Murray Faces Stiff Test To Win Retain US Open Crown

The 2013 US Open at Flushing Meadows got underway on Monday and tennis fans are in for an absolute treat, with a mouth-watering men’s line-up ready to smash it out for the chance of winning the famous trophy. The fourth and final Grand Slam of the year is set to be an absolute cracker in New York as defending champion Andy Murray sets out to win his third Slam in just 12 months.

The Scot has impressively reached the last four consecutive Slam Finals he has appeared in (he missed the French Open in May through injury). His majestic run of form started a year ago when the Scot finally won that elusive first Slam at Flushing Meadows as he became the first male Brit to win one of the major tournaments in 76 years. He then went one better and won Wimbledon earlier this summer, much to the delight of the home crowd and also made the final at the Australian Open in January, before going down to Novak Djokovic.

Murray, who is 7/2 ($4.50) to win back-to-back US Open titles, now heads to New York as the third favourite behind World No.1 Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. However, this year’s seeding –(Murray is third) – means he may face the Serb in the semi-finals, providing both men, as expected, make it through to the last-four.

Murray hasn’t enjoyed the best preparation since Wimbledon, having suffered early exits in build-up events, but will no doubt up his game when he kicks-off his defence against Michael Llodra on Wednesday.

Meanwhile, Djokovic will be gunning to avenge last year’s defeat along with his Wimbledon heartache, with the 26-year-old attempting to reach the final at Flushing Meadows for the fourth year in succession

Hot on their heels is Rafa Nadal who has put his Wimbledon shocker behind him with a blistering streak of form. The Spaniard won the French Open for a record eighth time earlier this year and has now set his sights on winning the US Open for the second time in his career, having tasted success back in 2010.

Nadal could find himself up against old rival Roger Federer in the quarter-finals, which would staggeringly be the 32nd meeting between the pair. Federer is seeded down in seventh and has relatively long odds of 14/1 to reclaim the trophy he has won a whopping five times, the last of which came in 2008.

Other names to look out for include Juan Martin del Potro, David Ferrer and Tomas Berdych. Del Potro, the sixth seed and 2009 winner, came agonisingly close to making it through to the Wimbeldon Final but was eventually beaten by Djokovic in an epic five-setter. The Argentinean is an elite player and can never be discounted and is more than capable of upsetting the current “big three”, the same applies for Berdych, who is a definite potential dark horse, while French Open runner-up Ferrer is an 80/1 outsider but more than capable of holding his own.

However, with the last 15 Grand Slams won by one of Federer, Nadal, Djokovic or Murray, it makes sense to concentrate on this quartet and Djokovic is taken to avenge last year’s defeat over Murray.

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