February 25th, 2016
What's in a name? Well, if you were one of Ladbrokes' lucky punters on 7th February, then thousands of pounds. Following the news earlier this month that tennis star Andy Murray and his partner Kim Sears had given birth to a baby girl, Ladbrokes Sports started the payout process to thousands of punters who had bet on the name Sophia Olivia.
Despite Murray and Sears declining to release the name of their baby immediately after the birth, a slew of action on the name Sophia Olivia forced the operator to close the book early and start compensating customers.
According to Ladbrokes' David Macdonald, although alternatives such as Freya, Grace, Elizabeth and Alexandra were in the running early on, a flurry of bets from a "handful of shrewd punters" on Sophia Olivia blew them all out of the water – and forced the bookmaker to close the betting early, after having adjusted the odds from 40/1 to 5/1.
While Ladbrokes has declined to state exactly how much it paid out following the closure of the book, the estimated total is around the million pound mark.
Fortunately for Ladbrokes, the premature closure was a good judgement call, as reports released a week later confirmed that the official name was Sophia Olivia Murray. Although Murray himself has yet to make a comment in the media, friends of the family confirmed that Sophia Olivia was the couple's name of choice.
Of course, there's still a chance that the reports are wrong and the choice of name is something completely different, though the lack of protest from Murray seems to indicate that the reports are true. Naturally, as one betting door closes another one opens, and while punters can no longer speculate on the name of Andy Murray's baby, they can now bet on the baby's chances at Wimbledon.
Regardless of whether or not baby Murray becomes a professional tennis player like her dad, Ladbrokes Sports is currently offering 500/1 on her winning the grass court Grand Slam in the future.
Of course, anyone taking a punt on Murray junior will have to wait at least 16 years for the bet to come to fruition – but if she's got anything like her dad's talent, then 500/1 is a fantastic bet. In fact, even at this stage in the season, when you look at the odds for Murray senior in this year's tournament, you'll see that he's already the 4/1 second favourite.
Although he lost out to Novak Djokovic in the final of the Australian Open 2016 (Djokovic is currently the 11/10 favourite for this year's Wimbledon title at Ladbrokes), Murray is still set to be one of the main contenders heading into the summer tournament ahead of Roger Federer (7/1) Stan Wawrinka (10/1) and Milos Raonic (18/1).
For now, however, Murray will reportedly adopt a light training schedule for the next few weeks while he takes some time out to enjoy his newborn baby, Sophia Olivia.