Andy Murray faces Monaco challenge

By Jake Davies

  • Olympics Round 2 continues with more Brits in action
  • Andy Murray [2] vs Juan Monaco
  • Kyle Edmund loses in straight sets to Japan’s Taro Daniel
RIO DE JANEIRO, BRAZIL – Defending champion Andy Murray must surely fancy his chances all the more after Novak Djokovic‘s shock exit on Sunday.

 

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Andy Murray [2] vs Juan Monaco

Murray will have a very different challenge ahead of him in his second round match as he prepares for Argentina’s Monaco. There was a lot to be pleased about in Murray’s first match against Viktor Troicki, where he played a near-perfect match en route to a straight sets victory.

A major difference between Troicki and Monaco is that Monaco will not give many points away as he aims to construct the points from the back of the court. The Argentine prefers his backhand shot, but mainly boasts impressive consistency, which I think aids Murray greatly in this match up.

Monaco will not blast Murray off the court, which as a result, will enable Murray to play most of his tennis inside the baseline. That is when Murray plays his most effective tennis. When the World No.2 comes up against more powerful and expansive players, he has a tendency to play deep behind the baseline, which hands the initiative to his opponent.

Luckily for Murray, Monaco shies away from playing forceful tennis and very much adopts a clay court mindset even on the hard courts of Rio.

Monaco, who reached a career high ranking of No.10 in 2012, has really maximised his talent through hard work over the years, but a wrist injury in Kitzbuhel last year has effectively stalled any recent progress.

Murray leads the head-to-head 3-2, but the last time the Argentinian was able to get a victory over Murray was back in 2010 in Valencia. Murray is a very different player in 2016 compared to a player that was searching for his first Grand Slam triumph.

There will be a lot of long exchanges on a very slow hard court in Rio, but Murray should excel in the slower conditions.

Prediction: Murray in two sets.

Kyle Edmund suffers tough loss to Taro Daniel

Murray is the last British representative in the Men’s singles draw as Edmund faltered in a disappointment loss to Japan’s Daniel. It was a match that really was there for the taking for Edmund, who’s draw looked slightly more lenient with the shock departure of Djokovic.

Murray flies the flag for Great Britain and continues his Olympic defence tomorrow.

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