On top of the world?
By Tim Clement (Twitter: @SkyTimClement). Last Updated: 08/07/13 9:37pm
Andy Murray: Favourite for US Open following Wimbledon success
Once the perennial bridesmaid, Andy Murray is now considered the man to stop on the ATP World Tour after capturing the most elusive of titles.
The Scot commands a new air after landing the Wimbledon crown, liberated from the relentless pressure and expectation having rewritten the woeful history of British men's singles tennis.
The last 12 months have seen him end a 104-year wait for an Olympic gold medallist, a 76-year barren run without a Grand Slam title and now, the most daunting of all, the 77-year gap for a Wimbledon champion.
Consequently, Murray is now considered the favourite for two of the four majors, with Sky Bet moving him ahead of Novak Djokovic in their US Open market (13/8) and installing him at the head of their betting on next year's Wimbledon (7/4).
The next target for the immensely driven 26-year-old will be dethroning Djokovic as world number one, but he may well have to wait a while.
Murray still sits almost 3,000 points behind the Serb in the rolling 12-month ATP rankings despite his SW19 triumph, with his poor performances in the clay Masters events and French Open absence handicapping his chances.
It will be impossible for him to improve on his haul at the US Open as he returns to Flushing Meadows as reigning champion, so it will take some big runs at the four remaining Masters and then the ATP World Tour Finals for him to have any chance.
US Open odds
Andy Murray - 13/8
Novak Djokovic - 15/8
Rafael Nadal - 11/2
Roger Federer - 7/1
Juan Martin del Potro - 13/8
Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 25/1
In the 2013 points list, he sits nearly 2,000 behind leader Rafael Nadal, which perhaps shows best ho much work Murray still has to do if he is to reach top spot by the end of the season.
Sky Bet make him the 9/2 third favourite to finish the year as world number one with Djokovic considered odds-on at 1/2 ahead of Nadal (3/1), evidence of doubts over the Spaniard's ability to recapture his clay form on the hardcourts.
Despite slipping behind Murray in the US Open betting, Djokovic remains favourite for the Australian Open, as he looks to land an historic fourth successive title at Melbourne Park.
What is surely a certainty for Murray is the Sports Personality of the Year award, with his odds slashed to 1/50, with further accolades destined to follow.
No longer the nearly man of men's tennis, Britain's solitary hope has shouldered the greatest of burdens and prevailed on the biggest of stages, leaving doubters silenced and the bookmakers seeing further glory as inevitable.