It’s not the first time this has been said, but the shock defeat Rafa Nadal suffered to Lukas Rosol has really opened the Wimbledon men’s draw up, and especially so for Andy Murray. The Scot was due to face Nadal in the semi-final, if both reached that stage, but I doubt there were many who thought it would be Nadal to fall first. So far Murray has come through some potentially difficult matches, in particular the Karlovic one with some panache, and shown none of the poor form that curtailed his activities at Queens Club.
Assuming he makes it past Marcos Baghdatis in tonight’s game (1/10 with BetFair), and Murray himself is wisely refusing to take that for granted as Baghdatis is no slouch, he’ll be faced with another monster in either Marin Cilic or Sam Querry. Cilic is the Queens champions, albeit in slightly odd circumstances (his opponent was disqualified for injuring a line-judge) and Querry has as good a serve as Karlovic, with the bonus of being several years younger, more lithe and agile than Murray’s vanquished opponent from round two.
From there it is most likely he’d face either Juan Martin del Potro or David Ferrer in the quarters, and that is as far as you can realistically look. A lot of the men the in Murray half of the draw will be just as pleased to see Nadal fall as the top four were, so assuming Murray makes the final would be foolish. BetFair have his stage of elimination odds at 119/50 for the quarters, 57/20 in the semi and 163/100 for him to finish runner-up, and offer 71/50 on him as a finalist. There is still one big problem, though, and that is the world number one.
Novak Djokovic is still standing, and now 10/11 favourite with VictorChandler to win the completion to Murray’s 11/2. Before Nadal’s elimination Nole was tipped to win the title, and sadly for British hopes there is no real reason to fancy the Scot to beat Djokovic should they meet, other than the nice price. There are arguments to be made that if Murray gets to the final he may be more confident than before due to the easier route, which could work is his favour, but we’ll have to just wait and see if this is his year.