Round 3 – 6:00pm AEST on Saturday, May 30, 2015
TV coverage: Fox Sports
Weather: Mostly cloudy
H2H record: Murray leads 2-0
Andy Murray (3) – $1.13 at Sportsbet.com.au
2015 record on clay: 12-1
Nick Kyrgios (29) – $7.00 at www.CrownBet.com.au
2015 record on clay: 9-5
Nick Kyrgios had the easiest Grand Slam match of his life in round two of the 2015 French Open.
Saturday’s fixture is an entirely different matter.
The young Australian was gifted a third-round berth after UK wild card Kyle Edmund withdrew pre-match with a stomach strain.
But now Kyrgios ($7.00 at Crownbet.com) must face Andy Murray, the third seed, in a replay of their quarterfinal clash at the 2015 Australian Open.
The Scot triumphed in straight sets that day, as in the pair’s first meeting at the Canadian Masters in 2014, and the online bookmakers have him as the red-hot favourite to progress to the round of 16 at Roland Garros.
Although Murray ($1.13 at Sportsbet) has never reached the French Open final, he has made the fourth round or better on each of his past five appearances at the tournament.
The 28-year-old has done just enough without really firing so far at RG 2015. He eased past Facundo Arguello in straight sets, but was taken to four by the unseeded Joao Sousa in the second round.
Still, Murray has strung together some excellent results on clay surfaces this year, with 12 wins and only one loss – a walkover against David Goffin in the Rome Masters.
That run includes title wins at Munich and the Madrid Open, where he defeated Rafael Nadal 6-3 6-2 in the final.
Kyrgios’ recent form, by contrast, is more of a mixed bag.
The 20-year-old has won nine of 14 matches on clay courts in 2015, including an epic victory over Roger Federer in Madrid where all three sets came down to tiebreakers.
He made a promising run to the final in Estoril, Portugal, but was done in straight sets by France’s Richard Gasquet.
However, the world no. 30 has also suffered a number of early exits on the slower European surfaces, going out at the first attempt in both Barcelona and Rome.
But while it is hard to read Kyrgios’ form after he passed the second round without touching a racket, the walkover against Edmund may well work in his favour.
Besides giving Team Murray very little to analyse on a tactical front, the four-day break will ensure that Nicky comes into Saturday’s clash with plenty of energy to spare.
Kyrgios has played only three sets to Murray’s seven and boasts an all-court game that is notoriously difficult to face when he is fit and fresh.
That downtime will also give the Canberra native a chance to pursue certain pre-game predilections away from the tennis court, if his recent interview with GQ Australia is anything to go by.
When asked if he abstained from sex before big matches, Kyrgios said, “I don’t abide by that rule. I don’t abide by that at all.”
He added: “I won’t say any [names] but, mate, a lot goes on.
“What happens on tour gets around fast, so you have to be careful. That’s why I don’t mess with any tennis chicks.”
Murray vs Kyrgios match predictions
Result – Andy Murray to win ($1.13 at Sportsbet.com.au)
Correct score – Murray 3-1 ($3.75 at www.WilliamHill.com)
Total match sets – Over 3.5 ($2.10 at Sportsbet)
Kyrgios to win a set? – Yes ($1.98 at Crownbet.com)
It would be an absolute dream if Kyrgios could avenge his Australian Open quarterfinal defeat, but you can’t look past Murray here.
This is about the time in a major tourney when the Scot starts to fire up, so expect a big improvement on his efforts in the earlier rounds.
There is some hope for young Nicky, however, and we are backing him to break his duck and notch a maiden set win in his third meeting with the two-time Grand Slam title winner.
More Men’s Singles odds at Roland Garros
Lukas Rosol ($1.65 at William Hill) vs Teymuraz Gabashvili ($2.26 at Sportsbet.com)
Damir Dzumhur ($20 at CrownBet) vs Roger Federer ($1.01 at WilliamHill.com)
Stanislav Wawrinka ($1.10 at Sportsbet) vs Steve Johnson ($7.80 at www.Crownbet.com)
Nicholas Mahut ($7.40 at CrownBet.com.au) vs Gilles Simon ($1.10 at William Hill)
Gael Monfils ($1.34 at www.WilliamHill.com) vs Pablo Cuevas ($3.30 at Sportsbet)
Benoit Paire ($9.80 at www.CrownBet.com) vs Tomas Berdych ($1.08 at WilliamHill.com.au)
Jo-Wilfred Tsonga ($1.33 at William Hill) vs Pablo Andujar ($3.57 at Sportsbet.com)
Marin Cilic ($1.58 at WilliamHill.com) vs Leonardo Mayer ($2.49 at Sportsbet Australia)
Andrey Kuznetzov ($21 at Sportsbet.com.au) vs Rafael Nadal ($1.01 at William Hill)
Novak Djokovic ($1.01 at WilliamHill.com.au) vs Thanasi Kokkinakis ($20 at CrownBet)
Simone Bolelli ($11.50 at www.Sportsbet.com) vs David Ferrer ($1.05 at WilliamHill.com)
David Goffin ($1.46 at Sportsbet.com) vs Jeremy Chardy ($2.80 at WilliamHill)
Jack Sock ($1.49 at Sportsbet) vs Borna Coric ($2.65 at www.WilliamHill.com.au)
Sportsbet.com.au French Open outright betting
$1.83 – Novak Djokovic
$5 – Rafael Nadal
$8 – Andy Murray
$10 – Kei Nishikori, Roger Federer
$23 – Stan Wawrinka
$26 – Tomas Berdych
$41 – Gael Monfils
$51 – David Ferrer
$71 – Nick Kyrgios
$101 – Jo-Wilfred Tsonga
$151 – Gilles Simon, Marin Cilic, Pablo Cuevas
$201 – Borna Coric
$251 – Jeremy Chardy, Carlos Berlocq, David Goffin, Jack Sock
$301 – Leo Mayer, Thanasi Kokkinakis, Richard Gasquet, Benoit Paire
$401 – Simone Bolelli, Kevin Anderson
$501 – Nicholas Mahut, Pablo Andujar, Steve Johnson, Lukas Rosol, Andrey Kuznetzov, Teymuraz Gabashvili, Damir Dzumhur
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