Following two consecutive title wins on clay, which included his maiden title on the surface, as well as his first Masters 1000 title on clay, Andy Murray extended that streak with an opening round win in Rome to set up yet another ambitious campaign on the red dust. Murray will next come up against David Goffin, whom he has faced once previously on the professional tour. Murray leads the head-to-head series 1-0.
British No. 1 Andy Murray has been in such remarkable form over the past month on clay that he is officially one of the favourites to watch out for at the French Open, which is quite a surprise to say, even though he reached the semi-final stage of the Grand Slam event last season. After compiling an undefeated 9-0 season over his past two tournaments on clay, including two title wins, Murray extended that undefeated streak to 10-0 on Wednesday when he defeated Jeremy Chardy in straight sets to move onto the third round in Rome. He struck six aces and saved two break points to beat the Frenchman 6-4, 6-3.
“My legs were a bit tired at the beginning,” said Murray. “But then I started to feel better after the first few games. For me, I felt like I played a really good match. He served big for the first set and a half. It was tough for me. But I hung in; I felt like I moved pretty well and I served well throughout the match. I was happy with the way I adjusted to the conditions. I felt like I moved well and made it difficult for him to win free points.”
Murray will next face David Goffin, who survived a rollercoaster encounter with Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to escape in three sets. Goffin won 63% of his first service points and saved eight break points and a pair of match points to close out the encounter 6-2, 4-6, 7-5 in two hours and 31 minutes.
This is just the second time that Murray and Goffin will cross paths on the professional tour, with the Briton leading the head-to-head series 1-0. That sole meeting took place in the opening round of the Wimbledon Championships and ironically kick started an incredible win streak that brought Goffin into the public eye. While his win against Tsonga was an impressive one, he will need to work even harder to topple the in-form Murray.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Three Sets