A semi-final between two competitors who have crossed paths in over four years is scheduled to take place on Saturday afternoon in the semi-final round of the Shenzhen Open, as Andy Murray and Juan Monaco meet for the first time since the 2010 Valencia Open. This contest will serve as a rubber match of sorts, as the series is currently split 2-2, with Monaco winning matches in Rome and Valencia.
Following a 15-month drought of titles that date back to his Wimbledon Championship win in 2013, Andy Murray is now two wins away from snapping that disappointing streak following his quarter-final win over Lukas Lacko. Murray needed just 80 minutes to defeat Lacko 6-3, 7-5. Murray will be looking to close out his week in strong fashion ahead of his second wildcard appearance at the China Open in Beijing next week.
Juan Monaco surprised many with his upset victory over Richard Gasquet, which he achieved in straight sets 7-6(7), 6-4. The Argentine has enjoyed a strong week on the tour, as he picked up his 300th tour-level victory en route to the semi-final round.
This marks the fifth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour with the series tied at 2-2. This marks the first time they will cross paths in over 4 years and much has changed in both players’ trajectories during that period. Murray should hold a significant advantage over Monaco this time around and it will be interesting to see if he can continue his strong week on the tour.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets