TENNIS judge Mark Stinchcombe (@markstinchcombe) looks ahead to Tuesday’s rescheduled Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet game.
Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet | Tuesday 13:30 | ITV4
These two will play for the 11th time in their careers with Andy Murray leading the head-to- head 7-3, including winning seven of the last eight and both of their matches here at Roland Garros.
Richard Gasquet is into the quarter-finals of the French Open for the first time in 13 attempts and his record here when 13/5 or bigger doesn’t make for pretty reading. It’s six defeats out of six, winning just one set out of 19.
In fairness, two of the last three of those have been to Novak Djokovic and the other three were over a decade ago, but it gives an idea of the task ahead of him.
In their two meetings here however, Gasquet has got off to the better start taking the opening set 6-1 in 2012 and taking the opening two sets 6-4 7-6 in 2010 before Murray has come back, winning 18 of the next 25 games both times.
In actual fact, Gasquet has won a set in nine of their ten matches and that is an area I’m looking to exploit by backing Murray to win and both players to win a set at around 11/8.
The Scotsman has won 33 of his last 36 clay-court matches but has dropped a set in Paris in 13 of his last 20 matches (65%). He’s already dropped sets to Radek Stepanek and Mathias Bourgue and the straight set wins over Ivo Karlovic and John Isner were unsurprising given their weaknesses on clay and Murray’s return.
Another area I’ve previously exploited in this match-up is Gasquet’s quicker starts (as mentioned earlier), with him having won the opening set seven out of the ten times.
Rather than entertain the 15/8 on the Frenchman to win the first set, with that not looking too far wrong based on their abilities, the 4/1 Murray loses the 1st set and wins the match looks much more appealing.
Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet – Andy Murray to win 3-1 (14/5 Sportingbet)
Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet – Andy Murray to win 3-2 (11/2 Bet365)
Andy Murray v Richard Gasquet – Andy Murray to lose the first set and win the match (4/1 BetVictor)