On paper, Novak Djokovic might remain the tennis betting favorite at the 2016 US Open, but Andy Murray is da man up in that mother. The Scotsman has always enjoyed playing on Arthur Ashe Stadium, and his win-loss record attests to that. Djokovic did not look his usual self in his opening win versus Jerzy Janowicz; wrist and elbow injuries plus an early exit from the Olympic Games might just throw him off his physical and mental game. Meanwhile, Murray is fresh off seven consecutive finals, a 33-2 record since the Madrid Masters, and of course, the gold medal in Rio.
Murray had a tough opener in Lukas Rosol whom, according to the Scot, “nobody likes” (come one, some people who bet on tennis must like him). Murray put on a clinic and beat Rosol 6-3, 6-2, 6-2 without dropping his serve a single time, and keeping the affair short but sweet – for him at least – clocking in at under two hours. Murray went on to face and defeat Spanish Marcel Granollers 6-4, 6-1, 6-4 in the second round. Both players had to struggle with the storm drumming like a double blast beat on the new roof of Arthur Ashe Stadium, which also traps in the noise of the audience, meaning that “you couldn't really hear the ball, which makes it tricky, but we're lucky to play under the roof because otherwise there'd be no tennis right now,” Murray said.
The year 2016 has been very kind to Murray, and there is still quite a ways to go before it wraps up. If he reaches the finals – and his tennis betting odds are favorable in that sense – he would be only the fourth player to make all four major finals in a calendar year. The World No. 2 has appeared in 11 US Open tournaments and won the 2012 edition, when he bested Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 in the finals. However, the last time they met, in the finals of the French Open, it was the Serb who prevailed 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4 (prior to that, Murray had bested Djokovic in the Rome Masters). On that occasion, Murray exhausted himself winning the first set, then appearing short on confidence that he could go toe to toe with Djokovic’s for long enough to win a five-set match. But not Murray has his coach/lucky charm/tennis betting odds equalizer Ivan Lendl – with whom he has won his three Grand Slam titles and two gold medals – back with him.
Murray did not earn any ranking points or his Olympic gold medal but could improve on his score by 1,820 points at the US Open alone. Conversely, being the current champion, Djokovic has 1,200 points to defend to defend, which he could lose if he is untimely eliminated from the competition. So not only could Murray win the Us Open, but at the same time make headway toward pushing Djokovic off the top of the rankings and position himself at the very top of the mountain.