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Injury, form and babies boost Murray’s French Open claims

| 12.05.2014

‘Been there, done that, got the T-shirt and sent the postcard’ is certainly a phrase that is applicable to John McEnroe’s tennis career, having won no fewer than seven Grand Slam singles titles.

And it is McEnroe that is being most heavily linked with being the new coach of Andy Murray, who separated from Ivan Lendl back in March after a successful two-year stint together.

Sluggish is probably the best word to describe Murray’s start to the season, having only gone beyond the quarter finals once in eight tournaments and still waiting for a first final of 2014.

It has been cited that the Scot is lacking some leadership and all of this factors in to why Murray has been priced at 40/1 in the French Open betting.

Murray has never previously gone beyond the last four at Roland Garros, but this certainly looks a decent each-way price, with Ladbrokes paying 1/2 odds on the finalists.

Rafael Nadal may have won the Madrid Masters, but he was arguably fortunate that Kei Nishikori suffered a back injury, given the Japanese player had taken the first set.

Nadal’s clay-court season previously had been far from dominant either, having suffered successive quarter-final defeats to fellow Spaniards David Ferrer and Nicolas Almagro.

His victory over Nishikori should bring some confidence, but 1/1 looks short considering the mis-firing nature of the world number one in recent weeks.

Novak Djokovic missed Madrid because of a wrist injury and although statements suggest that he is now pain free, it may be worth waiting until after the Italian Open for further clarification.

At 9/4, the Serbian’s price is about right.

Then there is Roger Federer, who is currently enjoying a spot of paternity leave after becoming a father to twin boys.

The consensus is that Federer will play at the French Open, and possibly even in Italy, but there have to be doubts that he will be at his best, given the demands of young babies.

Federer is 14/1 to win the French Open and given the differing setbacks of his big three rivals, Murray could be the value bet to take a first clay-court Grand Slam victory.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Craig Kemp

Craig has written for Ladbrokes since the 2010 World Cup, having previously gained a Media & Sports Journalism degree and contributed to publications including the Racing Post. His main areas of interest are horse racing and UFC, but he is also an avid X Factor gambler and likes nothing more than indulging in a spot of Hip Hop Karaoke.