Andy Murray may have beaten top-ten ranked rival for the first time since Wimbledon 2013 to set up his US Open quarter-final with Novak Djokovic, but he’s still not consistently producing at a level to trouble to his old foe.
There has been cause to doubt both men’s fettle in the build up to the year’s final Slam, but while the boy from Belgrade has dispelled reservations with authority, his opponent has been less convincing.
Djokovic was bounced at the last-16 stage of both his US Open warm-up tournaments, yet his form at Flushing Meadows suggests he’s been saving himself for this one.
An industry-best price of 1/3 for victory over the 9/4 Scot with bwin, he’s yet to drop a set in Queens.
Prior to his clash with Philipp Kohlschreiber an adversary had claimed more than three games in just one of nine consecutive victorious stanzas at the hardcourt Slam.
It’s a quite a contrast with Murray who, having exited competitions in Toronto and Cincinnati in the quarter-finals, has dropped sets to Robin Haase and Andrey Kuznetsov en route to his date with the Djoker.
His success over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga was a step up on those performances, yet even in downing the bear-like Frenchman, his intensity dipped after the first set, with breaks of serve conceded at the dawnings of the second and third.
Given the way his dominance tapered as the contest continued, the fact that it was duked out in quite gruelling conditions could mean he’s the more drained of the two quarter-finalists too.
The boys in black and gold are also top of the price pile when it comes to a second successive straight-sets victory over Murray for Djokovic at 9/5.
However, it’s worth bearing in mind it was the only one of the four defeats he has inflicted on the Scot in their last five meetings in which both contestants failed to win the race to six games on at least one occasion.