Following a much more convincing performance in his second round match, British No. 1 Andy Murray is through to the quarter-finals of the Mexican Open, where he will meet France’s Gilles Simon for the 12th time on the professional circuit. Murray leads the head-to-head series with a convincing 11-1 head to head record and will be looking to add to that streak on Thursday evening.
7th ranked Andy Murray defeated Portugal’s Joao Sousa in straight sets to reach the quarter-finals of his debut event in Acapulco. While the Scot may have lost his opening service game, he quickly recovered to break back and level the match at 2-2, before taking the initiative and breaking twice more during the match to secure the 6-3, 6-4 over the budding talent. Murray is now looking to reach his first ATP World Tour semi-final this season, having lost in the second round in Doha and the quarter-final rounds in Melbourne and Rotterdam. His next opponent is Gilles Simon, whom he has competed against on 12 previous occasions, and holds a hefty lead over in the h2h series.
Unlike his quarter-final opponent, world No. 23 Gilles Simon arrived at the final eight in Acapulco without dropping a single set in the draw. The Frenchman conceded only three games in his opening round match-up against qualifier Tim Smyczek before he dispatched of lucky loser Donald Young in a slightly longer 6-4, 6-3 encounter to set up the clash against Murray. This marks Simon’s first ATP World Tour quarter-final of the season, and he will be looking to further his reach with a victory over an underwhelming Murray.
These two competitors have previously met on 12 occasions on the professional circuit, making them frequent opponents over the past few years. Murray holds a dominant 11-1 lead in the head-to-head series, including 10 consecutive victories dating back to 2008. While the majority of his victories over Simon took place on hard courts, Murray also holds wins on both grass and clay, and his only loss to the Frenchman came during their first ever professional meeting, on the clay courts in Rome. Considering these particular stats, it would be nearly farfetched not to consider Murray a significant favourite ahead of the contest, yet it is also clear that he is far from his best on court, particularly during the early stages of a match. Could this be Simon’s opportunity to topple the Briton for the first time in six years?
Prediction: Andy Murray in Three Sets
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