By Jake Davies

  • Andy Murray vs Mackenzie McDonald
WASHINGTON DC, USA – Andy Murray will play his first match since withdrawing from Wimbledon as he looks to build match fitness ahead of a busy period, where he hopes to be in top shape ready for the upcoming US Open.

 

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Andy Murray vs Mackenzie McDonald H2H: First meeting

The former World No.1 Andy Murray made a tough decision not to play Wimbledon, where he is a two-time champion, but now will be desperate to start transferring positive practices and gym work onto the match court in competitive play and it starts this week in the Citi Open in Washington DC.

Murray’s decision to hold off playing best-of-five tennis at Wimbledon was made with a view of hoping to be able to challenge for the bigger titles when the hard court season came along and, as a former US Open champion himself, Murray knows that a few good wins in Washington and over the next few weeks could really change the way he approaches the final Grand Slam of the year.

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Murray knows it is a long process and starts his hard-court season with a first round match against the American Mackenzie McDonald. McDonald was a top college player and remained patient and disciplined in his quest of turning a fantastic college career into a successful professional one and really has been rewarded for the time he took to throw everything into doing great during college.

McDonald is a determined individual who has gradually took each step at a time, going from the Challenger tour to now becoming a Top-100 player and he has the movement across the baseline and deceptive quickness of his forehand side, but also  has very little limitations in his game. The tough thing about playing someone of the level of Murray is that the Brit will do everything to suss out those minor weaknesses, even if it improves his chances of winning the match fractionally by a few percentages here and there.

The focus not only will be on Murray’s baseline movement from side to side, but also on how he protects the second serve. It is a shot that has bothered him a lot over the years, but it is also a shot that has improved as well. McDonald loves to take on second serve returns whenever possible, so Murray will essentially need to minimise the amount of opportunities that McDonald gets a look on that slower delivery of his.

If Murray does manage to come through his first round encounter he would then go on to face British No.1 Kyle Edmund in what would be an intriguing match so early on in the tournament in Washington.

Prediction: Murray in straight sets

 

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