Laura Robson is 100/1 to win the women’s singles at the US Open and Andy Murray is 4/1 for the male equivalent so the double on two British champions pays almost 500/1, still not an appealing price when you consider the profiles of Serena Williams and Rafael Nadal in the context of the final Grand Slam tournament of the season. Both Brits are still in the draw and look to have the form and ability to progress into the second week.
Only Nadal and Novak Djokovic are shorter in the betting than Murray ahead of his second round match against Leonardo Mayer scheduled for Friday. Robson has already won two matches at Flushing Meadows in New York and looks capable of winning her next match against Na Li. However, the favourites in the men’s and women’s draw look rock solid and it will take huge efforts from Murray and Robson to win each title.
Murray obviously has the stronger claims based on his Grand Slam pedigree and world ranking. However, Robson is the highest ranked teenager in the women’s game. There are now regulations in place that prevent girls from joining the main Tour in their early and mid teens. That means over time fewer teenagers will make the top 100 in the world which means Robson will have the record for that achievement before reaching 20 for some years to come.
Many commentators are predicting that Robson will make the top 10 in the next few years. That seems a realistic target but it is debatable whether she has the ability to win Grand Slams. She has an age advantage over the main contenders in the women’s game and will be competing at the highest level many years after Williams, Victoria Azarenka and others have retired.
Robson has a solid all round game that is not more suited to one surface in particular. Her joint best effort in a Grand Slam was making the fourth round at Wimbledon this year. That could have been more to do with the home crowd rather than a suitability to playing on grass. Her best year in the US Open was 2012 when she made the fourth round.
Murray won his first major in this tournament last year, just a month after winning the Gold Medal in the Olympics at Wimbledon. In July he became the first British male to win the Wimbledon title for 77 years. His form during the North America hardcourt swing leading up to the US Open has been inconsistent but he has the focus now to peak for the four biggest prizes in tennis.
The Scott is now at a career high of number three in the world rankings. He has made steady progress since appearing at Wimbledon in 2005 when outside the top 300 players in the rankings. Winning Wimbledon will always be the pinnacle of his career but he seems to be motivated to win more Grand Slams.
Winning the career Grand Slam may be beyond him as he rarely plays his best on clay and Rafael Nadal will be just about impossible to beat over five sets in the French Open. However, he could well add the Australian Open to his tally and winning three of the four majors at least once in his career would be a fine achievement. However, the odds suggest Robson and Murray will not achieve the double for British players in this year’s US Open.