Andy Murray is looking better than he has all season and will begin his campaign in Cincinnati with the intention of getting as many hard court matches he can under his belt ahead of the US Open. He will start his tournament in the second round against Joao Sousa, whom he has faced on two previous occasions on the tour. Murray leads the head-to-head series 2-0.
The British No. 1 showed some promise in Toronto when he was the only man to take a set over Jo-Wilfred Tsonga over the entire week. In fact, he was the only one who arguably played a competitive match against the Frenchman, which sheds a promising light on his current level of fitness. The conditions in Cincinnati should favour the Brit as well, as he generally has no issue with faster conditions.
Following a surprisingly impressive run in Bastad, where he lost to first-time champion Paolo Cuevas, Joao Sousa began a four-match losing streak that extended through the US Open Series to his last loss in Toronto. He rebounded on Monday by squeezing out a win against Chase Buchman in the opening round of the Western and Southern Open.
This marks the second time these two competitors will meet on the professional tour. Murray leads the head-to-head series 2-0, with a 6-2, 6-2, 6-4 victory at last year’s Australian and a straight sets win in Acapulco this yet as well. If all goes as planned, the Scott should have no trouble extending his lead to 3-0 and securing his spot in the third round of the tournament.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets