Australian Open: Andy Murray v Vincent Millot
Thursday 16th January (early morning)
Andy Murray started his Australian Open campaign with a comfortable first round victory over Japan’s Go Soeda and is ready to take on Frenchman Vincent Millot in what he hopes will be an equally easy second round encounter.
With both Robson and Watson making first round exits in the women’s tournament, Murray is Britain’s only hope of success in Melbourne. Last year’s surgery means that may be one step beyond the world number 4 but the three-time finalist should cruise through this one.
On his Grand Slam return, following back surgery, Murray made light work of Soenda and against Millot will be aiming for a quick victory once more.
The 6-1, 6-1, 6-3 triumph in round 1 – in which we successfully tipped under 10.5 Soenda games at 13/18 and a Set 2 score of 6-1 at 11/2 -suggested that, whilst he is still some way short of his best, Murray is strong enough to at least reach the latter stages of this tournament.
We still believe that this Austrlian Open has come around too quickly for Murray – although we’d love to be proved wrong – and that his best chance of Grand Slam success will come later in the year as he attempts to defend his Wimbledon crown. However, the determined Glaswegian still has an outside chance of claiming his third major title and will not go down without a fight.
After 18 months of suffering back issues, Murray may even improve in 2014.
Murray Feeling The Heat
The 26-year-old admitted that the Melbourne conditions weren’t ideal in round 1. Against Soenda, temperatures exceeded 40 degrees centigrade and Murray can expect similar levels of heat against Millot.
A quick victory in round 1 was exactly what Murray wanted and he’ll be looking to navigate this one without hassle too. Previous ventures in Melbourne demonstrate that the British number 1 is conditioned to these conditions and can succeed even in this intense heat but the extreme temperatures have seen organisers come under fire this week for allowing play to continue and that is a telling barometer of just how hot it is right now in Australia.
Murray will be out to get the job done as quickly as possible.
Who Is Vincent Millot?
You’ll be forgiven for not knowing much about the Frenchman; he is ranked 208 in the world and this will be only his third ever Grand Slam match.
Prior to his first round win over Wayne Odensik (world #138), Millot’s only other appearance at a Grand Slam event was at the French Open in 2011 – he fell at the first hurdle.
The 27-year-old left-hander is an obscure name on the tennis circuit and will not trouble Murray. This is probably the first time you’ve even heard his name mentioned, in all likeliness it will also be the last.
Murray V Millot Betting
As was the case against Soenda, Murray is an absolute certainty for the victory and is priced accordingly. He is as short as 1/500 in some places, although Bet 365 make him 1/100 with Millot the 25/1 outsider.
At 2/9 for a straight sets triumph you may want to consider it as an ‘accy booster’ but it certainly isn’t something we’d suggest betting big on. If round 1 is anything to go by then it should be a 3-0 triumph for Murray but at those odds it probably just isn’t worth it.
There aren’t many markets available yet but we do like the look of Murray to win the first set 6-2 at 3/1 with Bet 365 as a value bet.
Additionally, if a market for ‘total Millot games’ comes available later on then we’d suggest taking anything under 9.5 games as we cannot see the Frenchman making double figures over the three sets. Anything over 4/6 will be good value.
As far as the tournament goes, Murray is still an outsider for this one due to the circumstances surrounding his last six months. However, if you do think he can go one better than his previous best then he is still 15/2. It’s probably worth backing if you fancy him to reach the final as you’d be able to trade out.
Elsewhere In The Draw
There wasn’t many shocks in round 1 of the Men’s tournament.
Meanwhile, Novak Djokovic is through to round 3 after beating Vesna Dolonc 6-0, 6-4, 6-4 and is still yet to drop a set following the straight sets victory in round 1 too. The defending champ last lost here in a 2010 quarter-final with Tsonga and is looking to make it four straight Austrlian titles here.
Djokovic is the firm favourite and can be backed at 8/11 with Bet 365.
Other seeds safely through to round 2 included; Nadal, Federer, Ferrer and del Potro. If Murray is to win the tournament, he may still have to defeat Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic on route to the trophy.