Benoit Paire vs. Andy Murray
|Date & Time||Tuesday July 3, 2018, 7:00 AM (EDT)|
The Line: -- Over/Under:
Andy Murray and Benoit Paire meet in the first round of the 2018 tennis Wimbledon.
Andy Murray has just three matches under his belt this year, as he’s still trying to return from form after his injury. While the results have been a bit or miss and there’s clear rust, Murray does have a straight sets win over Stan Wawrinka that took 16 games to be decided. Murray also took Nick Kyrgios to three lengthy sets in his first match back, so while he’s not the dominant player he was before he was injured, he’s clearly ahead the curve. It’s impressive to beat or compete with some of the best names in the sport after such a long absence. As of this tournament, Murray has made at least the quarterfinals of the Wimbledon every year since 2008. Murray has split his last six matches on grass court.
Benoit Paire continues to be the hot and cold player he’s pretty much always been. With a 16-14 record on the year, Paire is capable of competing with just about anybody on a given day, but he’s also going to give you a few stinkers and disappointments as well. Paire is coming off a competitive three set against Roger Federer in the Halle Open, which should be a confidence boost after struggling during the clay season. You’re never quite sure which Paire you’re going to get. Paire has lost in the first round of a grand slam just three times since 2015. Paire has lost in the first round of the Wimbledon twice in seven appearances. Paire has split his last four matches on grass court.
These two have played twice and Murray has won both meetings. The most recent match was in the 2017 Wimbledon, a match he won in straight sets. The other match was in the 2016 Monte Carlo Masters.
Paire isn’t exactly the easiest player in the world for a first round matchup, as this guy was a top-20 player a couple of years ago. Murray is also vulnerable given his lack of recent playing time. However, Murray held his own against quality players and now returns to an event where he’s almost never had an early exit. Even with the questions, it’s tough to bet against Murray in this spot.
I’ll take Murray in four sets.