Andy Murray may have endured a tough start to 2017 but can still see off a fairly limited Andrey Kuznetsov in his French Open first-round task today.
The world number one has been in mixed form on clay this season despite reaching the semi-finals of the Barcelona Open, where he lost to Dominic Thiem.
After that he went out in the early rounds in both Madrid and Rome, losing to Borna Coric and Fabio Fognini respectively. Both the Croat and the Italian are much more dangerous players than Kuznetsov, who has a style that should suit Murray’s game.
The Russian tends to play from the baseline and his second serve is an obvious weakness the three-time Grand Slam champion can exploit.
Indeed, Kuznetsov could be exactly the type of player the Scot needs to face to rediscover his own rhythm before harder tests later in the tournament.
My top bet for today’s French Open matches is Murray to win 3-0 at 20/23.
Kuznetsov has only managed two wins over top-10 players in seven years of competing in Grand Slam events and should find Murray too good today, even if the British star is yet to find the kind of form that saw him rise to the top of the rankings last year.
In the women’s tournament, Australia’s Ashleigh Barty may be able to cause an upset by seeing off world number 13 Madison Keys at 1/1.
Keys is yet to win on clay in four attempts this season while world number 76 Barty has managed five wins in seven -although admittedly Keys represents a step up in class for the 21-year-old later.
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