Kuznetsov vs. Murray
|Date & Time||Sunday May 28, 2017, 9:00 PM (EDT)|
The Line: Kuznetsov +450 / Murray -650 -- Over/Under:
Andy Murray and Andrey Kuznetsov meet in the first round of the 2017 French Open.
Andy Murray heads into this tournament in subpar form, as he's lost his last two matches and six of his last nine sets played. Murray is coming off a match against Fabio Fognini in which he won just 38 percent of his second serve points and 33 percent of his return points. Murray still enters the French Open as one of the favorites to win this tournament, but it’ll be interesting to see how he starts things because his recent slump is a tad unusual given the way he dominated pretty much all of last season. Murray has not lost in the first round of a grand slam since the 2008 Australian Open. Murray has lost three of his last four matches matches on clay court.
Andrey Kuznetsov is coming off a solid performance in which he made the semifinals in the Geneva Open and pushed Stan Wawrinka to a second set tiebreak. If Kuznetsov is able to bottle that performance heading into the French Open, he may have a chance to shock the world in the first round here. Kuznetsov is certainly no cakewalk for the top seed in the first round considering he was a top-40 player around this time last year. If Kuznetsov can control his unforced errors and hit his spots crosscourt, he's certainly going to put up a fight here. Kuznetsov has been bounced out of the first round in just one grand slam since 2014. Kuznetsov has two career victories over top-10 players with the most recent coming in 2016. Kuznetsov has won five of his last seven matches on clay court.
These two have played twice in the past and Murray has won both meetings. The last match was in the China Open, a match Murray won in 15 games. This will be their first meeting on clay.
Kuznetsov may be worth a look if you think he can build on his run in Geneva, and an even stronger look if you believe Murray's struggles will carry over. Most first rounds for top seeds are cakewalks, but this isn't the case here. With that said, I still like Murray to advance considering it's been almost a decade since he's been sent packing early of a grand slam, and he should be well rested given his lack of recent tennis.
Might look at the over to play the total, but as far as a side, Murray wins, possibly in four sets.