Murray v Nieminen: Brit to enjoy serene passage into round three
Andy Murray has won all four of his career meetings with Jarkko Nieminen to date and another routine success can be expected to take the Brit one stage close to Olympic tennis gold.
The problem for Murray fans is finding some value in a victory, as there is little in the 1/33 that he moves into a third round encounter with either Richard Gasquet or Marcos Baghdatis.
A bit more can be found in the 1/8 that Murray secures victory in straight sets and based on their previous meetings, he should triumph 2-0.
Murray won 3-0 on the only other meeting on grass between the pair, when they met in the second round at Wimbledon in 2010.
In fact, three of the four meetings have come in second-round encounters, with the most recent being in this year’s French Open.
Nieminen romped into an early lead at Roland Garros by taking the first set 6-1, but Murray battled through a back injury to progress 3-1.
Now fully fit, Murray can build on his 6-3, 6-3 success over Stanislas Wawrinka in the opening round at the Olympics with a similar result.
It depends on whether Murray serves first or second, and if serving first, 6-3 to Murray looks solid at 11/4, while 7/2 is the better bet for a 6-4 Murray success if serving second.
Either way, Murray should edge the first set with a single break.
Despite his record against Murray, Nieminen will still represent no push over and is capable of springing a surprise if the number three seed has an off day.
Nieminen is 10/1 to beat Murray in the Olympic odds and 14/1 to prevail in a deciding set, which may be the price most worth considering for those predicting Murray to go out.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.