Few punters gave Roger Federer much hope of winning Wimbledon ahead of the tournament, preferring instead to pile into Novak Djokovic and home-grown hero Andy Murray.
There was little to change their minds as he made short but unspectacular work of his early round opponents last week.
Yet if he’d hoped to sail into the latter stages under the radar his cover was well and truly blown in an impressive quarter-final victory over Frenchman Giles Simon.
Cynics may argue that he has not been tested as a result of his untroubled progress, but I’d argue that he is now operating at his vintage best.
Simon actually managed to break Federer, becoming the first player in 116 successive games to do so.
But it was the only blow he was able to land on an opponent who swatted him aside in an imperious display that recalled the glory days of his seven Wimbledon title wins.
His ominous up-turn in form – and its timing – tells me to follow my head rather than my heart in backing him to beat Andy Murray.
The Scot did well to overcome big serving Ivo Karlovic in the fourth round, but the Croat offers significantly less than Federer will when returning serve.
A short and relatively easy quarter-final against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil will have given Murray confidence, as well as leaving some much-needed fuel in the tank.
But it’s worth noting that before this year Pospisil had never progressed past the third round at a Grand Slam. Not exactly a huge test for a player of Murray’s calibre.
Murray has met Federer five times in Grand Slams, winning only once, on the hard courts of the Australian Open.
FedEx has delivered in four of his last five clashes with Murray, and I think he’ll replicate the Wimbledon final of 2012 by triumphing in four sets, which I’m backing him to do at 9/2 with Betway.
With Federer’s service firing on all cylinders, I think Murray will be chasing the game and may be vulnerable to breaks of serve.
The world No.2 might just run away with this in the third and fourth sets, so I’m happy to sell Murray’s match supremacy at 0 with Sporting Index.
- Roger Federer to win 3-1 at 9/2 with Betway
- Sell Andy Murray’s match supremacy at 0 with Sporting Index