Tennis | ATP Antwerp 2019 | Norrie and Murray bookend their opening campaigns

By Ros Satar

  • Cameron Norrie v Feliciano Lopez
  • Andy Murray [PR] v Kimmer Coppejans [WC]
ANTWERP, BELGIUM – After Kyle Edmund’s disappointing demise of his title defence, we look to Cameron Norrie and Andy Murray for winning ways.


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Cameron Norrie v Feliciano Lopez | Norrie leads H2H 1-0

Cameron Norrie in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018
Photo by Dave Shopland/BPI/REX/Shutterstock | Cameron Norrie in the first round at Roland Garros, 2018

In what is looking like a resurgent run to the end of the season, Cameron Norrie kicks things off on Tuesday against Feliciano Lopez. The Brit will take a bit of confidence from the fact that the last time he faced the Spaniard, he got the better of him in straight sets.

In a battle of the lefties, Norrie is coming off some decent forays through qualifying and a couple of main draw rounds to keep his match sharpness up. This could be quite key, as Lopez has not played since the US Open.

On the other hand, after Norrie was bounced out of the US Open after a gruelling five-set first round, he has taken to the final part of the season with verve – what has impressed the most has been his sticking power against players who can grind all day long.

He probably won’t have to face much of that against the Spaniard, who has a decent serve, and has been known to come in behind that for a bit of the old-fashioned serve and volley. For his part, Lopez might prefer to try and force Norrie forward rather than allowing him to dictate play from further back. Either way, you would have to give Norrie the edge in this encounter.

Prediction: Norrie in straight sets.


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Andy Murray [PR] v Kimmer Coppejans [WC] | First meeting

Andy Murray in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships, ATP Queen's Club 2018
Andy Murray in the first round of the Fever-Tree Championships, ATP Queen’s Club 2018 | (Photo by Marc Atkins/Getty Images)

Always assuming that expectant dad Andy Murray does not have to rush back to be present for the birth of his third child, due imminently, he is expected to take to the court on Tuesday night as his successful comeback from hip surgery continues.

While admitting he has a few aches and pains, the news that his hip is pain free spells a bit of doom for wildcard Kimmer Coppejans, who might be better off buying Murray a large stuffed toy to take back to his new baby in the hope it might spur the missus’ contractions!

Murray has been competitive against the higher-ranked players but perhaps is still missing that match sharpness, and there is every likelihood the ‘higher-ranked’ Coppejans will just come out swinging free as he has nothing to lose.

The Belgian has largely plied his trade on the Challenger circuit and comes to this indoor hard court having mostly played on the clay.

Murray needs to conserve energy and not get drawn onto a clay courter grinding style of play. He has been pulled into some long matches and should really look to put this one away nice and solidly.

Prediction: Murray in straight sets

Norrie & Lopez are scheduled first on Centre Court at 12pm (11am BST), with Murray & Coppejans scheduled not before 7:30pm (6:30pm BST).


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