Former world number one Andy Murray faces a difficult start to the 2020 US Open, having been drawn against Japanese youngster Yoshihito Nishioka in round one.
The match takes place on Tuesday, with the Scot fresh from a recent third-round exit at the Western & Southern Open.
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The 33-year-old fell to Canada’s Milos Raonic, but enjoyed a thrilling second-round victory over world number seven Alexander Zverev, his first win over a top-ten player in three years.
Nishioka, meanwhile, has enjoyed a rapid rise since turning professional in 2014. The left-hander secured his highest ever world ranking of 48th in February earlier this year, and that’s where he has remained since.
That’s due to appearances in Wimbledon in 2016 and 2018, where he fell in the first round on both occasions.
But 2019 provided much more reason to celebrate, with Nishioka reaching the second rounds of both the French Open and US Open. Another first-round appearance at Wimbledon also helped further his stock.
And 2020 has been his biggest success to date, beating Serbian Laslo Dere and Brit Dan Evans in the Australian Open, before eventually falling to eventual champion Novak Djokovic in round three.
It’s been quite an improvement for the youngster in such a short period of time. But he will certainly find it tough against all the experience of his Scottish opponent.
Fortunately for Nishioka, however, he comes up against a player who has been through the wars in recent months.
The Scot returned to practice in March this year after undergoing resurfacing hip surgery in January 2019. But he has suffered several setbacks since then. He pulled out of the Australian Open at the beginning of the 2020 season, but is finally back on the court.
It’s currently 4/11 for Murray to come out on top, with Nishioka available at 11/5.
The 2012 US Open champion is 13/8 to secure victory in straight sets. He’s currently 11/4 to win 3-1, and 5/1 to grind out a 3-2 victory.
His opponent Nishioka is available at 8/1 for a straight-sets victory.
And the Japanese native is 13/2 and 7/1 to win 3-1 and 3-2 respectively.
The Scot is 4/9 to win the first set, with his opponent available at 13/8.
And it’s currently 11/10 for just three sets to be played, 7/4 for four sets and 11/4 for five sets.