By Alexandra Willis
28 January 2011
Bookmakers are unashamedly backing Novak Djokovic against Andy Murray in the Australian Open final on Sunday, as they face a record payout if the British No.1 achieves a first Grand Slam win.
Labrokes were offering 8/1 on a Murray victory in the build-up to the tournament, as the Scot aims to end Britain’s drought for a male Grand Slam tennis champion. But with Djokovic now a 4/6 favourite, bookmakers’ odds have shortened to 11/10 for Murray triumph.
“Murray is nearly always a shocking result for the bookies,” commented Ladbrokes David Williams. “He now has a following to rival Henman in his heyday and we’ll make no apologies for cheering on Djokovic.”
Murray will face childhood friend and longtime rival Djokovic for their first meeting at a Grand Slam, after coming through against David Ferrer in four ferocious sets. The Serb demolished defending champion Roger Federer in straight sets the day before, and the pair are looking forward to contesting a thrilling final.
Djokovic leads the head to head 4-3, but Murray has won the last three encounters.
“I expect a very tough match,” said Murray. “I’m not expecting him, just because he’s lost the last couple of times, to hand the match to me. I’m going to have to work incredibly hard.”