British No. 1 Andy Murray will make his first professional appearance following the Australian Open tomorrow afternoon in Rotterdam, when he meets Edouard Roger-Vasselin for the third time on the ATP tour. Murray leads the Head-to-Head series 2-0 and will be looking to maintain a perfect record against the Frenchman.
The World No. 6’s decision to take part in the ABN AMRO World Tennis Tournament came as a surprise to many as it was not a part of his released schedule. The Briton was granted a late wildcard entry as the second seed and chose to accept it in order to spend more time on court in February.
“I quite fancied playing a tournament before going to Acapulco. I like the tournament, it is close to London and [as] I don’t have many [Emirates ATP Rankings] points to defend over the next few weeks, it was an opportunity to improve my ranking and to get back on a match court again.”
Murray has taken part in three tournaments since returning from a back surgery that sidelined him for nearly four months and is aware that the more tournaments he takes part in, the more likely he is to regain top form. The 26-year old lost in the second round in Doha, reached the quarter-final in Melbourne and won both his Davis Cup rubbers to send Great Britain into the quarter-finals, and bring his overall record this season to 7-2.
“I had already had a long break due to my back surgery, so I hadn’t played a lot of matches. When you haven’t played for a long time, you have to get used to competing. I was enjoying playing tournaments and not being in pain.”
World No. 35 Edouard Roger-Vasselin had an impressive start to his 2014 season, when he reached the finals in Chennai before losing to world No. 3 Stanislas Wawrinka. While he would lose in the opening round in Sydney the following week, the France native would reach the third round in Melbourne and the quarter-final in Montpellier to bring his overall record to 8-4 this season.
This marks the third time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Murray leading the series with a perfect 2-0 score. The first win came in the 2012 Australian Open, while the second victory came the following year in Monte Carlo. Roger-Vasselin is yet to take a set over the Briton and will need some of his best tennis if he is to manage that feat this time around.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets