The second round of Australian Open will feature the second seed Andy Murray taking on the local favorite Sam Groth, on Thursday in Melbourne.
The last year’s runner-up kicked off his tournament with a brilliant performance, where he routed the young German Alexander Zverev in straight sets 6-1, 6-2, 6-3, in a little over two hours. Murray produced 28 winners, while capitalizing on his opponent’s 43 unforced errors to breeze into the second round.
The Brit ended 2015 with a record of 71-14 and four titles, two of which were the Masters titles in Canada and Madrid. His performance toward the end of the season was fairly excellent, having emerged as the runner-up in Paris Masters and reaching the semifinal in ATP Shanghai. That feat once again pushed him to the career high ranking of no. 2.
With Murray placed in a separate half than Novak Djokovic and with the sudden defeat of Rafael Nadal in the first round itself, his path to the final four is more or less clear.
Stands in his way now is the Australian Sam Groth, who bought a ticket to the second round following a fierce battle with the Frenchman Adrian Mannarino in the opening match. However, Groth won the match 7-6(6), 6-4, 3-6, 6-3, with the help of a massive 27 aces and 64 winners.
While these statistics may make Murray sweat, Groth’s past performance says otherwise. He played in two tournaments prior to coming here, in Brisbane and Sydney. On both the occasions, he was defeated in the first round itself, in straight sets. However, it may be interesting to note that three of those sets were tie-breakers.
This is set to be the first time that the two players will face each other. Groth’s hard hitting serve against Murray’s immense experience is going to be a classic battle to watch. The odds are certainly in the favor of Brit and he should win this one in four sets.
Andy Murray v Sam Groth betting tips:
Andy Murray to win in three sets