By Tim Clement - Twitter: @SkyTimClement. Last Updated: August 5, 2012 10:55pm
Andy Murray: Backed to build on Olympic gold
Twenty months ago Novak Djokovic fulfilled the hopes of his nation before enjoying one of the most decorated seasons tennis has ever seen - Andy Murray has every reason to believe he can do something similar now.
Can Andy Murray build on his Olympic gold and win the US Open? He's 7/2 to do so here.
The world number four may still be without a Grand Slam title and a couple of years older than the Serb was during his breakthrough year, but all the facets are there to be engaged by this much-needed confidence boost.
Murray responded perfectly exactly five weeks after his Wimbledon final defeat, having struggled to pick himself back up from his previous three Grand Slam final defeats.
The significant difference was that he actually offered a true account of his abilities against Federer last month, despite eventually succumbing to a sublime display from the game's greatest player.
The Swiss star was unable to rediscover that sort of form in the Olympic final, understandably fatigued from a four-and-a-half hour battle with Juan Martin del Potro.
Murray saw his chance and ruthlessly dismantled the 30-year-old , who has previously defied age-related concerns but may well have suffered the effects of it on the back of a fiercely contested semi-final.
The Scot saved all nine break points faced while taking five of the 10 earned, making just 17 unforced errors compared to Federer's 31.
That ability to be ruthless is one of the major factors which separates the game's top three, who have shared all but one of the last 30 major titles, to their rivals.
Murray is certainly fancied to go on and win his share of the Slams now, with Sky Bet cutting odds on him landing at least one from 8/15 to 1/4 following his Olympics win, while his US Open odds have also been trimmed from 9/2 to 7/2.
For Federer, Sunday's loss represented the end of his hopes of completing the 'Golden Slam' by adding an Olympic gold to his 17 Grand Slams, but his SW19 triumph last month surely consolidated his status as the greatest player to grace the game.
Serena Williams certainly did not pass up that opportunity, destroying Maria Sharapova 6-0 6-1 to cap off another dominant display at the All England Lawn Tennis Club following her Wimbledon triumph.
While Federer and Williams have been consolidating their respective statuses as greats of the game during a gripping few weeks at SW19, Andy Murray may well have laid down the platform to go on and fulfil his more modest but equally significant aim of winning a first Grand Slam.
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