Andy Murray to breeze past Feliciano Lopez into last 16
Andy Murray can be expected to respond to his unconvincing five-set second-round success against Robin Haase with a more comfortable triumph against Feliciano Lopez.
The 25th seed is theoretically Murray’s toughest opponent yet but has a dismal record against the world number four having lost each of their previous five showdowns, claiming just one of the dozen sets that they have contested.
That explains why the 2008 finalist is a huge 1/8 favourite to secure his spot in the fourth round despite having exited at this stage in two of the last four years, with Lopez 9/2 to equal his progress last year at Flushing Meadows with victory.
One statistic that should excite Murray fans is that on three of the last four occasions that he has won a Grand Slam match that went to five sets, he has reacted well to the brush with elimination by winning his next encounter in straight sets.
Given that trend and the Scot’s habit of beating Lopez – who his mother Judy nicknamed Deliciano as a nod to his good looks – the odds of 8/11 on him going through in three sets looks appealing.
Those who anticipate another testing day on the hard courts for the three-time major finalist can find odds of 5/1 on him losing the first but recovering to qualify, though he has never surrendered a first set to the Spaniard and is 2/9 to keep it that way.
Lopez has got this far courtesy of a 6-2 6-4 6-4 cruise past Tatsuma Ito and a win from behind in four against Canada’s Vasek Pospisil, the manner of which he is 7/1 to replicate against Murray.
The winner will go on to face either Juan Ignacio Chela or local hopeful Donald Young in the last 16, with Murray 6/1 to break his Grand Slam duck in the tournament, and his occasional practise partner 200/1.