Andy Murray will once again have the hopes of a nation on his shoulders this week when he begins his 2012 Wimbledon campaign against Nikolay Davydenko on Tuesday, as Paddy Power announce free bets and a live stream on all Wimbledon matches this year.
The British No.1 hasn’t had the best time of it in recent weeks of course.
He failed to progress as far as he would have hoped in the French Open, while he has lost three games in the build up to events at SW19 this week.
However, when Murray takes to Centre Court, the crowd will greet him with renewed hope that this could be his year. Despite the strong rivals for the title, perhaps he can turn on the style, have a bit of luck and go all the way.
In terms of who Murray will have to face to do just that, he is on Rafael Nadal’s side of the draw. The Spaniard has often got the better of him in this tournament of course, but the Scotsman cannot be thinking that far ahead.
Instead, he will be focusing on a tough opening match against the experienced Davydenko. The Russian may have a poor record on grass, but if Murray is to progress, he needs to be on his game from the very start.
Looking at Davydenko a bit more, it is worth noting that the furthest he has progressed at Wimbledon is the fourth round in 2007. This is despite making it to at least the quarter-finals of the other three Grand Slam tournaments.
This is a record that the 31-year-old will desperately want to improve on. He is too good a player to have never progressed beyond the fourth round and he will be hoping to upset the odds against the home favourite this week.
As for the odds, Murray is the overwhelming favourite to progress and can be backed at 1/14. Davydenko on the other hand is available at 12/1, so it would be a massive shock if the British tennis fans weren’t celebrating on Tuesday evening.