IT'S Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray yet again in the Australian Open Final. Is this the year Murray finally finds a way past the Serb? We asked Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe).
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray | Sunday 08:30 | Eurosport
This will be the 32nd meeting between the two best players in the world so it's fitting they meet in the final for the fourth time at the Australian Open and fifth here overall with Novak looking for his sixth title and Andy his first.
Djokovic leads the head-to-head 22-9 and 4-0 down under. Indeed since losing the 2013 Wimbledon final, Djokovic has won 10 of their 11 meetings, with Murray's only victory coming on the quick courts of Montreal last year.
With Djokovic having an extra days rest and comfortable victories in the quarters and semi as opposed to Murray having to come through a gruelling four hour battle returning the Milos Raonic serve, the match odds of 1/5 Novak – 4/1 Andy look about right.
Generally the way their meetings tend to play out is Murray staying with Djokovic for most of the match, with the Serb winning the key points, before having nothing left to give in the latter stages as Novak's almost super-human fitness prevails.
In Djokovic's seven hard court victories during the aforementioned period, Novak has won on average by six games in five best of three matches and 7.5 games in the two at slams. In their four meetings in Australia Djokovic has won on average by 7.75 games.
With odds against available on Novak covering 6.5 games, this seems the best bet. Bar his sloppy performance against Gilles Simon, Djokovic has comfortably covered this line in his other five matches here.
With that in mind and Murray's potential fatigue, I'm also going to suggest a play on a bigger line of -9.5 at 15/2. Twice in their matches here Djokovic has covered nine games, so asking for an extra one doesn't seem as far fetched as the 7/1 suggests.
As already mentioned the way their matches play out tends to leave Murray exhausted, and Novak dished out 6-1 6-0 6-0 final sets last year, including here. Novak also cruised past Federer and Nishikori by nine games.
Unfortunately there isn't also a line for 8.5 games, but if Novak's supremacy increases, a line may come available so might be worth keeping an eye out.
Despite discussing Murray's potential fatigue, he's got a day off and didn't look overly exhausted at the end of the match. Their four meetings here read:
2015 Final: 7-6 6-7 6-3 6-0 (3-1)
2013 Final: 6-7 7-6 6-3 6-2 (3-1)
2012 Semi: 6-3 3-6 6-7 6-1 7-5 (3-2)
2011 Final: 6-4 6-2 6-3 (3-0)
With Novak rated just 1/5 to win yet having dropped a set in three of their four meetings here, I'm also going to suggest a small play on Djokovic 3-1 at 11/4.
He dropped sets against Federer and Simon and has done in all but one of his five finals here. A similar repeat of last years final would be perfect.
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray – Novak Djokovic -6.5 Games (11/10 Marathonbet)
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray – Novak Djokovic -9.5 Games (15/2 Paddy Power)
Novak Djokovic v Andy Murray – Novak Djokovic to win 3-1 (11/4 William Hill)
Both sides long odds on. Fancy backing the double at 7/1? Join Boylesports to get 7/1 and cash from us.