King of the Realm, our esteemed Lord, Novak Djokovic, who shredded David Ferrer the other night in his QF match, will play his 3rd consecutive night match this morning on Rod Laver, when he takes on Andy Murray in the 2nd Men’s Semi-final. Should Djokovic win, which he should, he would be in his third Australian Open final, where he is already 2-0. It would also give The Djoker the chance to successfully defend his 2011 crown. Should Murray win, which he shouldn’t, he would be in his third consecutive Australian Final, where he is yet to win a set. Here are the match odds:
Djokovic: – 300
Murray: + 240
Many feel this is a good matchup for Murray, and we know why, but we don’t see it. Murray did not lose to Djokovic between August 2008 and January 2011, as for about a two year period during which Murray over took Djokovic in the rankings, Murray was the mentally tougher and more expertly conditioned player. That is over now. A lot has been made of Ivan Lendl’s association with Andy Murray, who has taken over the helm, and we do think it will have a positive effect on Murray in time. We doubt that time is tonight. Frankly, we still see Murray receding a bit. He has had a very hard time with the big 3 at the majors over the last 2 years, and Djokovic seems stronger than ever.
While we hate negative money lines, we kinda feel like betting Djokovic is like putting money in the bank. In our estimation, this line pays little heed to Djokovic. During the height of Federer’s dominance, he was usually about a minus 550 at the very lowest. In those terms, The Djoker is a bargain here. By our count, Djokovic hasn’t lost on Plexicushion since Indian Wells in 2010, versus Ivan Ljubicic. By our count, that’s 18 straight.
Guess what? Djokovic, though it’s only been 5 matches, is also undefeated this year. Again. But in fairness, so is Murray, now 10-0 on the year, taking the title in Brisbane a few weeks back.
We also expect a quick match. How exactly does Andy Murray win points in a match like this? Djokovic seems impenetrable on both wings and impossible to not get passed by at the net. Also, not too many aces are struck against him nowadays either. Murray has to hope for errors, which is his usual strategy, and is precisely why he can’t really beat the top 3. Djokovic has lost one set so far this fortnight, and is back to baking, having passed out 3 bagels thus far, after doling out something like 15 last year. Or close to it. Don’t exactly quote us. Set props below:
Djokovic wins 3 sets to zero
Murray wins 3 sets to zero
Djokovic wins 3 sets to 1
Murray wins 3 sets to 1
Djokovic wins 3 sets to 2
Murray wins 3 sets to 2
Personally, you might catch us betting on Djokovic in 3 and in 4. We also like Djokovic to win the 1st set (-200). He has not lost the 1st set in a major since the Semis at RG (7-6 Federer). That is a 19 match streak. These two have played just the once in a major, which was last year’s final. They’ve met in 3 previous semi-finals, all won by Djokovic. Djokovic is competing in his 7th consecutive major semi-final, and if he wins, he will advance to his seventh career major final (4-2).