• Andy Murray [WC] def Noah Rubin {LL] 6-2 6-0
  • Murray v Frances Tiafoe [13] | H2H: Murray leads 1-0
WINSTON-SALEM, USA – Andy Murray overcame some chaotic circumstances to set up a round two clash with Frances Tiafoe in Winston-Salem.

 

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Andy Murray [WC] def Noah Rubin [LL] 6-2 6-0

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Having prepared to face Nick Kyrgios in front of a packed Winston-Salem crowd on Sunday night, Andy Murray’s preparations were crushed minutes before the match as the Australian withdrew due to a knee injury. Uncertainty faced the Brit as he was told he may have to wait an extra day to play his match if he was drawn against a qualifier.

However a lucky loser was drawn and after two players refused to play it was hometown hero Noah Rubin who stepped up even though he finished his final round qualifying match 30 minutes before. Once the match had began Rubin gave a good account of himself in the opening 15-20 minutes as he produced some stunning winners to keep up with the three-time grand slam champion.

But once Murray figured Rubin out, he found his form as Rubin started to cramp towards the end of the match. A dominant 58 minute display saw Murray lose two games and advance into the second round. Both players were given a standing ovation at the end of the match as the crowd realised how lucky they were to see any tennis at all.

 

Andy Murray [WC] v Frances Tiafoe [13] H2H & Match Fundamentals

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Andy Murray [WC] v Frances Tiafoe [13]

H2H: Murray leads 1-0

ATP Winston-Salem

Winston-Salem, USA

Hard (O)

Prize Money: $6,500

3rd on Stadium (Midnight BST)

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Murray will get a much tougher test as he takes on the in-form Frances Tiafoe in the second round.

 

Tale of the Tape – Key Stats (2021)

H2H:

Andy Murray (WR 114)

Frances Tiafoe (WR 51)

Tournament Previous Best

R1 (2019)

QF (2019)

1st Serve %

59.9

60.4

Service Games Won %

77.6

81.1

Break Points Saved %

55.2

61.7

2nd Serve Return Points Won %

53.8

49.3

Break Points Converted %

42.7

40.9

 

Both players are evenly matched heading into this match although Murray will have to be more clinical on serve and return if he wants to advance into the last 16.

 

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Playing styles and prediction

Having beaten Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas in recent months, Tiafoe is on a hot-streak against top players and is heading into this match full of confidence. The American has a big serve and powerful ground-strokes to back it up as he can also be patient in rallies.

Murray will get a similar test in what he would have expected to face in the opening round against Kyrgios. Big serve, big ground-strokes but Tiafoe is just a bit more patient in rallies. The Brit will have to be more aggressive and return well against a player who believes in his game. This could be another tight test for Murray ahead of the last grand slam of the year.

Prediction: Murray in three sets.

 

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