Tennis / Preview / Paris Masters Thursday Preview

Paris Masters Thursday Preview

Murray continues his bid for a third Masters title this year while Monfils looks to impress in front of his home crowd as we preview both matches.

Andy Murray


Jurgen Melzer (1.91) v David Ferrer (2)

Ferrer leads the head to head by three wins to one, including a win in their only hard-court meeting. The Spaniard has won 15 of his 18 matches since the US Open and claimed the title in Valencia last week. Moreover, since 2009 Ferrer has won nine of 14 matches when 1.8-2.2 to win, including five of eight matches on hard courts, and he’s also won six of his last nine matches against left handers.

Melzer is also in form having won his home title in Vienna. However, the Austrian has lost five of his last eight matches against current top 25 ranked players and furthermore four of his last seven against players ranked 11-25.

Recommendation: Ferrer to win at 2.0, Victor Chandler 


Andy Murray (1.33) v Marin Cilic (3.4)

Murray recorded a good win over Nalbandian in his opening match despite dropping the first set while Cilic also went to a decider in despatching Stakhovsky. The Scot leads the head-to-head between these two by four wins to one but there are other more compelling reasons to support him here.

Murray has never previously been past the quarters here but has sounded positive about the surface this week and displayed good serve and volley tactics against Nalbandian. The Scot has won two of the last three Masters events and is fresh after an early exit in Valencia. While Murray’s record this year against players now ranked 11-25 of W12-L7 is hardly stellar it does improve to W11-L3 at Masters and Grand Slam level and he’s won 11 of his last 12 matches when 1.2-1.5 to win, including six straight-set wins.

Cilic survived his last match due to great surviving on match points but otherwise looked short on confidence, though this is hardly surprising given he’s lost nine of his last 15 matches (seven straight-set defeats). The Croat has also lost his last six matches against the current top 10 with four of the last five in straight sets and he hasn’t won a match as the underdog for six months with seven such defeats since then.

Recommendation: Murray to win 2-0 at 2.0, William Hill

Gael Monfils (1.53) v Fernando Verdasco (2.69)

Monfils won the only previous meeting between these two and comes into this match in far superior form and in front of a noisy home crowd.

The Frenchman, a finalist here 12 months ago, recently won indoors in Montpellier and was also a finalist in Tokyo in October. He’s now won 13 of 14 matches as the favourite with nine straight-set wins back to the US Open and furthermore, he’s won six of his last eight completed matches against current top 25 ranked players when the favourite.

Verdasco is another player totally lacking in confidence, having lost four of six matches since the US Open (all in straight sets) as well as six of his last eight matches against current top 25 ranked players. Furthermore, the Spaniard’s record in the past four Masters events before this was just W2-L4 while his record in this event was W3-L6 before an opening round win this year.

Recommendation: Monfils to win 2-0 at 2.4, Paddy Power
                                   Double on Monfils and Murray at 2.08, William Hill

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