Andy Murray took part in his first singles match as a married man on Thursday afternoon and needed only straight sets to begin his clay court season in solid fashion. He will continue his campaign as he crosses paths with Lukas Rosol once again. This is just the second time that they meet on the professional tour, with Murray leading the head-to-head series 1-0. However, this will also mark their first ever clay court encounter, which certainly adds a layer of intrigue to the otherwise straightforward encounter.
In trademark fashion, the British No. 1 managed to secure his first clay court win of the season on the ATP World Tour in straight sets. He defeated German qualifier Mischa Zverev 6-2, 6-2 in a contest that lasted one hour and 14 minutes to advance to the quarter-final stage of the event. Murray struck one aces, won 75% of his first service points and saved all six of the break points he faced en route to his 22nd tour-level victory of the season. He has only suffered five defeats on the tour this year, two of which took place in finals.
The Scot will next come up against Lukas Rosol, who reached that stage of the event with a victory over Sergiy Stakhovsky. It was his first ever win against the Ukrainian, after losing their first two meetings. The contest lasted 86 minutes and saw Rosol strike four aces, win 79% of his first service points and save five break points en route to the win in 84 minutes.
This is just the second time that Murray and Rosol will cross paths on the ATP World Tour with Murray leading the head-to-head series 1-0. He won that encounter last year at Indian Wells when he was yet to regain top form, and should be able to work his way past the Czech No. 2 this week as well.
Prediction: Andy Murray in Straight Sets