Andy Murray has cruised through the first two rounds at Wimbledon this year, and though on paper his third round opponent John Millman shouldn’t cause the Brit too many issues, we reckon there are a few reasons the two-time Slam champion should be a tad cautious.
The 29-year-old world number two is yet to drop a set in SW19, easing past Liam Broady in the first round in straight sets, and then doing the same to Yen-Hsun Lu.
Millman meanwhile has been put through the ringer, with the 27-year-old Australia opening with a five-set epic over Albert Montanes before a slightly easier, but equally impressive four-set win over the 26th seed Benoit Paire.
Should Murray prevail here, he’ll find himself possibly up against the up-and-coming Nick Kyrgios, before the likes of Tomas Berdych, Stan Wawrinka or Juan Martin del Potro potentially await.
But here are a few reasons why it might not be so easy for the Brit…
As time goes by
The pair have met just once before, three years ago in Brisbane and Millman pushed Murray hard.
Murray eventually prevailed 6-1 5-7 6-3, but Millman was ranked well outside the top 100 that day, and now faces the two-time Slam champion as a much-improved number 67 in the world.
Having taken a set off him before, it’s 5-1 Murray wins 3-1, and 12-1 on the 29-year-old edging a five-set thriller.
Which leads us nicely into our second argument…
Murray loves making things difficult
How often do we flick the telly on and find Murray yelling at his racket? We then glance up to the scoreboard in the corner to find he’s a set or two down to a guy most of us need to go and Google.
It’s been so far so clean for Murray this year, but the Scot is often vulnerable in the opening exchanges, and he was in a spot of bother early on versus Yen-Hsun Lu last time out.
Millman will doubtless be aware of that, and a strong start from the Aussie could cause the home favourite to get a little flustered.
And our final reason to treat this match with caution…
Stranger things have happened in SW19 should Millman end home hopes.
Just look at Rafael Nadal’s straight sets defeat to Steve Darcis in 2013, or Jelena Dokic destroying then-world number one Martina Hingis in under an hour. We could go on.
There’s something in the air in south-west London at this time of year, and it’s always there. Lingering. Waiting. Lurking to cause another gasp from a stunned crowd.
All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.