Australian Open men’s singles quarters: Murray to continue impressive run
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | January 25, 2016
2016 Australian Open
- Men’s singles quarter-finals
- Tuesday and Wednesday, January 26th-27th
- Play scheduled to start: 03:30 GMT
- Melbourne Park, Melbourne
- Live on Eurosport 1 and 2
Murray’s path cleared for final appearance
Just eight names remain in the race for the 2016 Australian Open men’s singles crown, with six of the top eight seeds all featuring in the quarter-finals.
Defending champion Novak Djokovic (8/15 favourite with Coral to retain) faces former US Open finalist Kei Nishikori (33/1) on Tuesday, with all-time great Roger Federer (13/2) also in action against 50/1 tournament outsider Tomas Berdych.
Double Grand Slam winner Andy Murray (4/1 second-favourite), meanwhile, highlights the action Down Under on Wednesday as he takes on David Ferrer (50/1 chance), while Milos Ranoic (12/1) and Gael Monfils (40/1) go head-to-head too.
In-form Federer to clip Berdych’s wings
Federer dropped just seven games on his way to beating David Goffin in the fourth round, and thus sets up a quarter-final meeting with fellow veteran Berdych, after the Czech edged Roberto Bautista Agut in five sets.
The Swiss’ even-money odds for a 3-0 victory represent great value, compared to his odds-on 1/5 match betting price, as he has beaten Berdych in straights set in each of their last three outings.
However, although Federer has a 15-6 head-to-head record in his favour, the Czech is losing only 8-5 on hard courts and took him all the way in their only past Australian Open clash in 2009.
If you fancy an upset, therefore, then back Berdych at 4/1 to make the semis or 3/1 for the match to be over 4.5 sets.
Djokovic to edge young pretender Nishikori
French battler Gilles Simon almost caused an almighty shock in the last 16, taking title holder Djokovic the distance before the Serb closed out the final set 6-3.
Next opponent Kei Nishikori will no doubt have studied that match in a bid to further exploit Djokovic’s weaknesses, and he is a terrific 9/2 chance to win, having beaten him before in the 2014 US Open semis.
The Serb does boast a 5-2 head-to-head record over the Japanese star, who looked impressive in his 3-0 victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and so is the obvious 1/7 favourite, but this clash could go over three sets. Djokovic is a tempting 5/2 shout to triumph 3-1.
Murray to avoid Ferrer shock
Great Britain number one and second seed Murray has looked in superb touch all tournament so far, coming through latest opponent and remaining home hope Bernard Tomic with relative ease.
The Scot looks set to reach the final, with top five seeds Rafael Nadal and Stan Wawrinka already eliminated in his half of the draw, and so is heavily odds-on to defeat experienced Spaniard David Ferrer at 1/5.
Murray has a 12-6 winning record over Ferrer, and has triumphed in each of their last five duels. Their four Grand Slam meetings, however, have all been fairly close – though Murray has won three of them – and so the British number one is 5/2 to come through in four sets, as he did in this tournament in 2011.
Raonic and Monfils to go the distance
This represents the only encounter where both players were not expected to make it to the quarters, going by the seedings, as Raonic (13) and Monfils (23) meet for a place in the semis for the first time here.
Canadian rising star Raonic, who impressively knocked out former Australian Open champion Wawrinka in five sets in the last round, has beaten the Frenchman in both their previous meetings and is the slight 4/9 favourite.
Monfils (2/1), meanwhile, looks as though he is finally fulfilling his potential having dropped just one set on his way to this round, though is yet to face anyone in the world’s top 50 until now this tournament. Odds of 12/5 say this will go all the way.
Coral’s top tip: Murray is a great 5/2 shout to knock over Ferrer in four sets.