The money is coming in for Novak Djokovic but Ben Caudell's stats suggest Andy Murray has a real chance at a really big price. A show-down with Rafael Nadal may be on the cards.
World number four Andy Murray will face Novak Djokovic for the eleventh time in his distinguished career in a repeat of last year's final, in which the Serbinator triumphed in straight sets. With Murray looking fit and highly motivated under the guidance of new coach Ivan Lendl, I do not expect a repeat of the 2011 Championship final and instead feel that the Scot has a legitimate chance of upsetting the odds today.
•Firstly, from the ten matches played between the pair of top seeds - Djokovic leads the head-to-head series 6-4 - but all four of Murrays wins have come on outdoor hard-courts (Cincinnati 2011, Miami 2009, Cincinnati 2008, and Toronto 2008).
•In fact, Murray comes into today's match-up in scintillating form, having recently triumphed in Brisbane, where he defeated Alexander Dolgopolov 6-1 6-3 in the final. The young Brit also holds another three tournament trophies under his belt since his 2011 US Open semi-final loss to Rafael Nadal, with all three titles being played on either indoor or outdoor hard. Djokovic on the other hand has been less than impressive since winning his first US Open title, losing to Juan Martin Del Potro in a Davis Cup match, withdrawing from his tie against Tsonga in Paris, and losing to both David Ferrer and Janko Tipsarevic at the London World Tour Finals. There are still lingering suspicions that the Serbian isn't fully fit, therefore Murray will be eager to capitalise on any misfortune Djokovic may occur and is definitely a value shot to win this match @ 3.4012/5.
•Indeed, Murray has won a staggering twenty one matches in a row on hard-courts, seventeen in a row in Australia, six in a row in five set matches, and ten out of eleven at the Australian Open.
•A stat that is important to take note of is the fact that Djoko, the holder of three Grand Slam titles in 2011, holds a ROI of -5.0% where as Murray has a positive ROI of 11.9% (ROI = Return on investment) from their last ten matches.
•Last year's Australian Open finalist Andy Murray very rarely starts a match as a 3.4012/5 underdog , hence the reason he has played only five matches on hard at any price over 3.02/1 during his career. However, what's interesting is the fact that his record for this activity reads four wins and only one loss...Could we see Murray reach two consecutive Aus Open finals? I certainly believe so.
If you haven't bet on the Open - or any event in Australia and New Zealand - before, there are a few things you need to know. For example, you have to move funds into your 'Australian Wallet' before placing a bet. We've put together a handy guide to how it all works, including short video clips.