British tennis fans will have a great Wednesday with Andy Murray going back-to-back on centre court with Emma Raducanu. Murray will face John Isner, hoping to extend his unbeaten record to 9-0 against the American. The possibility of a quarter final spot does remain for Murray with Jannik Sinner and Carlos Alcaraz still not yet fully proven on the grass.
Murray continued his solid grass season with victory over James Duckworth, coming from a set down to beat the Australian 4-6 6-3 6-2 6-4. More than making up the numbers in this part of his comeback, the Brit looks like he can compete with many of the second tier of top players at least. “I thought I did well to rebound after the first set. He likes playing on the grass. He’s come back from a hip surgery himself in January and was playing very well,” Murray said. “Once I started to find my returns a little bit more as the match went on, I felt a bit more comfortable. Did well to get through it.”
Isner is also showing he still has plenty to offer at the age of 37 although hitting the heights of his 2018 peak looks incredibly unlikely. He played a lengthy five setter in round one, coming from 1-2 down to defeat Enzo Couacaud. He hit a ridiculous 53 aces in 6-7 7-6 4-6 6-3 7-5 win, unsurprisingly only being broken just once in the whole match.
This matchup, as with against most other big servers, was a gimme for Murray during his peak as a top two returner in the game. Whether that comes with as much ease to him now is not as certain but the two-time champion has to be considered a strong favourite here. Jannik Sinner is the likely third round opponent for the winner and either player should fancy their chances at taking a top 10 scalp.
Prediction – Andy Murray in four sets