Murray shock exit from Madrid
Rafael Nadal now in control
Betting for the Madrid Open was blown apart this week with world number one Andy Murray knocked out at the last-16 stage by little-known Berna Coric. The fiery Scotsman, third-favourite to win the title on Monday, slipped out without much of a fight, losing in straight sets to the Croatian.
Fancied by many to make a serious dent in this tournament, Muzza started brightly enough, and after getting a first-round bye, he swept past Marius Copil, slamming the Romanian in straight sets on Tuesday. Not anywhere near his best during that success, but he didn’t need to be, winning 6-4, 6-3 to bank a place in the third-round. That’s where the problems arose.
Murray loses to world number 59
With very little recent game time under his belt, and not much by way of genuine challenges to allow him to sharpen his tools for a slug-fest, Murray looked out of sorts against an opponent ranked 59th in the world. Broken three times in the opening set, that gave backers a major clue to what lay ahead.
Out in Madrid, Coral traders now have the British star priced up as a 5/1 third-favourite in the French Open betting, behind Nadal at 5/4 and Djokovic’s 7/2. Man of the moment Federer appeals at a weighty 12/1.
Nadal run on clay continues
Early betting favourite Rafael Nadal, who has claimed this competition as his own in recent years, made hard work of his second-round meeting with Italian hope Fabio Fognini. It was far from plain sailing for the short-price pick, and with a tight match predicted beforehand, the pair were involved in a battle that lasted almost three hours, before Rafa came through, courtesy of a 7-6, 3-6, 6-4 verdict.
The 30-year-old Spaniard enjoyed an easier time of things next time out, beating Nick Kyrgios on Thursday to reach the quarter-finals.
Kyrgios had the potential to be a seriously dangerous opponent, and has been building a reputation as a real upstart in the game amongst the bigger players, but there was to be none of that here as he proved powerless against a rampant Nadal.
Spaniard favourite for five
Rafa, only recently returning to his best following a period of injury, has been showing stunning form on clay, and remains unbeaten on that surface so far this year. He now lines up against David Goffin in the quarters, and is expected to continue that purple patch.
Coral traders now have the fans’ favourite as a 5/4 jolly to come out on top this week and pick up what would be his fifth Madrid Open gong. On the back of his efforts so far, that price will be extremely difficult for punters to ignore.