It has to be said that tennis is probably not the biggest participation sport in Ireland, or indeed high on the list of spectator sports, but it’s a fair bet that many of us did spend last Sunday morning watching the Australian Open final. Sports gambling is a popular pastime in the country, and many of us like to have a flutter on the big events whatever the sport, so events such as a Major final tend to attract even those who would not normally be gambling on tennis. Real tennis gambling fans will however know that the appearance of Andy Murray in yet another Major final, in spite of him losing this one, heralds a major shift in the world rankings. Many tennis gambling experts are already predicting that this year will see Murray take over the world number two spot from Roger Federer, and that Murray and Djokovic will be contesting Major finals for many years to come. The next Major is of course the French Open, and may see the return of Rafa Nadal to a tournament which he has dominated over the past few years on his favourite surface. After such a long lay-off tennis gambling fans will be interested in whether he can return to his exciting best and gate crash the battle between Murray and Djokovic in 2013. As for Andy Murray the next opportunity for tennis gambling fans to follow his progress will probably be the first two Masters 1000 tournaments of the year, starting with Indian Wells and then on to Miami in March. Both of these events will provide Murray with the opportunity to accumulate more ranking points if he does well, and we’re told he may even decide to enter the ATP500 event in Memphis in February. 2012 was an exciting and successful year for the Scot, with the Olympic title and the US Open under his belt, and British and Irish fans of gambling on tennis will be hoping that 2013 proves equally successful with perhaps Wimbledon as a high point. What are the odds of a Brit finally winning Wimbledon after all these years of frustration, we wait and see.