Andy Murray is into the second round in Zhuhai after a straight sets win over Chinese wildcard Ye Cong Mo. Despite the 647 ranking place difference, there was no sign of it in the first set as Mo created a few half-chances on the Murray serve. The Brit failed to convert break point in the second game as he lacked the aggression needed to gain control of the match.
That was evident when Mo tested Murray’s baseline game in the fifth and eleventh games with superb forehand winners from the baseline, displaying incredible athleticism. Meanwhile Murray played some fatigued looking shots while his opponent displayed consistent variety to create space on the court for efficient winners. Eventually Murray’s patience and anticipation paid off as the Brit broke to love at the end of the set to seal the opening set 7-5 with Mo producing too many unforced errors in big moments.
The break at the end of the opening set snuffed out the momentum from Mo as the Brit continued to remain consistent as he made more surges towards the net. Another impressive return game in the fourth game was finished with a forehand winner as Murray sealed a 3-1 lead.
More impressive tennis was to follow from Mo who made the three-time Grand Slam champion serve out the match. Serve out the match Murray did as the Brit secured a place in the second round with a hold to love.
Andy Murray  v Aslan Karatsev H2H & Match Fundamentals
Murray will look to raise his level on serve when taking on the returning efficiency and consistency of Karatsev.
Playing styles and prediction
Karatsev will be looking to improve his form after failing to back up his semi-final run in Madrid earlier in this clay court season. The 30 year-old will be looking to put pressure on the world’s top 50 as he aims for more consistency over the rest of the season.
Murray will look to produce a more energetic performance as he will look to target Karatsev’s backhand as he aims for a more aggressive performance from the forehand side. Meanwhile Karatsev looks to remain consistency on serve as he aims to use depth on return to force tactical errors from Murray. This will be a tough and awkward test for Murray that should give himself an idea of how much he needs to work on heading into the end of the season.
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