2012 runner-up Andy Murray will begin his week at the Dubai Duty Free Tennis Championships on Tuesday afternoon, when he comes up against surging competitor Gilles Muller. This marks the second time that the two will cross paths o the tour, with Murray leading the head to head series 1-0. However, that contest took place over three years ago and came under far different circumstances than their upcoming contest in the UAE city.
Any Murray began his 2015 season in fantastic fashion, as he worked his way through a Grand Slam draw that included Grigor Dimitrov, Nick Kyrgios, and Tomas Berdych before he lost to Novak Djokovic in his first Major final since winning Wimbledon back in 2013. The win boosted Murray back into the Top 4, where he once again completed the placement for the ‘Big Four’ on the tour. He then moved over to Rotterdam, where he suffered a surprising exit to Gilles Simon in the quarter-final round of the tournament. It was a shockingly straightforward exit given that Murray looked good en route to that stage of the tournament.
The British No. 1 will now look to rebound with a strong showing at the ATP 500 event when he comes up against Gilles Muller. After reaching the fourth round of the Australian Open, Muller suffered an opening round exit in Zagreb before he rebounded with back-to-back victories over David Goffin and Grigor Dimitrov in Rotterdam. His incredible week was cut short in the quarter-final round, where he lost to eventual champion Stan Wawrinka 7-6(3) 6-3.
This marks just the second time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Murray leading the series 1-0. While the world No. 4 will undoubtedly be the favourite, on Tuesday, it will not be based off his previous win, which took place at the 2012 Brisbane International. Muller is more than capable of pushing the Scot to three sets, and could even produce the upset if Murray is not playing near top form.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Three Sets