Fixture: (WC) Andy Murray vs (2) Nikoloz Basiiashvili
Date: January 12, 2022
Tournament: Sydney Tennis Classic 2022
Round: Second Round (Round of 16)
Surface: Outdoor Hard
Prize Money: $521,000
Match Timing: Not before 8.30 pm local time, 9.30 am GMT, 3.00 pm IST
Live Telecast: USA - Tennis Channel | UK - Amazon Prime
Andy Murray vs Nikoloz Basilashvili preview
Second seed Nikoloz Basilashvili will take on former World No. 1 Andy Murray in the second round of the 2022 Sydney Tennis Classic on Wednesday.
Murray appeared to have gained some momentum at the end of 2021 by defeating Dan Evans and Rafael Nadal at an exhibition event in Abu Dhabi. However, the Scot hit a road block in the Melbourne Summer Set, losing to Facundo Bagnis in the first round.
But he got back to winning ways with a comfortable 6-3, 6-1 victory over qualifier Viktor Durasovic in the first round in Sydney. The three-time Slam champion is looking to gain some form ahead of his first Australian Open appearance in three years.
Basilashvili had a strong finish to 2021, reaching the final of the Indian Wells Masters. However, he has won just one professional match since.
Basilashvili represented his country at the 2022 ATP Cup in Sydney this month. After losing his first encounter against Diego Schwartzman, he retired from his match against Stefanos Tsitsipas after complaining of shortness of breath.
Andy Murray vs Nikoloz Basilashvili head-to-head
The second-round encounter in Sydney will be the second meeting between the two players, with Andy Murray leading the head-to-head 1-0. The pair faced off in the first round of Wimbledon last year, with Murray prevailing in four sets.
Andy Murray vs Nikoloz Basilashvili prediction
Nikoloz Basilashvili is the higher-ranked opponent, but Andy Murray is in better form and enters this clash as the slight favorite. The Scot produced a flawless performance in the first round, losing only one point on his first serve and not facing a single break point.
His return, which has been his strength throughout his career, was firing on all cylinders against Durasovic.
Basilashvili, however, will present a much sterner test than Durasovic. The Georgian's powerful groundstrokes can penetrate the defence of the best players on tour. But he is inconsistent and can leak unforced errors under pressure. While Murray may have lost some of his speed and agility, he is still among the best defenders on tour.
The Scot has looked in good shape over the past few months and will fancy his chances of advancing to the third roud.
Prediction: Andy Murray to win in two tight sets.
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