High profile clash in the ATP San Diego second round, as Andy Murray will take on second seeded Casper Ruud on Thursday.
Murray keeps on grinding on the tour despite going through so many injuries and playing with a metal hip. He’s far from the best version of himself, but he is staying quite competitive, as recently proved by his 5 set thriller with Tsitsipas at the US Open, his QF showing in Metz last week, or his easy win over Denis Kudla here in the San Diego first round.
Ruud played in the Laver Cup last week and he performed quite well there, winning his match against Opelka in straight sets. Despite a second round exit at the US Open (lost to Van De Zandschulp), Ruud had a productive Summer on the US hard courts, reaching the QF’s at both Masters Events (Toronto, Cincinnati), claiming big wins over guys like Cilic, Opelka or Schwartzman.
This will be the first H2H meeting between Murray and Ruud. Both players love hard courts. In terms of matchup, Murray might be up against it meeting such a fit guy like Ruud, who tends to make you run with his smart aggressive style of play.
Listen, Andy Murray has gotten some pretty good results recently, he’s beating some good players, played well vs. Kudla in the first round here, but on the other hand he’s also losing to guys like Safiullin (in Rennes two weeks ago). Fact is, Andy hasn’t beaten a Top 10 player in more than a year.
Like it or not, Ruud is a Top 10 player, he’s also pretty reliable when it comes to winning when he’s the favorite, and he’s in pretty good form. This will be his first match here in San Diego, but he should be fine, as he had more than enough time to train after arriving from the Laver Cup in Boston.
I just think Andy will have to run and work too much against Ruud, and he’s not moving that well anymore, nor does he have the same stamina. We will surely see some great tennis, but eventually the younger, fitter and better player should prevail. I think the odds are excellent, and Andy is a bit overrated here. Prediction: Andy Murray – Casper Ruud 4-6 7-6 3-6.