Antwerp 2021: Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe preview, head-to-head & prediction | European Open

Andy Murray in action at the BNP Paribas Open
Andy Murray in action at the BNP Paribas Open

Match details

Fixture: (WC) Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe

Tournament: European Open 2021

Round: First round (Round of 32)

Venue: Antwerp, Belgium

Category: ATP 250

Surface: Indoor hardcourt

Prize money: €508,600

Live telecast: USA - Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK - Amazon Prime Video

Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe preview

Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe will face each other in a blockbuster first-round clash at the 2021 European Open in Antwerp.

Murray has been handed a wildcard into the ATP 250 event, while Tiafoe is unseeded. Both players are in the bottom half of the draw, with the winner of the match set to face second seed, Diego Schwartzman.

The Scot comes into this event on the back of a decent showing at the Indian Wells Masters, where he made the third round. Murray beat Adrian Mannarino in the first round before stunning Carlos Alcaraz in the second.

The former European Open champion gave Alexander Zverev a tough fight in the third round but ultimately went down 6-4, 7-6(4).

Murray, currently ranked 121 in the world, has a lot at stake at this year's European Open, with 250 points from his 2019 triumph set to drop from his tally. As such, the Scot could find himself out of the top 170 if things don't go his way in Belgium.

Frances Tiafoe, too, made it as far as the third round at the BNP Paribas Open. The American ousted Benoit Paire and Sebastian Korda before falling to Hubert Hurkacz.

Tiafoe also made it to the fourth round at the US Open. The 23-year-old upset Andrey Rublev in the third round and ran Felix Auger-Aliassime close in the round of 16.

Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe head-to-head

The head-to-head between Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe is currently tied at 1-1. Tiafoe beat the Scot in straight sets at Winston-Salem earlier this year. Murray, meanwhile, accounted for the American at Cincinnati last year.

Andy Murray vs Frances Tiafoe prediction

Frances Tiafoe at the BNP Paribas Open
Frances Tiafoe at the BNP Paribas Open

This is a hard match to call considering both players' recent form. Andy Murray and Frances Tiafoe have both shown glimpses of their best tennis in recent weeks, but it was the Scot who arguably played at a higher level at Indian Wells.

Murray managed to neutralize the power of Spanish sensation Carlos Alcaraz and also ran Alexander Zverev quite close despite struggling to find his best level during the match.

The conditions at Indian Wells were extremely slow, unlike at the European Open, where the courts will likely be considerably faster. Factoring in that aspect, Tiafoe will be the slight favorite considering the weapons at his disposal.

However, Murray has shown some phenomenal defending abilities in recent weeks and he may just be able to outlast the young American.

Prediction: Andy Murray to win in three sets.

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Edited by Arvind Sriram

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