It’s the top two men in world tennis, facing off in the French Open final. Will it be Djokovic or Murray? Our betting preview provides odds, form and free tips.
We look at all the action ahead of the 2016 Australian open final which will see the Serbian superstar Novac Djokovic up against Andy Murray.
Two of tennis’ best will go toe-to-toe for a spot in the 2016 Australian Open final. Will it be Milos Raonic or Andy Murray getting the job done for punters?
2015 Win/Loss ratio: 46-7
Best Wimbledon finish: Wimbledon Champion, ‘13
Murray’s last match: Straight sets victory over Vasek Pospisil
2015 Win/Loss ratio: 38-6
Best Wimbledon finish: Wimbledon Champion, ’03, ’04, ‘05, ‘06, ’07, ’09, ‘12
Federer’s last match: Straight sets victory over Giles Simon
Head-to-head: Federer leads Murray 12-11
Finally the tournament is beginning to reach its crescendo, with the final four men left in the tournament set to clash on centre court to determine who will play off for the most prestigious prize in world tennis – the Wimbledon title.
Will it be Britain’s great hope, 2013 winner Andy Murray who is the first man to progress first through to the final? Or will it be the Swiss maestro Roger Federer?
Federer is aiming to surpass American Pete Sampras’ record of Wimbledon titles, with a 2015 victory handing the 17-time Grand Slam champion his eighth Wimbledon crown.
Andy Murray is looking to claim his third overall Grand Slam title and his second home slam championship at the All England club.
Murray has been in stellar form this Wimbledon campaign, and despite having to endure two rain delays – the second of which saw the roof closed across centre court – the Brit was able to defeat Canada’s Vasek Pospisil in straight sets to book his place in the final four.
Despite an imposing record that Federer has over the world number four, which has seen the world number two win four of the last five matches against the number four seed, Murray is confident of making the Wimbledon final for the second time in three years.
“I hope I can get to another final but it’s going to be another tough one.” Murray said.
Roger Federer has dropped just one set on his way to the semi-final, and his quarter-final victory over Frenchman Giles Simon was described as ‘the perfect game’ by the vanquished Simon.
Although the world number two has not lifted a Grand Slam trophy since 2012, Federer is playing close to his peak at the moment and is every chance of securing his eighth Wimbledon title.
Federer believes he has what it takes to make back-to-back finals at the All England club.
“I’m very happy to be in the semis again,” The seven-time champion Federer said.
“The road is long getting here but I still feel like I’m fresh and I’ve got energy left in the tank for, hopefully, a great match with Andy.”
Federer has won four of the last five matches between the two, and has conquered Murray before at Wimbledon to claim the 2012 title.
Even with the recent dominance over his Scottish opponent, the experts are siding with Murray.
1987 Wimbledon champion Pat Cash believes that Murray’s quarter final win will hold the Brit in great stead and believes the world number four has what it takes to go past the 17-time Grand Slam champion.
“Roger Federer is in a different league from Pospisil but this was a good stepping stone towards that match.” Cash said.
“I’d pick Murray as the favourite … it’ll be a tough match, but Murray has the edge.”
Winner: Roger Federer– $2.06 at Sportsbet.com.au
Correct score: Roger Federer – 3-2 – $5.50
Value bet: Andy Murray set one games won – under 5.5 – $2.97
It seems to be a regular occurrence that these two men meet towards the business end of tournaments, with the number two seed Roger Federer facing off against the number four seed Andy Murray.
It is certain to be an epic encounter between the two, with Murray looking to turn the tables against the 17-time Grand Slam champion, who has gotten the better of the Scot in their last four matches.
The two men have met just once at the All England club, with Federer triumphing over Murray in four sets back in 2012 Wimbledon final.
A lot has changed since then.
Federer has not lifted the silverware at any Grand Slam since that moment, while Andy Murray has hoisted the US Open trophy, (2012) as well as winning the Wimbledon title (2013).
Both men have the all round game that adapts perfectly to the grass, and with Murray and Federer in spectacular form leading into their semi-final clash, it bodes well for an excellent contest.
The United Kingdom is pinning its hopes on Murray, who has been in sparkling form heading into the semi-final match.
Murray, who is familiar with the weight of expectation that comes with being the home-town hero on tennis’ biggest stage, but it is always hard to go past Federer on grass – especially when he is in the type of form he is currently displaying.
Expect this one to go the distance, with the slight edge going to the world number two Federer.
His experience will count in the big moments and should progress to the 2015 Wimbledon final, where he has the chance to achieve immortality.
Men’s Singles Semifinal – 1:05pm local time on Friday, June 5, 2015 at Stade Roland Garros
TV coverage: NBC (US), ITV Sport (UK), Fox Sports (AUS)
Weather: Scattered thunderstorms
H2H record: Djokovic leads 18-8
Novak Djokovic (1) – $1.19 at Sportsbet.com
2015 record on clay: 15-0
Andy Murray (3) – $5.30 at www.Crownbet.com
2015 record on clay: 15-1
One of the great modern rivalries in Men’s Singles tennis resumes on Friday afternoon when, weather permitting, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray will duke it out for a spot in the 2015 French Open final.
The winner will face either Stanislav Wawrinka or local hero Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, who could become the first Frenchman to contest the championship match at Roland Garros since Henri Laconte in 1988.
Djokovic is the unsurprising favourite to progress, with online bookmaker Sportsbet offering $1.19 best odds on the world number one to reach the decider for the third time in his decorated career.
The Serb opened the tournament right up on Wednesday when he reversed last year’s final result with a dominant straight-sets victory over Rafael Nadal in the quarters.
“It’s definitely a big win, a match that I will remember for a long time,” Djokovic said after ending the Spaniard’s 39-match winning streak in Paris.
“At the end of the day, he’s human. I understand that people are questioning his game. But if you need a reminder of who he is, you just look at his career stats and grand slams that he won.”
Nadal has won nine of the last 10 French Open Men’s Singles titles, so there’s one thing we know for certain: come Sunday, there will be a new name on the Coupe de Mousqetaires.
Djokovic could hardly be in better touch. He is yet to drop a set at Roland Garros 2015, and his preparation included successful clay-court title fights against Roger Federer in Rome and Tomas Berdych in Monte Carlo.
Better still, the 28-year-old has already bested Murray in two finals this year: at the Miami Masters in April and the 2015 Australian Open at the end of January.
But while ‘The Joker’ has the wood over his Scottish rival at Melbourne Park – he’s won all four of their clashes in Australia – the ledger reads 3-1 in favour of the latter in all other Grand Slam meetings.
The two have never met in the French Open, however, and they haven’t faced each other on clay since Djokovic triumphed via tiebreaker in the semifinals of the 2011 Italian Open.
Furthermore, Murray’s record in 2015 is impressive. He has won 15 out of 16 matches on clay this year, the only defeat coming in Rome last month when he withdrew from his match with David Goffin due to fatigue.
But it has been no easy run to the semis for the Scot, with three of his five matches going to four sets – including a see-sawing quarterfinal encounter with the seventh seed, David Ferrer.
The alarm bells sounded when Murray blew a match point on his way to losing the third set, but he rallied to close out the fourth 6-1 in what many are calling his most important clay-court performance to date.
“The third set was tough to lose having match point,” the former Wimbledon and US Open champion said after his first-ever victory over Ferrer on the red dirt.
“The groundsman watered the court and I went to the bathroom to take a few minutes and get my composure back.
“It’s going to be an extremely tough match against Novak. I’m going to need to play a high-quality match to have a chance.”
Murray has lost each of his last seven meetings with Djokovic, all on hard courts, but Pat Cash has suggested that the 2012 Olympic Gold Medallist’s vast improvement on crushed brick surfaces could prove to be a big leveller.
“This is what Andy was hoping to achieve – a semifinal. He’s having a great clay-court season,” the former Australian tennis star said on BBC Sport.
“Of course Djokovic in the semifinal is going to be tough but they have turned out to be very good matches when these two have met.
“Mentally can he hang with Djokovic? I think the time is right for him to do that, but we’ll soon see.”
Djokovic vs Murray match betting
Result – Novak Djokovic ($1.19 at Sportsbet)
Correct score – Djokovic 3-1 ($3.75 at Bet365.com)
First set tiebreaker? – Yes ($4.50 at Bet365)
First set score – Djokovic 7-6 ($7.25 at www.Luxbet.com)
While this is one of the drawcard match-ups in world tennis right now, it has become rather lopsided over the last two years. Besides, how can you bet against Djokovic after he knocked out Nadal, the king of clay?
On the court, however, these are rarely one-sided affairs. Only one of their Grand Slam matches has ended in straight sets – the 2011 Australian Open final – so you have to back Murray in to get on the scoreboard at the very least.
For a real French Open value bet, keep an eye out for online sportsbooks taking wagers on tiebreakers. Murray and Djokovic have played nine of them in their last 12 clashes, five of which occurred in the first set.
More 2015 French Open semifinal odds
Women’s Singles – Thursday, June 4
Ana Ivanovic (7) – $2.26 at www.CrownBet.com
Lucie Safarova (13) – $1.73 at WilliamHill.com
Ivanovic comes in as the higher seed, but the bookies are backing Sarafova due to the Czech’s superior head-to-head record (5-3). They are all square at the French Open, however, with one win apiece.
Serena Williams (1) – $1.16 at Bet 365
Timea Bacsinszky (23) – $5.75 at www.Sportsbet.com
The world no. 1 is the runaway favourite to progress to the final – something she has done just twice at Roland Garros in her 20-year professional career. Bacsinszky has never beaten Williams, but the Swiss did managed to win eight games out of 21 when the two met at Indian Wells earlier this year.
Men’s Singles – Friday, June 5
Stanislav Wawrinka (8) – $1.45 at William Hill
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (14) – $3.00 at www.Bet365.com
Wawrinka is red hot after downing Roger Federer in the quarterfinals, while Tsonga is carrying the hopes of a host nation that hasn’t tasted Men’s Singles success since 1983. The Swiss boasts a slight head-to-head advantage on clay with three wins to two, including a four-set victory in the David Cup final last year.
Round 3 – 6:00pm AEST on Saturday, May 30, 2015
TV coverage: Fox Sports
Weather: Mostly cloudy
H2H record: Murray leads 2-0
Andy Murray (3) – $1.13 at Sportsbet.com.au
2015 record on clay: 12-1
Nick Kyrgios (29) – $7.00 at www.CrownBet.com.au
2015 record on clay: 9-5
Nick Kyrgios had the easiest Grand Slam match of his life in round two of the 2015 French Open.
Saturday’s fixture is an entirely different matter.
The young Australian was gifted a third-round berth after UK wild card Kyle Edmund withdrew pre-match with a stomach strain.
But now Kyrgios ($7.00 at Crownbet.com) must face Andy Murray, the third seed, in a replay of their quarterfinal clash at the 2015 Australian Open.
The Scot triumphed in straight sets that day, as in the pair’s first meeting at the Canadian Masters in 2014, and the online bookmakers have him as the red-hot favourite to progress to the round of 16 at Roland Garros.
Although Murray ($1.13 at Sportsbet) has never reached the French Open final, he has made the fourth round or better on each of his past five appearances at the tournament.
The 28-year-old has done just enough without really firing so far at RG 2015. He eased past Facundo Arguello in straight sets, but was taken to four by the unseeded Joao Sousa in the second round.
Still, Murray has strung together some excellent results on clay surfaces this year, with 12 wins and only one loss – a walkover against David Goffin in the Rome Masters.
That run includes title wins at Munich and the Madrid Open, where he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 in the final.
Kyrgios’ recent form, by contrast, is more of a mixed bag.
The 20-year-old has won nine of 14 matches on clay courts in 2015, including an epic victory over Roger Federer in Madrid where all three sets came down to tiebreakers.
He made a promising run to the final in Estoril, Portugal, but was done in straight sets by France’s Richard Gasquet.
However, the world no. 30 has also suffered a number of early exits on the slower European surfaces, going out at the first attempt in both Barcelona and Rome.
But while it is hard to read Kyrgios’ form after he passed the second round without touching a racket, the walkover against Edmund may well work in his favour.
Besides giving Team Murray very little to analyse on a tactical front, the four-day break will ensure that Nicky comes into Saturday’s clash with plenty of energy to spare.
Kyrgios has played only three sets to Murray’s seven and boasts an all-court game that is notoriously difficult to face when he is fit and fresh.
That downtime will also give the Canberra native a chance to pursue certain pre-game predilections away from the tennis court, if his recent interview with GQ Australia is anything to go by.
When asked if he abstained from sex before big matches, Kyrgios said, “I don’t abide by that rule. I don’t abide by that at all.”
He added: “I won’t say any [names] but, mate, a lot goes on.
“What happens on tour gets around fast, so you have to be careful. That’s why I don’t mess with any tennis chicks.”
Murray vs Kyrgios match predictions
Result – Andy Murray to win ($1.13 at Sportsbet.com.au)
Correct score – Murray 3-1 ($3.75 at www.WilliamHill.com)
Total match sets – Over 3.5 ($2.10 at Sportsbet)
Kyrgios to win a set? – Yes ($1.98 at Crownbet.com)
It would be an absolute dream if Kyrgios could avenge his Australian Open quarterfinal defeat, but you can’t look past Murray here.
This is about the time in a major tourney when the Scot starts to fire up, so expect a big improvement on his efforts in the earlier rounds.
There is some hope for young Nicky, however, and we are backing him to break his duck and notch a maiden set win in his third meeting with the two-time Grand Slam title winner.
More Men’s Singles odds at Roland Garros
Lukas Rosol ($1.65 at William Hill) vs Teymuraz Gabashvili ($2.26 at Sportsbet.com)
Damir Dzumhur ($20 at CrownBet) vs Roger Federer ($1.01 at WilliamHill.com)
Stanislav Wawrinka ($1.10 at Sportsbet) vs Steve Johnson ($7.80 at www.Crownbet.com)
Nicholas Mahut ($7.40 at CrownBet.com.au) vs Gilles Simon ($1.10 at William Hill)
Gael Monfils ($1.34 at www.WilliamHill.com) vs Pablo Cuevas ($3.30 at Sportsbet)
Benoit Paire ($9.80 at www.CrownBet.com) vs Tomas Berdych ($1.08 at WilliamHill.com.au)
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga ($1.33 at William Hill) vs Pablo Andujar ($3.57 at Sportsbet.com)
Marin Cilic ($1.58 at WilliamHill.com) vs Leonardo Mayer ($2.49 at Sportsbet Australia)
Andrey Kuznetzov ($21 at Sportsbet.com.au) vs Rafael Nadal ($1.01 at William Hill)
Novak Djokovic ($1.01 at WilliamHill.com.au) vs Thanasi Kokkinakis ($20 at CrownBet)
Simone Bolelli ($11.50 at www.Sportsbet.com) vs David Ferrer ($1.05 at WilliamHill.com)
David Goffin ($1.46 at Sportsbet.com) vs Jeremy Chardy ($2.80 at WilliamHill)
Jack Sock ($1.49 at Sportsbet) vs Borna Coric ($2.65 at www.WilliamHill.com.au)
Sportsbet.com.au French Open outright betting
$1.83 – Novak Djokovic
$5 – Rafael Nadal
$8 – Andy Murray
$10 – Kei Nishikori, Roger Federer
$23 – Stan Wawrinka
$26 – Tomas Berdych
$41 – Gael Monfils
$51 – David Ferrer
$71 – Nick Kyrgios
$101 – Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
$151 – Gilles Simon, Marin Cilic, Pablo Cuevas
$201 – Borna Coric
$251 – Jeremy Chardy, Carlos Berlocq, David Goffin, Jack Sock
$301 – Leo Mayer, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire
$401 – Simone Bolelli, Kevin Anderson
$501 – Nicholas Mahut, Pablo Andujar, Steve Johnson, Lukas Rosol, Andrey Kuznetzov, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Damir Dzumhur