By Jake Davies
- Andy Murray  vs Jeremy Chardy in the first round in Doha
- A win for Murray would mark his 25th competitive win in a row.
DOHA, QATAR – The time for exhibition matches is over and it is now down to business as World No. 1 Andy Murray starts his season proper at the Qatar ExxonMobil Open.
Andy Murray  vs Jeremy Chardy – H2H: Murray leads 8-1
Andy Murray‘s first competitive tournament of the 2017 season is in Doha, where alongside Novak Djokovic, he is one of the strong contenders to lift the trophy this week in singles. Jeremy Chardy is the first player to stand in Murray’s way of a first title in 2017 season after winning 9 titles in his illustrious 2016 season that catapulted him to No.1 in the world rankings.
Chardy has the overwhelming firepower to unlock the defence of the very best players in the world. The Frenchman has had some notable victories over Roger Federer in Rome on the clay and his most impressive win at major against Juan Martin Del Potro at the Australian Open. The problematic feature to Chardy’s game is constructing the points and searching for the right moment to utilise that power to the best of his ability. That explains why he has had a handful of very good victories, but no real continuity or fluidity in his results on the ATP tour.
Murray will obviously know a lot about Chardy and the threat he poses going into their first round match. But Murray will also acknowledge that if he plays to his optimum level that he should progress comfortably into the second round in Doha.
The great thing about Murray’s game is that he has so many dimensions to his game, whereas Chardy really only plays one way. Murray can revert to defensive and offensive tennis at the flick of a switch, while when Chardy’s attacking style of tennis is not clicking, his whole game evades him completely.
Murray should come through unscathed in this one. I can see him getting way too many balls back from behind the baseline that will eventually draw the unforced errors from Chardy.
Prediction: Murray in two.
Murray and Chardy are scheduled on Centre Court, not before 6:30pm (3:30pm GMT).
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