Row in with 4/1 Raonic

  • By: Derek Billton
  • Last Updated: January 1 2013, 9:13 GMT

World number three Andy Murray is a 10/11 chance to defend his Brisbane International title this week.

Milos Raonic looks set for a huge year

Twelve months ago Murray began what would prove to be a momentous season by beating Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-1 6-3 in a high quality final.

The Scot would of course go on to land an Olympic gold medal in London and end Britain's wait for a Grand Slam winner at the US Open.

He'll be among the favourites at the forthcoming Australian Open too but having watched his first competitive game of the season (a straight sets loss to Janko Tipsarevic) a few days ago I have a hunch that current 10/11 quotes are a bit short.

Murray is the best player in the field here by some distance but a defeat this week won't define his season as he fine-tunes his preparation for Melbourne.

Dolgopolov, Kei Nishikori and Gilles Simon are also in Brisbane, as is Milos Raonic who makes his debut at the event.

The former has a tidy 6-3 lifetime record at the event and quick, high bouncing courts really suit his game.

Frenchman Simon, a 12/1 chance, has the talent to make some real noise this week and he made the semi-finals last year. The 28-year-old has dropped to 16 in the world rankings but he knows how to win in Australia having claimed an ATP title in Sydney in 2011.

Nishikori is another player who will always be dangerous on this type of track and he made the quarters here as an unknown back in 2009.

Lleyton Hewitt has been given a wildcard this week and the Aussie veteran will enjoy huge support, but from a betting standpoint it's Raonic who I like the look of.

The Canadian has a huge serve and at 22 is very much a player on the rise. He already has three ATP titles to his name and I'll be very surprised if he doesn't crack the top 10 this season.

Raonic has tons of bottle and is very tenacious. He also has a decent draw here so looks worth a play at 4/1.

  • Preview posted at 1025 GMT on 31/12/2012.