• Andy Murray [WC] v Benoit Paire
  • Dan Evans [6] v Alexei Popyrin
LONDON, UK – A much anticipated day as Andy Murray makes a long awaited comeback to the tour, and British No. 1 Dan Evans is also in action.

 

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Andy Murray [WC] v Benoit Paire

A five-time champion at Queen’s, Andy Murray takes a wildcard and faces the unpredictable Benoit Paire.

 

H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Andy Murray [WC] v Benoit Paire H2H: Murray leads 3-0
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The training signs have been cautiously positive, but how will Murray pull up this week with a tough opener?

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

H2H: Andy Murray (WR 124) Benoit Paire (WR 46)
Tournament Previous Best Title (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015-2016) R2 (2013)
1st Serve % 59.2 53.8
Service Games Won % 72.7 58.5
Break Points Saved % 47.1 54.1
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 44.8 49.2
Break Points Converted % 33.3 34.5

Despite the fact that Murray has hardly played, Paire has won just one more match that Murray in the entire year. Murray has been more successful in the three games he has played this season in terms of first serve and holding his serve.

 

Playing Styles & Prediction

There is no doubt that Paire has talent and ability. The question, as always and especially more so in this bubble life is – can he be bothered? He has a big serve that would be effective on grass, but he loves to chuck in crowd pleasing shots, and Murray could find himself tested by the Paire drop-shot.

Of course, all eyes will be how Murray moves and copes once more with the competitive fray. On paper this should be Murray all the way. Paire was only motivated in France, so if this is another one of his lacklustre days, it will be in Murray’s favour.

Prediction: Murray in three sets

 

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Dan Evans [6] v Alexei Popyrin

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From a former British No. 1 to the incumbent – Dan Evans takes in the rangy Aussie Alexei Popyrin.

 

H2H & Match Fundamentals

Dan Evans [6] v Alexei Popyrin H2H: First Meeting
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Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

H2H: Dan Evans (WR 25) Alexei Popyrin (WR 67)
Tournament Previous Best R2 (2014) Qualies (2019)
1st Serve % 63.4 59.4
Service Games Won % 78.6 82.9
Break Points Saved % 69.2 66.7
2nd Serve Return Points Won % 49.8 48.2
Break Points Converted % 47.1 37

For such a big unit, you would have expected Popyrin to have better serve stats but on balance he holds on to his service games well. Evans is just a little tighter in terms of saving and converting break points, and is more of a threat on a weaker second serve – but not my much.

 

Playing Styles & Prediction

For someone who loves playing on the grass, Queen’s has not been a happy hunting ground at all for Evans, although he at least comes in with a little more experience that Popyrin.

The Aussie’s height will help him with a good serving day, coupled with a big forehand and a generous dollop of pace.

Evans will need to use all his creativity to craft his way into the second round for only the second time in his career.

Prediction: Evans in straight sets.

 

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