Milos Raonic (+290) vs Andy Murray (-350)
Just looking at the odds, you’d have to say that a second Wimbledon title is nigh at hand for Andy Murray. The Scotsman is a heavy favorite over Canadian Milos Raonic in this Sunday’s final at the All England Lawn Tennis Club (9:00 AM Eastern). Will Murray deliver in front of legions of his British fans or will Raonic capture his first ever Grand Slam title?
Murray has been the second-best tennis player in the world for the last 12 months. He’s already reached the finals of this year’s two prior majors, losing to Novak Djokovic both times. The Wimbledon door was pried wide open for Murray when Djokovic went down to Sam Querrey in stunning fashion.
So far, Murray has cruised through to corridor on his way to that gaping door, dropping just two sets on his way to the finals (both against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the quarters).
Pitted against No. 10 Tomas Berdych in the semis, Murray looked like he was on another level, dominating 6-3, 6-3, 6-3 to reach his third career Wimbledon final. He’s 1-1 in those previous two appearances, losing to Roger Federer in 2012 but bouncing back the next year against Djokovic, breaking a long British drought at the tournament in the process.
“Obviously to make a Wimbledon final is a good achievement and I’ve got one more to go on Sunday,” Murray told BBC Sport. “The older you get, you never know how many chances you’re going to get to play in a Grand Slam final. I’m glad I managed to get through today. You learn from those matches for sure, those experiences in the past have helped me a lot, playing against some of the best players of all time.”
For Raonic, Sunday’s match will be his first Grand Slam final. He bowed out in the semis last year, as well as at the 2016 Australian Open.
Raonic had a much tougher road to hoe on his way to the final. He survived a five-set battle with No. 11 David Goffin, coming from two sets down, and then another five-setter against No. 3 Federer in the semis, coming from 2-1 down. The relative youngster showed incredible mental strength in the fourth set, saving two critical break points when he trailed the pivotal set two games to one.
He won’t get any boost from the pro-Murray crowd on Sunday, but he wasn’t the fan-favorite against seven-time champ Federer either. So he should be used to that dynamic by now.
Murray and Raonic have met nine times on their careers, with the Briton holding a 6-3 edge. Murray should come in confident given that he just beat Raonic on grass a few weeks ago, 6-7, 6-4, 6-3. I certainly see his ground game eventually wearing down the powerful but more inconsistent Canadian.
Pick: Murray (+290).
(Photo Credit: Carine06 (Flickr) [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0], via Wikimedia Commons.)
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