British number one, Andy Murray, is a clear frontrunner with Betfair tennis
to win the Monte Carlo Masters this weekend, alongside clay specialists, Rafael Nadal and David Ferrer.
Murray, 25, has never reached the final of Monaco’s illustrious ATP event and was dumped out of the last eight to Tomas Berdych last season. However, he is targeting the title this year as a means of steeling himself for the French Open, which is now less than two months away.
If Murray is to win Monte Carlo, he must be prepared to take down both Ferrer and Nadal. He met the former in the Miami Masters final on Easter Sunday and came through a gruelling match to win 2-6 6-4 7-6 on the American hard surface.
Despite the victory, Murray’s camp will be concerned a player so used to the conditions and surface in Miami could not finish off an opponent versed to win titles on clay.
For Ferrer is a far better player on the red surface than hard and, if all goes as planned next week, will probably meet Murray in the semi-finals.
If Murray survives this test – he must make use of his solid defensive game on the soft Monaco clay – then a final clash with Nadal is almost certain.
Having won the title each year for the last eight seasons Nadal is clear favourite on Betfair to make it nine this April and is a dead cert to make the final. Despite his knee injuries the Spaniard is on fire this spring with three titles from four tournaments and proved himself the clay king of South America last month.
Murray’s job in the final will be to stay in return rallies and keep perennial French Open betting
favourite, Nadal, moving. It seems the only way to beat the Monacan machine is to wear his knees down and Murray has proven already this season capable of lasting hours on court.