Andy Murray has caught fire in Metz and the oddsmakers have noticed. Murray has always played great tennis on an indoor hardcourt. 15 of his 46 career titles came inside, and the still conditions are helping his seriously improved first-serve. But thanks to impressive wins over Ugo Humbert and Vasek Pospisil, he will enter his quarterfinal matchup against Hubert Hurkacz on Friday as just a slight +113 underdog.

Hurkacz has solidified himself as one of the ten best players in the world in 2021. The 24-year-old, who won Miami and reached the semifinals of Wimbledon, is currently ninth in the ATP’s Race to Turin, and just beat Murray 7-6 (4), 6-3, in Cincinnati.


Murray is looking seriously impressive in Metz this week.

Murray is looking seriously impressive in Metz this week.

Both Humbert and Pospisil’s over-aggression played right into Murray’s counterpunching hands. There is nothing more than Murray loves more than an average approach to his open-stance backhand. He hits his backhand pass as well as you can possibly hit a shot.

But Hurkacz owns a Murray-like backhand pass as well, and will often bait his opponents into hitting a forced approach shot. He’ll then use his explosive movement to slide into an open-stance backhand. Sound like someone we know?

I really wanted to bet Murray, and still may, but was hoping he’d be priced closer to +170, and not a borderline pick-em. It’s not like Hurkacz is playing bad tennis, so you can’t go wrong with the over 22.5 game total.

The Pick: Over 22.5 games