If Andy Murray hopes to win the 2015 U.S. Open, there’s a good chance he’ll have to go through Novak Djokovic to do so. Djokovic has been nearly unbeatable this year, but Murray proved that he has what it takes to defeat the world’s No. 1 player with a win in the finals of the Montreal Masters.
Murray beat Djokovic 4-6 6-4 3-6 on Sunday, getting the best of tennis’ top star for the first time in more than two years. The victory helped Murray surpass Roger Federer to become No. 2 in rankings, improving his odds to win the U.S. Open in September.
Prior to the Montreal Masters, Murray was given +400 betting odds to win the second U.S. Open of his career. He’s since moved +350, closing the gap between himself and Djokovic. Now that Murray has moved up from No. 3 in the world, he can only meet Djokovic in the U.S. Open final.
Djokovic came up short against Murray in the 2013 Wimbledon final, but he’s been dominant against the Brit ever since. Djokovic had beaten Murray in eight straight matches, seven of which were on hard court. But Murray was victorious this past weekend, and heels like he can do it again.
“There are a number of players who have lost seven, eight, nine times against someone. But the most important thing is that you still believe that you can win the match when you go on the court against them,” Murray told reporters. “Maybe last year it wasn’t the case. But this year, I certainly feel like I believed in myself when I’ve gone on the court against Novak.”
Murray had been 0-4 against Djokovic in 2015, most recently losing in five sets in the semifinals of the French Open. Their closest hard-court match came in the finals of the Australian Open, where Djokovic won in four sets.
While Djokovic may have come up short, his U.S. Open odds have slightly improved. He’s gone from having even odds to being an odds-on favorite at -105. Djokovic has won three of the last five Grand Slam tournaments, failing to reach at least the semifinals just once in the last five years.
Roger Federer is the third favorite, having won the U.S. Open from 2004 to 2008. Rafael Nadal has the fourth-best odds, even though he hasn’t reached the semifinals of a Grand Slam tournament since last year’s French Open. Nadal has made the U.S. Open final each of the last three times he's competed in the event. Stan Wawrinka, who won the 2014 Australian Open and the 2015 French Open, has the fifth-best odds (+1,100).
Last year's men's final included none of the "Big Four." Marin Cilic of Croatia defeated Kei Nishikori of Japan in straight sets to win his only Grand Slam. Cilic fended off Djokovic in four sets in the semifinals, while Nishikori upset Federer in straight sets. Nishikori (+1,400) has better odds than Cilic (+2,000) entering the final Grand Slam of 2015.
Below are the updated betting odds for the 2015 U.S. Open, which begins on Aug. 31, courtesy of Bovada.lv.
Novak Djokovic -105
Andy Murray +350
Roger Federer +600
Rafael Nadal +1,000
Stan Wawrinka +1,100
Kei Nishikori +1,400
Marin Cilic +2,000
Grigor Dimitrov +2,500
Juan Martin Del Potro +3,300
Tomas Berdych +3,300
Milos Raonic +3,300
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga +5,000
Nick Kyrgios +6,600
David Ferrer +8,000
Gael Monfils +10,000
David Goffin +10,000
John Isner +10,000
Bernard Tomic +10,000
Ernests Gulbis +10,000