by Bob Stockton
Tennis favourite and former two-time Wimbledon champion Andy Murray dropped a bombshell recently when announcing he could be set to return for a Grand Slam tournament before the end of the summer, providing he is given the all-clear.
The 32-year-old Scotsman has experienced the highs and lows of professional tennis during his career. From winning twice in London and once in New York to ending as a beaten finalist five times at the Australian Open and once at the French Open, he is done it all.
Muzza back for more
Several injury problems and time away from the sport prompted many followers of major tennis to speculate we have already seen the best of Murray, some suggesting he may never feature again in a Grand Slam. That could all be about to change, the man himself admitted, when telling reporters he was weighing up another crack at one that got away – the French Open.
This year’s renewal is set to take place at Roland Garros in Paris between 20 September and 4 October, much later in the year than fans are used to. The new time slot and his love of the clay court surface could play to Andy’s advantages. Despite another bout of illness this year, Muzza promised he would play on the clay of Paris if the tournament got the green light.
Murray famously made it all the way to the Roland Garros decider back in 2016 – the same year he won Wimbledon for the second time and finished best of the rest at the Australian Open. In his only French Open final appearance to date, the British star was beaten by old rival Novak Djokovic, the Serb scoring a three sets to one victory, despite Murray claiming the opener with a score of 6-3.
Nadal the more likely champion
Could 2020 be the year of the comeback for Murray? UK tennis fans will certainly hope so and will hold onto hope their star makes it into the French Open, at the very least. If Andy does attend, can he win the trophy? Not in the eyes of betting traders. Back the Glaswegian online at Space Casino an eye-catching 22/1. With each-way terms of 1/2 the odds a place 1-2, lovers of a plucky underdog are sure to see the good in that quote.
A far more likely champion this year is Spain’s Rafa Nadal, so say bookmakers. The 33-year-old’s record speaks for itself, having won each of the four Grand Slams at least once. The French Open history books have Rafa as a 12-time winner between 2005 and 2019. He has kissed the trophy in each of the last three years.
With that in mind, it is little surprise to learn he is top of the betting charts. A popular figure amongst those in attendance, there will be millions more cheering on Nadal around the world when the 124th edition of the French Open gets going.