Andy Murray’s Olympic Chances – Can Murray win Gold?

Andy Murray moved up to 6th in the world rankings this week, in reality based on this year’s results he is top 5 stuff, probably top 4 behind the big 3 Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

In fact I would argue that if you discount the clay court season he himself would make that top 3 slot and even be 2nd best in the world, on last two months form this is definitely the case, having only beaten by one player, Rafael Nadal, since the French Open.

And on hard courts, dare I say, may even be the best – If the court in Beijing plays as fast as it did in Cincinnati, then Murray will be in his Element, if it is slower then he may struggle a little more, especially on his serve.

Andy Murray may well be in the form of his life, but the bookmakers don’t share my view and he is still a long way behind the big 3 in their eyes. With Nadal as favourite at odds less than 3/1 and Federer and Djokovic not far behind, Murray’s odds of 11/1 at Betfair is easily my best bet. I’ll be backing Murray to win and I’ll also be backing Nadal not to win as I simply cannot see him winning next week.

Outside of those 4, you can get big odds on any other player and with the Olympics often throwing up strange results anyone may be a decent bet. Ivo Karlovic at 94/1 on Betfair is my outsider pick.

Player  Average Odds – All bookmakers  Betfair Odds
 Traditional Odds   Decimal Odds    Traditional Odds    Decimal Odds  
Rafael Nadal 89/50 2.78 47/25 2.88
Roger Federer 189/100 2.89 47/20 3.35
Novak Djokovic 67/20 4.35 49/10 5.9
Andy Murray 49/5 10.8 11/1 12
Nikolay Davydenko 184/5 37.8 49/1 50
David Ferrer 443/10 45.3 89/1 90
David Nalbandian 50/1 51 99/1 100
James Blake 69/1 70 169/1 170
Tomas Berdych 91/1 92 269/1 270
Ivo Karlovic 78/1 79 94/1 95
Fernando Gonzalez 72/1 73 109/1 110
Ernests Gulbis 88/1 89 179/1 180
Lleyton Hewitt 99/1 100 199/1 200
Marcos Baghdatis 108/1 109 299/1 300
Mario Ancic 104/1 105 299/1 300
Juan Martin Del Potro 93/1 94 Make Offer Make Offer
Marat Safin 100/1 101 Make Offer Make Offer
Tommy Haas 90/1 91 Make Offer Make Offer
Stanislas Wawrinka 84/1 85 189/1 190
Mikhail Youzhny 107/1 108 229/1 230
Dmitry Tursunov 127/1 128 239/1 240
Radek Stepanek 109/1 110 259/1 260
Gilles Simon 123/1 124 299/1 300
Philipp Kohlschreiber 140/1 141 359/1 360
Ivan Ljubicic 140/1 141 189/1 190
Nicolas Kiefer 119/1 120 209/1 210
Gael Monfils 150/1 151 299/1 300
Marin Cilic 109/1 110 299/1 300
Janko Tipsarevic 143/1 144 309/1 310
Robin Soderling 129/1 130 329/1 330
Tommy Robredo 151/1 152 329/1 330
Guillermo Canas 150/1 151 359/1 360
Paul Henri Mathieu 158/1 159 419/1 420
Igor Andreev 172/1 173 429/1 430
Mardy Fish 125/1 126 Make Offer Make Offer
Feliciano Lopez 138/1 139 Make Offer Make Offer
Nicolas Almagro 135/1 136 229/1 230
Juan Monaco 167/1 168 239/1 240
Andreas Seppi 188/1 189 279/1 280
Nicolas Lapentti 186/1 187 279/1 280
Robby Ginepri 177/1 178 359/1 360
Simone Bolelli 168/1 169 379/1 380
Sam Querrey 181/1 182 409/1 410
Jarkko Nieminen 222/1 223 429/1 430
Michael Llodra 169/1 170 Make Offer Make Offer
A Calleri 133/1 134 Make Offer Make Offer
Potito Starace 232/1 233 309/1 310
Hyung Taik Lee 222/1 223 359/1 360
Kei Nishikori 202/1 203 359/1 360
Nicolas Massu 252/1 253 359/1 360
Steve Darcis 265/1 266 409/1 410
Rainer Schuettler 225/1 226 Make Offer Make Offer
J Melzer 169/1 170 Make Offer Make Offer
Thomaz Bellucci 262/1 263 359/1 360
Thomas Johansson 272/1 273 359/1 360
Victor Hanescu 296/1 297 379/1 380
Olivier Rochus 297/1 298 439/1 440
Jonas Bjorkman 327/1 328 459/1 460
Dudi Sela 450/1 451 999/1 1000
Denis Gremelmayr 462/1 463 999/1 1000
C Guccione 250/1 251 Make Offer Make Offer
Max Mirnyi 315/1 316 359/1 360
Dominik Hrbaty 302/1 303 409/1 410
Ivo Minar 332/1 333 409/1 410
Marcos Daniel 372/1 373 459/1 460
Kevin Anderson 365/1 366 459/1 460
Peng Sun 465/1 466 459/1 460
J Vanek 450/1 451 Make Offer Make Offer
Y-H Lu 338/1 339 Make Offer Make Offer
Jo Wilfried Tsonga 169/1 170 169/1 170
Yen Hsun Lu 349/1 350 349/1 350
Juan Ignacio Chela 999/1 1000 999/1 1000
Robin Haase 999/1 1000 999/1 1000
Stefan Koubek 999/1 1000 999/1 1000

 
Many will say I’m mad to announce Murray as even close to the top 3, but let’s look at the facts, Federer has struggled all year and when Murray did play him, the Scot won comfortably. The loss was blamed on an “illness”, but that excuse wears a little thin when you consider more recent Federer results. Federer has as yet not won a major title this year and while he has been in the final of two grand slams (Wimbledon and Rolland Garros) and two masters finals (Monte Carlo, Hamburg – both clay court events) he has not managed a win. More importantly on hard courts his form has been lousy his best result this year is semi finals in Indian Wells back in March and that’s it. It would look as if too much effort went into winning the French Open and beat Nadal on Clay.

The other top 3 player that Murray could be considered ahead of at this moment is Novak Djokovic, having been owned by the Serb for their time on the ATP tour – Murray shattered those demons in the last two weeks beating Djokovic in straight sets twice. Since the end of clay court season Djokovic’s form has dipped, last week it picked up and he managed to record a famous victory against the soon to be world’s number 1, Rafael Nadal, ending his 32 game winning streak. That’s though until he met Murray

For me, the only player who can beat Murray on current form on a hard court is Rafael Nadal and the reason for that is more mental than tennis ability, fitness or current form. Having lost all 5 of their previous matches against the Spaniard, Murray has a difficult fight within himself to believe that he can beat Nadal. Nadal is without question the best in the world at the moment though I would go as far to say that Murray should beat Nadal on hard courts, especially faster ones, but the longer the losing run goes against Nadal, the harder it will get for the young Scot to win.

The draw for the Beijing Olympics will determine much, just as it did in Cincinnati, If Murray is drawn in Nadal’s half and they meet in the quarter’s or semi’s, then Murray will hit a major road block and need to do something he has never done before beat the Spaniard. If they are in opposite halves, I don’t think Nadal will reach the final, on hard courts any of the top 50 can beat Nadal, that’s if they believe they can win.