 5 set thriller.
You can hardly get a net cord between the two players in terms of their head to head records. Djokovic holds the slight edge with 10 wins to Murrays 7. On the last 5 occasions these two have met the record reads 3-2 to the Serb. Although these have met here before in the 2011 final; a match won comfortably that day by the World number 1 Djokovic, more recent wins for Murray have given the Scot renewed belief. His Gold at London 2012; demolishing arguably the greatest grass court player of all time in Roger Federer in the final, and his refusal to wilt in a gruelling 5 set marathon against Djorkovic at Flushing Meadows, may suggest that the tide is turning in Murrays favour. "I think I've started to play better tennis and played my optimum level more in the big matches over the last year or so, which hadn't always been the case, so I think that's kind of what's changed for me.
These two could dominate the game for the next 5 years or so, though Rafael Nadal might well yet challenge again when he returns to action from a serious knee injury, with the latest comeback date now set for February.
The route to the final has been one of contrast for the two players. Until the semi-final against Federer, Murray had gone through the draw without dropping a set; Admittedly with some major obstacles eliminated in the early stages of the event. Had the fancied Del Potro got through, he would have met Murray in the quarters. Djokovic on the other hand has a more torrid route the final surviving a major scare against Jo Wilfred Tsonga, scrambling over the line with a 12-10 fifth set score line. But he goes into the final with the advantage of an extra day's rest after playing for just 89 minutes in his semi-final, as opposed to Murray's four-hour win. But Murray enters his sixth Grand Slam final more relaxed than ever, after finally getting his hands on a major title in 2012. "Those years of having all of those questions and then finally to be able to answer them, I think it was all part of the process," he said.
The match could be a classic with such evenly matched players and 3-2 either way looks like a decent bet. 5/1 for Djokovic and 11/2 for Murray to win 3-2, of if you're not bothered who wins, the match to go 5 sets (9/4).
Another way to go could be 3/1 for Murray to win the first set and the match. (Match must be completed for bets to stand).
We are offering first and second set scorecasts pre-match, with the later sets' scorecasts offered in play. With Murrays refusal to lose sets this week 7-6 either way may be a good bet in both. We also offer Total match games. Again there should be value in the overs 40.5 (5/6). Two or over in the total Tie-breaks market also looks good at (5/1).
The players are due on court at 08:45 with BBC coverage starting at 08:30 and as usual we will be offering our full range of In-Play markets right up to the final game.