Andy Murray v Milos Raonic
Anyone who watched the Queens Final will remember Milos Raonic was a set and a break up against Andy Murray before the latter turned things around. That might give Raonic plenty of belief that he can get the better of Murray on this surface, but I am not so convinced especially if Murray can begin to get a read on where the serve is going as he has in their recent matches.
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They also played a memorable five set Semi Final at the Australian Open which Raonic was leading 2-1 before falling away, but there has been a common trend in their recent matches. It was Raonic who had won three of their first five matches, but Murray has won five in a row since the last of those losses in March 2014.
The trend I am talking about isn’t the run of losses, but the fact that Murray has found a way to get better results behind his serve in each of those until the Queens Final. In November 2014 Raonic won 33% of points on the Murray serve, but has then won 28%, 25%, 23% and then 26% in the Queens Final.
Murray is one of the players on the ATP Tour that can get plenty of balls back in play even against the biggest servers, and limiting what Raonic is able to do against his own serve should open the door for him in this Final. You have to think Murray will take a little speed off the first serve to make sure he gets plenty of those in play and he will believe he is the better player when the rallies move past four shots, even in the return games.
Pressure can do a funny thing as Murray will have plenty of expectations on his shoulders going into his first Slam Final as the favourite. However I think the way he played in the Semi Final suggests he is comfortable with his position and Murray will believe he will be able to diffuse the Raonic serve. I also don’t think Murray will miss the opportunities that Federer created in his Semi Final defeat to Raonic and I believe Murray has the variation and the smarts to force Raonic into making awkward volleys throughout this contest.
I simply don’t buy that Raonic can win a Slam with his limited return game and he was barely involved in Federer’s service games until the final game of the fourth set and the fifth set. Murray has kept Raonic at arm’s length on his service games in recent matches against Raonic and I think he will be too strong for him on the day, forcing a few breaks of serve to make sure he can cover this number.
I am expecting Murray to come through in three or four sets and I will back him to cover this number of games on his way to a second Wimbledon title.
Tennis Handicap Betting Pick: Andy Murray -4.5 Games at 2.02 with Betfair
Prices correct at time of writing.