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Murray and Djoker lead the betting for 2017 Australian Open

Djokovic vs. Murray
BOOKMAKERS can’t separate Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic in the betting for the men’s 2017 Australian Open crown, but punters may have got their first clue last week.

The Djoker was able to end the Brit’s 28-game winning streak at Sunday’s Qatar Open and the Serbian is confident he can keep the form rolling into Melbourne Park.

The pair are locked at $2.65 at Crownbet to win the Australian Open title, and the duo justified those short odds in a match Djokovic won 6-3, 5-7, 6-4 in just under three hours.

The reigning Australian Open champion believes the victory in Qatar gives him the advantage over his fierce rival heading into the first Grand Slam tournament of the year.

“(It’s the) Best scenario I could ask for beginning of the season,” Djokovic said.

“Playing all five matches in this tournament and then three hours against No 1 of the world, biggest rival, and winning in a thrilling marathon match is something that definitely can serve as a positive incentive for what’s coming up in Australia.

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“You don’t want to lose against the biggest rival in the beginning of the season. I’m sure we both felt the same way.”

The current world number one said that while the loss was a setback, his preparation to win a maiden Australian Open title was still on track.

“I still think I have a chance of winning the Australian Open after tonight,” Murray said in the aftermath of the loss.

“I don’t think that changes. It’s disappointing to lose for sure. I have a chance to win the Australian Open still.

“Obviously disappointed not to win tonight, but I played pretty good the last couple of the matches.”

The Scot said the 2 hour 54 minute match was the ideal test of his conditioning heading in to his Australian campaign.

“I think physically it was a good test to start the year, and I did good there.

“My body feels all right just now, so that’s positive.

“Still think there are things I can do better. I wasn’t that clinical on break points this week, which maybe that comes with playing a few more matches.

“That’s something I could definitely do a little bit better.”

Is Grigor Dimitrov set for a big Australian summer of tennis?

Former world number eight Grigor Dimitrov is looking to defy odds of $41 for the Australian Open at Sportbset.com.au after an encouraging display in victory at the Brisbane International final against Kei Nishokori.

Dimitrov entered the match as the world number 17 and took three sets to get past the former US Open finalist to win his first ATP title since 2014, subsequently jumping two spots in the world tennis rankings in the process.

The 25-year-old breezed past three top-ten players en route to taking out the Brisbane International 6-2, 2-6, 6-3 against the number three seed Nishokori, prompting Aussie firebrand Nick Kyrgios to tweet that the man who was formerly dubbed the next big thing in world tennis has returned to form.

It was the Bulgarian’s first title win since going through a series of coaching changes.

“It’s been a pretty emotional past year for me and this title means a lot – it wasn’t unexpected,’’ Dimitrov said after accepting the Brisbane International trophy.

“The time I’ve had here has been the most fun I’ve had – it’s the first trophy for me with this team.’’

The Australian Open is the Grand Slam Dimitrov has had the most success at, progressing through to the quarterfinal back in 2014.

2017 Australian Open men’s winner

Odds provided by Sportsbet.com.au

N Djokovic $2.63

A Murray $2.63

R Nadal $13

S Wawrinka $13

R Federer $19

M Raonic $21

K Nishikori $26

N Kyrgios $34

G Dimitrov $41

M Cilic $51

J-W Tsonga $67

T Berdych $81

A Zverev $81

D Thiem $81

B Tomic $101

D Ferrer $101

G Monfils $101

L Pouille $126

G Simon $151

R Gasquet $151

D Goffin $151.00

K Anderson $151

R Bautista-Agut $201

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