Cincinnati Open 2021: Andy Murray vs Hubert Hurkacz: Preview and Prediction

Former World number 1 Andy Murray faces the 9th seed Hubert Hurkacz in an exciting second round clash at the Cincinnati Open. This is the first meeting on the ATP Tour between the two right-handers.  

Key Insights:

  • Andy Murray is a 2-time Cincinnati Open champion (2008 and 2011).
  • Both Hurkacz and Murray possess two-handed backhands.
  • Andy Murray was defeated 6-2 6-2 by Milos Raonic in the pre-quarters of the Cincinnati Open in 2020.
  • Hurkacz lost to John Isner in the first round of the Cincinnati Open in 2020.
  • Murray is playing at the Cincinnati ATP Masters for the 16th time in his career.
  • Andy Murray (34) turned pro in 2005 and Hubert Hurkacz (24) became pro in 2015.

How did Andy Murray outlast Richard Gasquet in straight sets?

Murray defeated the experienced Gasquet 6-4 6-4 in the first round. The Brit fired 14 aces and took 81% of his first-serve points against the Frenchman. It was the 9th victory for the former World number 1 against Richard in 13 matches. 

Importantly, Andy Murray gained revenge as Gasquet had defeated him by the same scoreline in the opening round at the Cincinnati Open in 2019. The 3-time grand slam champion controlled the rallies with 38 winners in 110 minutes.

How did Hubert Hurkacz survive Alejandro Davidovich Fokina?

Hurkacz used his booming serve to good effect and claimed a three-set victory against Alejandro Fokina in the round of 64. The Pole was in control after taking a 6-1 lead in the first set. 

However, the 9th seed threw away a 2-game lead in the second set. The Spaniard came out firing and took it 7-6(3) to force a decider. The 13th ranked Hubert Hurkacz had the last laugh as he broke Fokina multiple times in the third set to win it 6-1. 

Further, the 24-year-old had overcome his opening round demons in the first round at the Cincinnati Open. The Polish player had lost three times in a row in the round of 64 (2018 - Marton Fucsovics in 3 sets, 2019 - Roberto Bautista Agut in 2 sets, and 2020 - John Isner in straight sets). 

Overall, the Next-Gen star pounded 15 aces, saved 3 out of 4 breakpoints, and also took 61% of his second serve points.

Wrapping Up

Both Murray and Hurkacz will look to tire each other out with backhand slices and long rallies. The fast conditions at the Cincinnati Open would benefit the Pole’s blistering groundstrokes. 

However, the Brit had disclosed his comfort after playing in the evening time where the pace of the ball slows down.

It is a close match to call as Hubert Hurkacz and Andy Murray served well in their respective opening matches. However, the Polish player can get a lot of points with his first serve. The Brit can struggle to close out games which will impact his chances against the World number 13. 

Prediction - Hubert Hurkacz to win in three sets against Andy Murray at the second round of the Cincinnati Open 2021

Featured Image Credits - Getty Images

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