Sir Andy Murray is 11/4 to lose at least one set when he faces Russian teenager Andrey Rublev in the second round of the Australian Open on Tuesday night.
Murray admitted he had to dig deep as he beat Illya Marchenko 7-5 7-6 (7/5) 6-2 in his opening match as he starts his quest for his first title in Melbourne, where he has reached the final five times but never been crowned champion.
The 29-year-old top seed knows he will have to play far better if he is to lift the trophy a week on Sunday after a scruffy performance that included 27 unforced errors, three conceded breaks of serve and a tendency to adopt the kind of careful, cautious tennis that will run him into trouble against more proficient opponents.
Marchenko, ranked 95th in the world, certainly offered a stern opening test, his exuberant shot-making and refusal to give in courting much support from an appreciative Australian crowd.
World number 152 Rublev will offer an altogether different proposition, coming in as one of the brightest talents on the tour and having previously played in only one grand slam main draw.
He registered a surprise win over Yen-Hsun Lu in the first round and Murray said: “I know a little bit about him. I've never hit with him or played against him but I've seen him play before and he goes for it. He doesn't hold back. He hits a big ball.
“I saw him play a couple of years ago at the US Open against (Mikhail) Youzhny. I watched a bit of his match there. I thought he was very good, a clean ball-striker. Like I said, he goes for it.
“Obviously when you get out there, things look a little bit different than they might on the TV or on the video. But I'll try to watch a bit over the next couple of days and hopefully go in with a good strategy. I'll need to work some things out myself when I'm out there.”
Rublev is 23/1 to cause a huge upset but winning a set looks achievable while he can be backed at 10/11 with a 9.5 start on the game handicap. Murray is 13/50 to again win in straight sets.