Australian Open Betting: Djokovic v Murray to go the distance

The match that many were expecting has materialised between arguably the top two players in the men’s game: Novak Djokovic takes on Andy Murray at 8.30am UK time on Sunday. It will be the fourth time they’ve met in a Grand Slam final, with Djokovic leading 2-1 at the moment.

It will be the 18th meeting of a series that Djokovic leads 10-7. On outdoor hard courts the score is 6-6, the most recent of which took place in Shanghai, where Djokovic saved match points before sealing the win. I’m expecting something equally close between two players with pretty similar playing styles and incredible levels of fitness.

Djokovic is the 1.50 favourite and the defending champion has the edge due to his excellent record here in Melbourne. He should also be slightly the fresher after a simple semi-final win played a day earlier, while Murray had a five setter against Roger Federer.

I don’t like the 1.50 about the Djokovic win though, as I believe the two players are very closely matched at the moment and this one really could go either way. The wagers that appeal more than the straight Djokovic win for me are all based on this encounter going the distance.

The 1.70 about the match going past 40.5 games looks nailed on and the over 45.5 looks in with a good chance too at around 2.90 based on their two most recent meetings in majors, which each went comfortably past that mark. Both players defend exceptionally well and both have real weapons off both wings, so these matches have tended to turn into grinds lately, albeit very exciting grinds.

I don’t think there will be much in it and the champion will be the one who has that bit of luck or produces some real quality at the right time, which could be either of these two players. I give a slight edge to Djokovic, but it’s not by much at all and the overs looks the safest bet.

Best bet: Back over 40.5 games at 1.70