The Pick August 16 2022-1

On Wednesday, tennis fans get to witness a battle between world No. 47 Andy Murray and world No. 11 Cameron Norrie in the second round of the Western & Southern Open in Cincinnati. While Murray is the best British player to ever play the game, Norrie is carving out a resume that will make his home supporters extremely proud. And when these two clash in this match, both of them will surely be thinking about how badly they want to top their fellow countryman.

Murray is far past his prime at this point in his career, but he is still very capable of throwing it back and turning in great performances. The 35-year-old defeated Stefanos Tstisipas in Stuttgart earlier this summer, and he also took Nick Kyrgios out of the same event—and barely missed out on winning that tournament when he lost in three sets against Matteo Berrettini in the final. The results since then obviously haven’t been there, but we just wouldn’t be surprised if we see an impressive version of Murray in a match he’ll really want to win.


The two have only met once on the ATP Tour, in 2019 at Beijing when Murray prevailed in a decider. It’s completely fair to say that Norrie is the more dangerous player at this point in their careers, yet what exactly makes him a sure thing to roll to a straight-set win in this match? Neither player has a massive edge as a server here, and Norrie’s small advantage as a returner might not matter if Murray is locked in. When he’s really on his game, the former No. 1 can put a ton of pressure on opponents with his serve, and he's also gone all the way on these courts twice before.

Norrie also isn’t exactly an overpowering player from the baseline, which means that he’ll be relying on an advantage in savviness that might not be there against a champion of Murray's caliber. Norrie’s world-class mind helps him overcome a lack of true athleticism and natural talent against most of his competition. But Murray is also a supreme strategist willing to think outside the box, so he won’t let Norrie get the better of him when it comes to constructing points.

The reality here is that Norrie really should win this match, as he is smack in the middle of his prime at the age of 26. But it’s just hard to see how he’ll win this match in straight sets if Murray is playing some good tennis, and we expect him to do so in this showdown. The crowd will also be pulling hard for Murray, as tennis fans know that they need to savor every moment he is on the court moving forward. With that said, we’re backing Murray to win a set at -130. And if you have the bankroll, it might be worth sprinkling a quarter unit or so on Murray to win outright.

The Pick: Murray To Win A Set (-110)