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Big Four Rivalries Shaping up Nicely for 2013

Posted 10-18-2012 at 02:25 PM by Philip Oliver
Andy Murray’s triumph at the US Open is good news for sports fans, according to the Betfair tennis tips website. The Scot had been more than holding his own on tour against the top three players in the world for some time, but wins against them in Grand Slam tournaments had been hard to come by.

With Rafael Nadal debilitated by injury and Roger Federer slightly past his best, spectators might have feared the glorious recent rivalries between the big names were beginning to fizzle out. This feeling would have deepened if Murray could not make the breakthrough and beat a big gun to win a major.

We can now expect the fare served up in the classic Flushing Meadows showdown between Murray and Novak Djokovic to be a regular occurrence. They have won five apiece of their last 10 meetings – Djokovic leads their head-to-head 9-7 overall – with their last two clashes in slams being epics that nudged the five hour mark.

Murray’s dominant wins over Federer at the Olympics and Shanghai have edged him ahead 10-8 in his meetings with the Swiss legend, with that classy victory at London 2012 a crucial moment in his development. It ousted the ghosts of his Wimbledon final defeat by the same opponent and gave him the belief he can beat the best when it really matters.
Djokovic had come to that realisation with gusto a few months earlier. His stunning run of form that sent him to the top of the game included six wins from seven against Federer, hinting at dominance that the latter would not be able to overturn.

Federer’s victory in the Wimbledon semi-finals, backed up a 6-0 7-6 win in the Cincinnati final, raised hopes among fans writing tennis match previews that this would not be the case. Some uncertainty has been restored for 2013, not least because we don’t know how a recovered Rafael Nadal will fit into things amongst a quartet that claimed one major apiece in 2012. It will be fun finding out.
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