Australian Open 2012

This entry was posted on Saturday, January 14th, 2012

New Year, New Murray? 

Anyone else make a New Year’s resolution to get a new personal trainer? Andy Murray did, only his was eight-times grand slam winner Ivan Lendl. Yours probably wasn’t.

And so to Australia for the first major of the year, and the first opportunity to see if the Czech can bounce Murray from being perennial bridesmaid to blushing bride.

Historically, this tournament is won by the best player in the world. Unlike at Roland Garros, there can be no complaints about the funny surface. And unlike at Wimbledon and Flushing Meadows, players tend not to arrive at the competition in mid-season and therefore injured. The big three at the top of mens’ tennis have shared the last six tournaments, whilst in the womens’, one possibly has to go back to 1987, and the victory of Hana Mandlíková (me neither) for a real surprise.

So what does that mean for the punters? One word – Novak. With Roger in age-related decline and Rafa in knack-related sorrow, Djokovic is clearly the best male tennis player in the world right now. He should make the Australian Open 2012 his fifth major, and 2.52 at Betfair effectively represents free money.

The Ladies’ tournament is far harder to call, with virgin winners of the last three majors (Na, Kvitova and Stosur.) Yet with Serena Williams still dogged by injuries, it could be another first-timer, the much-heralded Dane (and Mrs Rory McIlroy) Caroline Wozniacki, who could finally fulfil her promise. She can be backed with Betfair at a generous 20.

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