Carlos Alcaraz vs. Andy Murray: Best Play for Blockbuster Matchup
Elsa/Getty Images. Pictured: Andy Murray celebrates a point at the 2021 US Open.
Carlos Alcaraz vs. Andy Murray
|Time||Sunday, 3:30 p.m. ET|
|Odds via BetMGM|
A blockbuster matchup awaits tennis fans on Sunday when former world number one Andy Murray faces US Open quarterfinalist and possible future number one Carlos Alcaraz.
The Spanish teenager has been on fire in recent events, though he hasn’t played since the US Open. Alcaraz won his first title this summer, triumphing over Richard Gasquet in Umag before having an impressive hard court run that was capped off in Queens.
Sir Andy is 12-9 across all hard court surfaces this year, and he’s put together a couple of complete performances in the past couple tournaments. However, he hasn’t been able to find any landmark wins, losing to Stefanos Tsitsipas, Casper Ruud, Hubert Hurkacz and Frances Tiafoe.
He has shown glimpses of the former slam champion version of himself, but it hasn’t translated into victories when matched up against the best players in the world.
Nonetheless, Murray was in fine form once again in a first round matchup, this time against Adrian Mannarino. The Frenchman was playing at a high level, but Murray matched it with his stunning shotmaking and tenacious defense to advance in straight sets.
— Tennis Channel (@TennisChannel) October 9, 2021
Alcaraz and Murray haven’t met before, but there are reasons to believe that this could finally be the moment where the Brit finds his breakthrough.
The courts in Indian Wells are playing extremely slow, with a pace similar to the indoor hard court season in Europe. While Alcaraz was taking a needed break from the tour, Murray was grinding and working to solidify his game.
Despite clay being his preferred surface, Alcaraz is a player with relentless power who likes to attack. His game is well-suited for fast courts like the ones in New York, but Indian Wells is far different.
Alcaraz will have to engage in long rallies and often hit multiple winners in a point against Murray, who won’t give Alcaraz time to breathe. If Alcaraz is firing, however, he is capable of an other-worldly level.
Carlos Alcaraz was a human highlight reel at the US Open. 📽
— US Open Tennis (@usopen) October 6, 2021
Beyond this, Murray was efficient in his first round match against Mannarino. Despite serving at a poor 52% clip, he won 82% of the points on his first serve and 70% of the points behind his second serve. This indicates that while Murray’s trademark defense is rounding into form, his offense may be doing the same.
It’s a very solid situation for Murray to pick up a season-defining win, and getting him at +115 is a price where a bet is worth it.
Pick: Andy Murray +115 via BetMGM