These two 33-year-old players have already met 5 times between 2008 and 2015. Unsurprisingly, Andy Murray leads with 4 wins.
Interestingly, Robin Haase’s only victory was in this tournament in Rotterdam (in their first match in 2008). Could this give the Dutchman some ideas?
Robin Haase has already played 12 times this tournament in Rotterdam. It cannot be said that he has often been successful, as he has been eliminated 8 times in the first round (including his last two participations).
Andy Murray, for his part, has already participated 5 times in this ATP 500 (between 2008 and 2015). He has reached the quarter-finals three times, and lifted the trophy once (in 2009).
The current dynamics of these two players are quite different. While Andy Murray seems to be getting stronger since the beginning of the season, Robin Haase is stagnating at a level that is far from convincing.
Robin Haase can count on his ability to win a few free points on his commitments, notably by exploiting his good first balls. But his seconds are now very weak. In addition, he is far from performing well when the rallies start. He takes little initiative. And when he does, it all too often ends in a direct fault (and, shit, it’s frustrating).
Andy Murray is obviously not at his best level (will he ever find it again?). But what he’s been showing since the beginning of the season seems to me to be enough to win this match. The British should use his excellent comebacks to make the Dutchman doubt himself (and he doesn’t need much of that at the moment). In the rallies, he could well succeed in making his opponent crack more than once.
Andy Murray missed his debut in Montpellier. But we have to highlight the excellent match of Egor Gerasimov who was able to stay solid on serve (which should not be the case for Haase) but also let go of very aggressive shots (which often stayed inside).
Also, we do not yet know if there will be an audience in the stands. And if there are, there may not be many. That may not be enough to give Robin Haase an extra source of motivation.
I have no doubt that Andy Murray is in the mood right now. Robin Haase’s lack of confidence, coupled with his historic difficulties in this tournament, should allow the Scot to come out on top in this match.
Prediction: Andy Murray wins