TennisSection previews the 2021 Winston-Salem Open Open as Frances Tiafoe  takes on Andy Murray in the Round of 32 on Tuesday, August 24th, 2021.
Will Frances Tiafoe get a great win? Will Andy Murray pull off the upset? This match will be an interesting one, where we have a tennis legend taking on one of the young prospects of the game. Who will move on to the Round of 16 at the 2021 Salem Open?
Frances Tiafoe will open his campaign up here against Andy Murray, a match which will for sure be very tough, both mentally and tennis-wise. I do of course expect Tiafoe to show up and serve very well, using his very fast and aggressive groundstrokes to pull Murray off the court, where his movement is not what it used to be. I expect him to stay pretty consistent on serve, and use his first-strike type tennis, where he has incredible power and consistency off both wings. While Murray is playing pretty well again, he is still only but a shadow of what he used to be, so I definitely expect Tiafoe to step up his game and completely outhit Andy from most encounters they’ll have, particularly at the back of the court where he will hold many advantages. A big question mark for me is the serving of Murray, if the service isn’t too potent, I feel like Tiafoe will get a hold of a lot of those as well and rip them away, creating many opportunities not just on serve but on return as well.
Andy Murray did get a fantastic win on Sunday over Noah Rubin, he definitely did get pretty lucky with the conditions. It was Rubin’s second match that day, scheduled last minute after Nick Kyrgios pulled out. Rubin also appeared to be injured or have some sort of deficiency in his movement, so while the scoreline looked extremely promising, it would have been a very easy match for anyone. Although, Andy did show some signs of being his old self, hitting very clean and consistently, being able to change direction in all corners of the court beautifully off both wings. I think the two biggest question marks for him are his serve and of course his movement, obviously, he’ll never have his old reflexes, his old speed, and footwork, but he’s still a professional tennis player, which means he’s still able to draw on old experiences and run down almost every single ball. His serve, however, does not have the pop, so to say that it once did. This is dangerous playing against the top players nowadays, as they all love to be pretty aggressive off the return given the opportunity, this is in my eyes why it will be very hard for Andy to even push Tiafoe in either set.
Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe have met once before, with Andy Murray leading the head to head 1-0. They met once last year, when Murray was just making his comeback, where he won in three sets, this definitely tells me that he has a chance tomorrow against Frances, but it does not change the fact that at the moment, conditions and form absolutely favor Frances. I do think Andy can pull off the upset, but he will have to serve well, he will have to crush the ball on second serve returns, and he will need to get into longer engagements where he can definitely out hit Tiafoe, particularly backhand to backhand crosscourt, where he can change direction perfectly and move Frances around the court. We are in for a very interesting match, let’s see if Tiafoe can step up and show he’s with the top guys to compete for the title here at the 2021 Winston-Salem Open.
Free Tennis Pick and Prediction: Frances Tiafoe to Win.
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