Frances Tiafoe beat Andy Murray less than two months ago in Winston-Salem. At the European Open in Antwerp, Murray will have a chance to earn revenge against the American.
Murray will play Tiafoe for the third time in their ATP Head2Head series, it was revealed when the draw for the ATP 250 was made this weekend. The former World No. 1 triumphed in their first clash last year at the Western & Southern Open.
“My level is around 50 or 60 in the world. It’s frustrating because if wasn’t moving great and not feeling good physically then I would be a bit easier on myself,” Murray said. “But when I’m winning a low percentage of second-serve points, that’s got nothing to do with the physical side of things.”
Murray won just 47 per cent of his second-serve points against Tiafoe in August, and will try to turn that around on the indoor hard courts of Antwerp, where the Scot memorably claimed his 46th tour-level singles title — and his first after his most recent hip surgery — two years ago. The winner will face second seed Diego Schwartzman.
Another intriguing first-round match will see Belgian wild card Zizou Bergs challenge seventh seed Lloyd Harris. In 2019, Bergs upset Ramos-Vinolas on home soil and pushed Karen Khachanov in a tough three-setter.
Eight seed Dusan Lajovic will have his hands full against former World No. 7 Richard Gasquet. In their only previous clash three years ago in Madrid, Lajovic needed two tie-breaks to dispatch Gasquet.
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Marin Cilic and Damir Dzumhur have both emerged victorious at the VTB Kremlin Cup, but only one will advance to the second round. Cilic, the two-time tournament champion and Dzumhur, the the 2017 champion, will meet for the second time (Cilic leads 1-0).
Top seed Andrey Rublev received a bye into the second round, in which he will play countryman Roman Safiullin, a wild card, or Frenchman Adrian Mannarino. Rublev defeated Mandarin 6-4, 6-0 in the Moscow final two years ago.
Although both men are unseeded, one of the most intriguing first-round matches at the VTB Kremlin Cup is between Australian John Millman and Frenchman Benjamin Bonzi.
Millman, last year’s Nur-Sultan champion, is one of the toughest outs on the ATP Tour due to his fighting spirit and physical game. Bonzi, however, is full of confidence thanks to winning six ATP Challenger Tour titles this year.