Andy Murray heads our straight-sets Australian Open treble
As we head into the fourth round of 2014’s first Grand Slam tournament in Australia, Coral have cooked up a cracking wager for your punting delectation.
Britain’s Andy Murray, top-seeded male Rafael Nadal and two-time defending champion Victoria Azarenka are all prohibitively short-priced jollies to win their next matches at 1/50, 1/25 and 1/7 respectively, odds that will set few punters’ hearts racing.
However, Coral have enhanced the price on all three cruising to straight-sets victories from 5/4 to 11/8, which rates a cracking bet considering the gap in quality between these dominant figures and their unfancied opponents.
Murray seems to have been handed the most straightforward assignment against Stephane Robert, the 33-year-old world number 119 who only made it into the draw as a lucky loser after Philipp Kohlschreiber pulled out with a hamstring injury.
The Scot is yet to drop a set in his first three matches of this tournament and considering he saw off world number 28 Feliciano Lopez 3-0 in the last round, the clash with Robert will hold no fear for the Wimbledon champion.
Nadal’s task against Kei Nishikori could prove a greater challenge.
The number 16 seed has won seven of his nine matches so far this year which has seen the Japan star contest two finals, although injuries to others played their part in him reaching the latter – which he won in Kooyong – after eventual runner-up Tomas Berdych beat the 24-year-old in the semis.
Nishikori will be a game adversary, but he’s never beaten the Spaniard in five matches and last took a set off Nadal back in 2008 at Queens, so the world number one should see of his younger opponent with little trouble.
Azarenka’s clash with Sloane Stephens will evoke memories of their controversial semi-final encounter last year, which the Belarusian won 6-1, 6-4 but only after taking a ten-minute break that smacked of gamesmanship at a crucial moment in the second set.
The 20-year-old Floridian will be out for revenge against the champ, but the world number two has breezed through the tournament thus far, whereas Stephens struggled to see off unseeded Ajla Tomljanovic in the second round, so Azarenka looks a pretty pick for another dominant win.