Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray go head-to-head on Rod Laver Arena on Sunday for the title of Australian Open Men’s Singles Champion 2015.
And I’m hoping for some better luck than was on display in the women’s final when all the stats went out of the window after the opening set.
My under 15.5 aces bet had been backed in from 1.70 to 1.30 before the off and it looked a comfortable winner after only five aces were delivered in set one, but an incredible flurry of clean service winners from Serena Williams ended that one.
Then Williams and Maria Sharapova went to that rarity of a tie break in set two to make it one of those days where I was left scratching my head in disbelief.
Novak Djokovic vs Andy Murray
The 24th career meeting between the two former junior rivals gets underway at around 08:30 UK time on Sunday, with Djokovic looking to extend his series lead over Murray to 16-8.
Having first played each other when they were 12-years-old there aren’t many secrets between this pair and we can expect it to be a physical battle, as most of their meetings when both are fully fit have been.
Last year’s clashes saw Murray very much below par physically and he seems to be at a much better level at the start of 2015, with the Brit producing some superb tennis this fortnight so far.
I can only really say the same about Djokovic in patches, with his performance in the semi finals against Stan Wawrinka seeing the Serb hit almost 50 unforced errors, which is unheard of.
On pure form I would have to give Murray the edge, with the concern being the wins that Djokovic has enjoyed over Murray on hard courts in majors in the past.
But at these prices I think there’s some value in siding with Murray to land his third Grand Slam title and put him within one French Open crown of winning a career Golden Slam.
My ‘sure thing’ in this one has to be the over 32.5 total games at 1.32, with three tight sets or any four sets and upwards sure to see that one home and it seems most unlikely to me that either player will win this one easily in three.
If anything I can see Murray winning this maybe in four sets, which is a 7.0 chance and a decent long shot for Sunday.
Murray seems to be far happier on court than last year and much of that is surely down to being fitter and having that confidence again that his body will respond when he asks the question of it.
The link-up with Amelie Mauresmo appears to have also led to a calmer Murray, but without losing that passion and competitiveness, while his opponent today looks ill at ease.
Djokovic has been ill-tempered and constantly looking up at his box when things go wrong – which ironically used to be Murray’s modus operandi – and he seems far more under pressure than the Scot, who looks like he’s in a good place right now.
It won’t be easy of course, but I think Murray has it in him to win on Sunday and land another major title at the expense of his long time rival.
Sure thing: Back over 32.5 total games at 1.32
Value bet: Back Murray to beat Djokovic at 2.90
Long shot: Back Murray to win 3-1 at 7.0