BNP Paribas Open: Andy Murray v Juan Martin del Potro Odds and Betting Preview
By Alastair TC Maude on 2013-03-15 17:44:48
INDIAN WELLS, USA - Later this evening, the last of the quarter finals of this year's Indian Wells Masters will start, when Andy Murray takes on Juan Martin del Potro. Murray, ranked and seeded third, will be looking to go one better than his appearance in the final of this competition back in 2009, where he ran out the loser to Rafael Nadal.
Murray comes into this tournament as a bit of an unkown quantity - he started the year well, winning in Brisbane before making it to the final of the Australian Open, where he lost to Djokovic. Since then, however, he has had a seven week layoff, not entering any tournaments as he instead opted to prepare for this one. This is presumably a bid to improve upon his dismal recent record here - before this tournament started, he had not won a match here for three years, having gone out in the second round in 2011 and 2012. Fortunately for fans of the Scot, he is back to winning ways - though not without some scares along the way - he dropped a set in his opener, against Evgeny Donskoy, before being taken to a tiebreaker by Carlos Berlocq in his last match.
Del Potro in comparison has had a busy season so far, and one which has been fairly successful. He made up for his disappointing third round exit in Melbourne by winning the tournament in Rotterdam a few weeks later in a campaign which saw him win every match in straight sets. Since then he has reached the quarter finals in Marseille, before putting up a spirited display against Djokovic in the semis in Dubai, where he took the Serb to a tiebreaker. He has eased through all of his matches so far in this tournament, and has yet to drop a set.
In his most recent match, against the resurgent Tommy Haas, del Potro was at his ruthless best, dispatching the German veteran 6-1 6-2 in a match where he managed to break his opponent five times. Murray meanwhile is obviously not at his sharpest after almost two months without a competitive match, but he looks to be getting better every time he plays, and bar Djokovic, he is probably the best player around at the moment. Murray leads his Argentine opponent 5-1 at the moment, and though they have not played since 2009, this will still be weighing on del Potro's mind coming into the match. Murray is the 1/2 (a £2 bet makes £1 profit) favourite with BetVictor to go and win the match, and while these odds are fairly short, backing del Potro at Betfred's 15/8 is not an attractive proposition.
The set betting is a more appealing market, and a 2-0 victory for Murray is the favourite at the standout 6/5 quoted by Paddy Power. The 25 year old has never beaten del Potro in straight sets, but considering how much he has improved and matured as a player since their last meeting, Murray should be able to deal with Delpo fairly quickly. Once del Potro finds his rhythm he can start booming shots from the baseline and is hard to beat, but as the more versatile player, Murray should be able to shake things up sufficiently to throw the world number seven off.
Del Potro also has a worrying recent tendency of starting slowly - against Djokovic he practically gifted him the first set before staging a late and ultimately unsuccessful fightback, and he also threw away the opener against Baghdatis in the first round of that same tournament before winning. If Murray gets off to a quick start, which looks likely, then he, like Djokovic, will almost certainly be able to wrap things up fairly quickly. With this in mind, taking the evens that BetVictor are offering on a match shorter than 22.5 games looks like very good value considering that most other bookies are closer to the 3/4 mark on what is already a fairly high line.
Murray is third in the outright winner betting, and is a generally available 4/1 shot. He is behind the 19/20 (with Bluesquare) favourite Novak Djokovic, who plays Jo-Wilfried Tsonga later this evening, and Rafael Nadal, who booked his place in the semis by beating Federer 6-4 6-2, and who can be backed at 7/2, also with Bluesquare, to reclaim the title he won here back in 2009. Del Potro meanwhile is a 20/1 shot with Boylesports to go two better than his best showing here - a semi final appearance in 2011.
This match starts at 22:30 GMT on Friday the 15th of March, and the winner will go on to face either Novak Djokovic or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi final.