Murray must master awkward clay court competitor in Barcelona

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Andy Murray squares up to Columbian Santiago Giraldo in his third round match at the Barcelona Open and he is 1/12 to dispose of his opponent and advance to the next stage.

Giraldo is ranked 54 in the world and has made it to the semi-final of the Mexican Open this year, only to be defeated by David Ferrer, he is 6/1 to cause a huge upset and make it into the last 8.

Murray progressed easily in the previous round with a clinical performance to beat Sergiy Stakhovsky in just 78 minutes.

The Scot never looked in trouble against the Ukrainian and cruised through the match-up displaying his ruthless streak throughout, claiming a simple straight sets win, a feat he is 1/4 to repeat here.

His opponent has overcome some difficult competitors to get to this stage and beat the 18th seed Denis Istomin in his first round match.

The unseeded man spends most of his time on clay and will be more at home on the surface than Murray, so there is every chance this could be an awkward task.

Both of the 24-year old’s victories so far have come via straight sets but it is highly unlikely that he will be able to hold off the challenge of Murray for at least one set, and he is a long shot at 14/1 to win 2-0.

However, punters believing Murray may be in for a tricky affair could want to put their weight behind a Giraldo 2-1 win at 10/1.

The Brit is looking to bounce back from a quarter-final defeat to Tomas Berdych in the first clay court meet of the season at the Monte Carlo Masters.

He is seeded second here behind clay court wonder Rafa Nadal, but he will be eager to test himself against the Spaniard if he can get to the final, and deny his rival a seventh title at this event.

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Aaron Cox

Aaron has written for a number of top-level publications, including FourFourTwo and the Manchester Evening News. As well as being a fanatical Rochdale AFC fan and blogger, he shares a passion for rugby league and golf.