Andy Murray will look to continue playing his way into form on Day 5 of the French Open, when he takes on Martin Klizan on Philipp Chatrier. Expectations are fairly low for the World No.1 but a spot in the final remains there for the taking if he gets close to his level of the past few years, never mind that which saw him move into the No.1 spot last year.
Klizan came out on the right end of a heated battle with French wildcard Laurent Lokoli, winning in 5 sets. The match had it all from questionable medical timeouts to players staring each other out and was fittingly capped with a rejected handshake from the losing player. It moved the Slovakian closer to .500 on the year, building on his back to back quarter finals in Munich and Budapest.
Murray has been poor nearly all year and was there for the taking for his opponent Andrey Kuznetsov. When the Russian made it a set all, there would have been worries that it would become a dogfight which Murray may have struggled with. However, there was little to worry about as he showcased some excellent tennis in the final two sets to hold Kuznetsov to just 2 games. It was a nice little confidence booster for Murray as he commented afterwards. “It definitely got better as it went on,” he said. “I started to move a bit better towards the end. I was hitting the ball better when I was defending. That’s something the last few weeks I haven’t done so well and didn’t start off the match doing particularly well. But once I was getting a little bit more on my ball when I was defending, there wasn’t too many openings for him in the points. It was a decent start, considering obviously how I played in the build-up.”
“He has a lot of talent. He can hit a big ball. He is quite unpredictable on the court. He plays a lot of drop shots and quite unorthodox sort of shot selection, so it can be difficult to prepare for that.” Murray commented of his next opponent. Klizan took a set off Murray in Vienna last year but how this matchup goes is still hugely on Murray’s racket, and he will want to make it fairly comfortable with Juan Martin del Potro looming in Round 3.
Prediction: Andy Murray in straight sets