Following an outstanding fortnight in Melbourne, where it became clear that the British No. 1 was en route to a return to form, Andy Murray will continue his upward trend in Rotterdam, where he will look to work his way through a tough draw to lift the title. His first obstacle at the Dutch tournament will be France’s Nicholas Mahut, whom he has encountered previously on four occasions. The Scot leads the head-to-head series 3-1.
After a humdrum 2014 season that concluded in a thrashing at the hands of Roger Federer, Andy Murray made a remarkable return to form at the start of the 2015 season when he secured a spot in the final of the Australian Open for the fourth time in his career. However, he ended up imploding in the later stages of the match, which implies that he is yet to get his emotions under control following the Lendl era.
While Murray on blames himself for his 0-4 record in Melbourne finals, he is happy to be back playing “close to his best” and looks forward to improvements over the coming months.
“It’s pleasing to be back playing close to my best. I still feel like I can make improvements in my game. I think I can get a few percent better over the next couple of months,”
His first opponent in Rotterdam will be Nicolas Mahut, who overcame Nikoloz Basilashvili and Nadal-vanquisher Michael Berrer to reach the main draw of the event.
This marks the fifth time that Murray and Mahut will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Scot leading the head-to-head series 3-1. Murray is also 2-0 against Mahut on hard courts, although this will mark their first meeting on that surface on nearly seven years. Given the Briton’s continued rise up the ranks, and his return to form, there is little doubt that Murray should move past Mahut with relative ease.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets