Wednesday, June 12, 2013
Queens Club Tennis preview : Andy Murray-Nicolas Mahut
These two are ranked #2 and #224 respectively in the world, but there is nothing like that between them on grass and Mahut who is very much in the twilight of his career at 31 yo and who has had a dismal year, with six first round defeats in seven tournaments before arriving in London, will be looking for a decent run on one of the grass court events. He is a former finalist here and in his career has six times won five grass court matches in tournaments, three times here at Queens, on what must be his favourite playing surface in tennis. The Frenchman won his opener 2 & 3 over US player Rhyne Williams and in the process bombed down 14 aces, which was as many as we saw from anyone in two sets in Round 1 and there were some really big serves in action, Sam Groth
(with the fastest serve ever to his name @ 263 kph !!!), averaged about the same. So, Mahut is "up there", the win will have given him confidence, which he will need of course, so will his win over Murray in their only previo us meeting on the surface, which came here last year at the same stage 6-3, 6-7, 7-6, as good a returner as Murray is, Mahut still had 13 aces and there will be some easy points for him again today.
Mahut also had a run to the doubles final at Roland Garros, where he and Michael Llodra as an unseeded pairing, lost in a third set tie break to the #1 ranked Bryan brothers. That was fanatstic for both, but just the proof Mahut needed that he can still compete at the top level. Murray has not played since he retired from the Rome Open four weeks ago and although a three time former winner here, he has as many early round defeats and does tend to struggle early with the transition to grass. Of course, the fact that he missed Roland Garros will probably help in that respect, but it is impossible to know if he is 100%. He might certainly want to ease himself in and he will definitely not be taking any chances with Wimbledon so close. The Frenchman is 7.60 to win today, which is much bigger than last year, when Murray arrived from the RG semis, he is no forlorn hope at that tempting price, but I prefer .....
1.25 units Nicolas Mahut +4.5 games 1.98 Pinnacle Sports.
0.75 units Nicolas Mahut +1.5 sets 2.95 Pinnacle Sports.
You can get similar odds to take a set by backing both Mahut to win at circa 7.6 and Murray 2-1 in sets @ 4.50-5.0 .