Former World No. 1 Andy Murray faces a tough draw early at the Western & Southern Open, the first event since the ATP Tour was suspended in March due to the COVID-19 pandemic.
The two-time tournament champion will play American Frances Tiafoe in the first round, marking the pair’s first ATP Head2Head meeting. If Murray beats the home favourite, he will face fifth seed Alexander in the second round.
Murray, who at last October’s European Open in Antwerp was winning his first ATP Tour singles title in two-and-a-half years, and is still working his way back into form after undergoing a second hip surgery last January. The World No. 129 has a 31-12 record at this ATP Masters 1000 event, which is being held at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre this year due to COVID-19 and will be his first tournament of 2020.
Tiafoe, is making his fourth Western & Southern Open main draw appearance, beat Zverev in Cincinnati , the usual venue for this event, three years ago. He will not look past Murray, though. Tiafoe paid Murray a big compliment on Instagram last week, commenting on the Scot’s most recent post: “Some people just made different”
World No. 1 Novak Djokovic who completed his Career Golden Masters in Cincinnati two years ago, is in the same half of the draw as defending champion Daniil Medvedev who is the No. 3 seed.
In his opening match World No. 1 Djokovic will play a qualifier or wild card Tommy Paul. The first seeded opponent he could face is 15th seed Felix Auger- Aliassime the Canadian NextGenATP Star. Felix will have his hands full in his first-round match against big-hitting Georgian Nikoloz Basilashvili.
Medvedev rallied from a set down to beat Djokovic in last year’s Cincinnati semi-finals. The Russian will begin his title defence in the second round against a qualifier.
Second seed Dominic Thiem will try to find the form that helped him to this year’s Australian Open Final. The big-hitting Austrian will open against SerbFilip Krajinovic or a qualifier. Thiem could face 2017 titleist Grigor Dimitrov in the third round.
Former World No. 3 Milos Raonic and big-serving American Sam Querrey will have a rematch of their 2016 Wimbledon quarter-finals, and two-time Grand Slam finalist Kevin Anderson will play former World No.14 Britain’s Kyle Edmund
Main draw action at Flushing Meadows begins Saturday.
Main Photo:- Andy Murray – Pete Staples ATP Tour