Carlos Alcaraz at the 2021 US Open
Date: 10 October 2021
Tournament: BNP Paribas Open
Round: Second round (Round of 64)
Venue: Indian Wells, USA
Category: ATP Masters 1000
Prize money: $8,761,725
Live telecast: USA – Tennis Channel & ESPN | UK – Amazon Prime Video
Carlos Alcaraz vs Andy Murray preview
Former Indian Wells runner-up Andy Murray will cross swords with rising star Carlos Alcaraz in the second round of the 2021 BNP Paribas Open.
Murray ousted Adrian Mannarino 6-3, 6-2 in the first round, while Alcaraz received a bye courtesy of his seeding.
Murray, a three-time Grand Slam champion, did not have it as easy as the scoreline might suggest. The Brit was forced to move around quite a bit and was tested by Mannarino’s flat groundstrokes. However, the Scot’s 82% win-rate on first serve helped him come through in straight sets.
Indian Wells is the only hardcourt Masters 1000 event missing from Murray’s trophy cabinet. But considering the fact that he is in the last lap of his illustrious career, it won’t be easy for the 34-year-old to lay his hands on the title this time around.
Carlos Alcaraz, making his Indian Wells debut this year, is no longer just a dark horse at big events but a serious contender to go all the way. His performances at the US Open showed that he has the ability to compete with the best on the biggest stage.
Alcaraz did well to beat the likes of Cameron Norrie and Stefanos Tsitsipas en route to the quarterfinals, where an unfortunate injury forced him to retire midway through his match against Felix Auger-Aliassime.
The second-round encounter against Murray at Indian Wells will be the 18-year-old Spaniard’s first match on tour since the US Open.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Andy Murray head-to-head
Andy Murray and Carlos Alcaraz have never crossed paths on tour before, which is why their head-to-head stands at 0-0.
Carlos Alcaraz vs Andy Murray prediction
Andy Murray practicing at the BNP Paribas Open
Andy Murray has posted a few good results recently, including wins over Denis Kudla, Ugo Humbert, and Vasek Pospisil. He also came close to beating Stefanos Tsitsipas at the US Open, where he led by two-sets-to-one before losing in five.
However, facing off against Carlos Alcaraz, who imparts tremendous topspin on his groundstrokes, will present a whole new challenge for the Brit in the slow conditions at Indian Wells.
Alcaraz has the ability to push his opponents well beyond the baseline with the incredible amount of topspin that he generates. Murray will require a lot of strength and control to deal with Alcaraz’s shots, and that could wear him down as the match progresses.
Murray’s main advantage lies in the fact that he has played a good amount of tennis post the US Open, while Alcaraz has not. The lack of match sharpness could hurt the Indian Wells debutant in the early stages, but once he finds his footing, he should be able to hit through Murray.
Prediction: Carlos Alcaraz to win in three sets.