British No. 1 Andy Murray has arrived another commonwealth country to being his campaign for a third Rogers Cup title. Murray will begin his week in the second round of the tournament against Nick Kyrgios, whom he has never has never encountered on the professional tour.
Since failing to defend the Wimbledon crown last month, Murray has dropped to No. 10 in the Emirates ATP Rankings. Although his performances have been considerably weaker than his 2012-13 season pre-back surgery, he has played consistent tennis at the Grand Slam events, reaching the quarter-final round or better of all three Major Championships this season. He is yet to win a single ATP World Tour title this season but also has no points to defend past his quarter-final showing at the US Open last year.
Murray has also stated openly that he intends on keeping Amelie Mauresmo for the “long-term”, which will likely have an interesting effect on his strategy and gameplans during the matches.
While Murray received a bye into the second round, Santiago Giraldo and Nick Kyrgios needed to play their match on Tuesday afternoon to decide the Scot’s opponent on Wednesday. Giraldo got off to a fantastic start in the opening set in Toronto but was thwarted by Aussie youngster, who recovered from a slow start to defend better and steal the first set in a tiebreaker. Serving first in the second set allowed Kyrgios to keep the pressure on his Colombian opponent and he did so emphatically.
The two remained until 4-4 with Kyrgios serving dominantly, and while he had some trouble in his fifth service game in the second set, he got himself out of trouble with a pair of aces to force Giraldo to serve to stay in the match. The surging Australian finally broke serve late in the match to close out the win 7-6, 7-5 in 1 hour and 34 minutes.
This is the first time that Murray and Kyrgios will meet on the professional tour and it is a fascinating contest to ponder. Kyrgios looked fantastic on serve after losing his second service game of the match and could offer Murray trouble with his ground shots as well. It is certainly not the easiest opener for the Scot, who has been off the tour since his quarter-final exit at the Wimbledon Championships.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Three Sets