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Can Andy Murray Avoid Another Masters Upset?

Andy Murray looks to avoid the upset.

Andy Murray arrives in Rome on the back of two-consecutive losses at the Masters level. He will aim to snap that negative trend this week in Rome when he begins his campaign against home favourite Andreas Seppi.

Is the bookies vote of confidence enough to instill confidence amongst tennis bettors looking to back Murray?

Murray has been nothing short of a disappointment on the Masters stage this season. He was dumped in the second round of the Miami Masters by Mardy Fish when he was the defending champion at the event and immediately afterwards, he was sent packing from the Monte Carlo Rolex Masters by Philipp Kohlschreiber.

These losses are significant simply because in major tournaments such as these he, as a top five player, should dominate or do better than he did. That these results knocked a bother out of him is understandable and he can lament those performances all he wants to. Murray has admitted as much.

Do tennis bettors care if he is a bit blue? Not really. What they want to know is whether he is a good bet yet.

The answer depends on many things, one of which is whether these results are symptomatic of a deeper existential crisis, a post Aussie Open hangover that spilled over into subsequent events and that would spill over even into the Rome Masters.

Murray has admitted he is in a bit of a sticky patch since that loss to Federer in Oz. Moreover, he isn't exactly a gazelle on clay. Clay is not his best surface and he is more vulnerable to the upset on clay than on any other surface.

Seppi by contrast is a modest clay-courter that can do some damage if given half the chance. More importantly, he doesn't have the weight of expectations on him that Murray does. This goes to state of mind. What he will have going for him is crowd support. The crowd will be behind him when he takes on Murray and they will do all they can to spur him to victory, make no mistake.

All things considered, Seppi is a tempting play to orchestrate the upset. I know what you all are thinking though: surely, Muzz can't strike out on the Masters stage, can he?

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