A huge chance for Andy Murray to win another Grand Slam. Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) shares his best bet for his match against Milos Raonic.
Andy Murray v Milos Raonic | Sunday 14:00 | BBC One
Andy Murray goes in search of his third Grand Slam and second Wimbledon title when he takes on Canadian Milos Raonic who is in his first slam final.
Indeed it will be the first time in 11 occasions that Murray won't be facing either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer in a Grand Slam final. His record against Raonic is a healthy 6-3 including winning the last five over the last 18 months, across all surfaces, grass, clay, hard and indoor.
Their last meeting was in the final of Queens where Murray won 2-1 with his superb ability to read and return the Raonic serve being the key to match in what looks to be again the key to a repeat victory here.
The Canadian has slammed down 137 aces in the tournament so far and 14 in three sets when they met previously in what is his biggest weapon. However, Murray's fantastic skill in being able to decipher Raonic's serve is what has contributed hugely to his wins in this match-up.
At Queens, which plays faster than Wimbledon, Milos won just 44% of his 2nd serve points, with Murray breaking him four times in three sets.
Raonic added a new coach in Carlos Moya at the start of the year and has even added John McEnroe recently in what looks to a bid to improve his return game (he ranked 78th across all surfaces in 2015, 58th on grass) but it's actually his main weapon that has been picked apart when facing the two best returners in the game in Djokovic and Murray this year.
In five matches, he's taken only three sets and has actually been bagelled twice (some of which can be attributed to injury, although that could be a result of fatigue from going deep in tournaments).
Queens (grass) – Final: Murray – Raonic 6-7, 6-4, 6-3
Madrid (clay) – Quarters: Djokovic – Raonic 6-3, 6-4
Monte Carlo (clay) – Quarters: Murray – Raonic 6-2, 6-0
Indian Wells (hard) – Final: Djokovic – Raonic 6-2, 6-0
Austrlian Open (hard) – Semi: Murray – Raonic 4-6, 7-5, 6-7, 6-4, 6-2
However, there has been a slight improvement in his return game in that he is now ranked 65th over the last 52 weeks, improving from 112.9% across a combination of % return points won, % return games won and % break points converted to 127.6%.
Basically I think he takes more of a chance on his shots when receiving, and goes for more. Though as already mentioned, Murray is far, far superior in this department, winning 130 1st serve receiving points in 20 sets so far, compared to Milos 103 in his 23 sets, with Murray breaking his opponent 32 times as opposed to Raonic's 16 – twice as many.
My overall point here being I don't think the match is going to be dictated by serve as much as the markets and surface suggest. Murray has played just one tie-break in his six matches and Raonic just one in his last 14 sets against a better standard of players here.
In their 26 sets across their nine meetings there have been just five tie-breaks (19%). With the match odds leaving little room for value with almost identical prices to their Queens meeting.
I'm going to chance Murray's excellent return and Raonic's improvement in this aspect, leads us to no tie-breaks in the match. This was just 17/10 when Murray took on Berdych and it's a bet that would have won in five of their nine previous meetings.
Andy Murray v Milos Raonic – No Tie-Break 7/2 (Bet365)