Murray has the mentality to finally make Grand Slam breakthrough

NOT only did Andy Murray do much to endear himself to the nation when he won the Olympic gold in such stunning fashion at London 2012 last month, but in the minds of many, he also made the mental breakthrough that would allow him to win one of the biggest tournaments in tennis, a Grand Slam.

The Scot went to Flushing Meadows for the US Open, the final Slam of the year, with a renewed belief that he could finally end Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male major champion. Murray reached his eighth consecutive Slam quarter-final, underlining his remarkable consistency at the highest level, with a brilliant straight sets victory over the dangerous youngster Milos Raonic. The manner of that performance marked the 2008 runner-up here as the one to beat.

Murray made a bit of a slow start against Marion Cilic in his last-eight clash, but when he got into full-stride he was brilliant, racing through the last two sets with the loss of just two games. He also landed a bit of a touch when his nemesis, Roger Federer, suffered a surprise defeat to Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych. That was the first time Federer had ever lost in the quarters of the tournament he won five times straight from 2004 to 2008 and it means Murray will avoid the man who has beaten him in three of the four Grand Slam finals he has made.

Berdych is a very talented player – as a 4-2 head-to-head record over Murray would suggest – but he is inconsistent. He’s priced at 7/4 with Coral whereas Murray is a general 2/5 shot. That is fair but I think Coral’s 5/2 on a four-set Murray win offers us a bit of value with only one of their previous encounters resulting in a straight sets victory.

I would also buy Murray on the win index at 41 with Sporting Index. As a result of rain delays the likes of Novak Djokovic and David Ferrer have seen their campaigns held up. If Murray wins today he will be fresher for the final than his opponent. Djokovic is in the other half of the draw and he will remain the favourite if he makes it to the final, but I would still fancy Murray to beat him and land the title. However, if Djokovic does come unstuck then Murray’s spread will shoot up so buying him now makes sense.

With a make-up of 60 points for the winner and 40 for the runner-up we will be looking at a good profit should Murray take the winner’s prize and only a small loss if he is beaten – assuming of course he can do the business versus Berdych tonight.

■ Pointers…

Murray to beat Berdych in four sets at 5/2 with Coral

Buy Murray at 41 on the US Open win index with Sporting Index