Fixture: Andy Murray vs Egor Gerasimov
Date: 23 February 2021
Tournament: Montpellier Open 2021
Round: First round (Round of 32)
Venue: Montpellier, France
Category: ATP 250
Surface: Indoor hardcourt
Prize money: €262,170
Match timing: Not before 7 pm local time, 11.30 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | India - Discovery
Andy Murray vs Egor Gerasimov preview
Former World No. 1 Andy Murray will be seen on the ATP tour for the first time since October last year at the ongoing Open Sud de France in Montpellier.
Murray is a wildcard entrant at the event, and will take on Egor Gerasimov in the first round on Tuesday. For Gerasimov, this would be the first event since his second-round defeat to Aslan Karatsev at the Australian Open.
Andy Murray had to skip the year’s opening Major after contracting COVID-19. Instead he played at the recently-concluded Biella 1 Challenger event, where he finished as runner-up.
However, Murray was forced to withdraw from the Biella 2 event as he experienced repercussions of the dreaded viral illness. The Brit’s condition has since improved, although his journey to France was delayed due to his illness.
Up until his final against Ilya Marchenko at Biella, Andy Murray played some impressive tennis. The three-time Slam champion lost his serve just four times in his first four matches, and dropped only one set en route to the final.
Egor Gerasimov on the other hand has had a dismal start to his 2021 campaign. He lost in the opening round at Antalya, before falling in the third round of the Melbourne 2 event.
At the Australian Open Gerasimov defeated 25th seed Benoit Paire in the opening round, but was handed a brutal 6-0, 6-1, 6-0 beatdown by eventual semifinalist Aslan Karatsev in the next round.
Andy Murray vs Egor Gerasimov head-to-head
Andy Murray and Egor Gerasimov have never played each other on tour before, so they enter this clash with a 0-0 head-to-head record.
Andy Murray vs Egor Gerasimov prediction
Egor Gerasimov is the favorite to win this match on paper, given his higher ranking than Andy Murray’s. The Belarusian hasn't advanced beyond the third round at any event this year, but he does have impressive victories over the likes of Marton Fucsovics and Benoit Paire.
Andy Murray, meanwhile, is untested on the ATP tour in 2021. Moreover, it is unclear whether the Brit has completely recovered from COVID-19.
Even if Murray does well on the physical side of things, it will not be easy for the Brit to deal with Gerasimov’s aggressive brand of tennis. Even a small lapse in concentration could see Murray losing his serve, given Gerasimov’s penchant for punishing weaker deliveries.
All things considered, while Andy Murray is likely to give Gerasimov a tough fight, he is unlikely to stay toe-to-toe with the hard-hitting Belarusian over three sets.
Prediction: Egor Gerasimov to win in straight sets.