While not given the best of schedules this week on the tour, Andy Murray will continue his quest for a 10th Masters 1000 title when he meets Milos Raonic on Friday afternoon in Madrid. Of their five previous meetings on the ATP World Tour, Raonic leads the head-to-head series 3-2.
Although he had to deal with rain delays in Munich and a final that took place on Monday, Murray found himself with more concerns in Madrid, where he was forced to play his first match well into the early hours of the morning. However, after dispatching Philipp Kohlschreiber in three sets, he breezed past Marcel Granollers 6-2, 6-0 to advance to the quarter-final stage of the tournament. He won 79% of his first service points and saved the only break points he faced to close out the match in one hour and four minutes.
“I wanted to try and start the match with as much energy as possible, and if I could, get off to a lead early,” said Murray. “Obviously, he played a very long match yesterday [versus Gael Monfils], so I felt like if I could get ahead that I would be able to use that momentum well. It would also give me a bit of a lift really.”
Murray will next encounter his Canadian adversary after Raonic beat Leonardo Mayer 6-4, 6-3. He struck 11 aces, won 82% of his first service points and saved all three of the break points he faced to close out the match in one hour and 18 minutes.
This marks the sixth time that these two competitors will meet on the professional tour, with Raonic leading the series 3-2. The Canadian has also won two of their three most recent encounters. Both players will be motivated to keep their hopes alive in the tournament, and will be determined not to lose. It should also be noted that Raonic won their only clay court meeting.
Prediction: Milos Raonic in Three Sets