After losing the final of the first grand slam in 2016, Murray bounced back to win on his home courts at Wimbledon and hasn’t looked back since, taking the top spot on the world rankings and not relinquishing it.
Murray went through the ATP tour finals undefeated as well, beating Novak Djokovic in a straight sets blitz during the final to claim the crown as the game’s best player.While Murray looked good at his first tournament of the season in Doha, he fell to Djokovic in the final, losing 3-6, 7-5, 4-6. It might have been the wake-up call Murray needed ahead of the first grand slam of the year, but again it shouldn’t really effect his first round match.Marchenko, on the other hand, sits inside the top 100 in the world and is under pressure to maintain that after some shocking form at the back end of last season and into the beginning of 2017.The 29-year old Ukranian started his season in Doha and would have been keen to move through the rounds but simply didn’t going down to Australian Open 2017 Live Ivo Karlovic in a display of poor serving and errors.It didn’t get much better for Marchenko upon arrival in Australia, going down to wildcard winner Chris O’Connell in an embarrassing straight-sets defeat, only getting 43 per cent of first serves in and winning just 25 per cent of return points.What makes it worse for Marchenko is that he is playing so far under his potential – For a player who generally enjoys playing on the hard court and made it to the fourth round of the 2016 US Open, his form has been abysmal.
The pair has faced off once previously, back in 2011 again at the Australian Open. In that second round match, Murray was extremely dominant, winning in straight sets. It counts for little though, with Marchenko much more experienced come 2017.
Look, I love an upset as much as any other Aussie and to see Murray out in the first round would be bliss. But he is going to have a deep run in the Australian Open again, and he will kick it off in a dominant performance here.Murray in straight sets – easy as you like.
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The game is set to start at 9.30am GMT. Live coverage of the game is available on British Eurosport and Eurosport 1. Live scores and radio commentary is available on the official Australian Open site.
Andy Murray suffered a minor scare during his first round win over Illya Marchenko. The Scot won in straight sets, but was made to work hard for it by the Australian Open Live Stream. It took until the 12th game in the first set after both had broken each other for him to win, while the second set went into a tie breaker. The third however was a stroll after the first two sets took a toll on Marchenko.
Andrey Rublev is a regular on the ATP challenger circuit and is only breaking into the senior tour. The Russian achieved his highest singles ranking just prior to the start of the Australian Open and is currently ranked number 152 in the world. He has beaten the likes of Fernando Verdasco and Pablo Andujar during his career and could put up a fight if the world number one is not at his best.
They are facing each other for the first time in their careers and will face the winner of the game between Sam Querrey and Alex De Minaur in the third round.
Prediction: Andy Murray – straight sets
What players say
Andy Murray [on Andrey Rublev]: I’ve never hit with him or played against him, but I’ve seen him play before and he goes for it. He doesn’t hold back. He hits a big ball,” via the Guardian
Murray will face the 19-year-old Russian, ranked 152nd in the world, on Wednesday from 09:30 GMT.
Fellow Briton Dan Evans will also be in action in Melbourne, against seventh seed Marin Cilic.
“I’ve never hit with him or played against him, but I’ve seen him play and he goes for it,” Murray said.
“I know a little bit about him and he doesn’t hold back. He hits a big ball.”
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Rublev is appearing in his second Grand Slam – he was knocked out in the first round of the US Open in 2015.
“I’m so excited, I have nothing to lose. He’s the best tennis player at the moment. So I will just try to take a great experience from this,” he said.
Murray was left frustrated after his first round victory over Illya Marchenko, taking two hours and 48 minutes to register a three-set win.Murray’s next opponent, Alex Rublev, took part in a boxing session in a Melbourne gym before the Australian Open”I have had a lot of tough losses here, for sure,” said Murray, who has been beaten in the final in Melbourne five times in seven years.
“I have played some of my best tennis on hard courts here. But I keep coming back to try. I’ll keep doing that until I’m done.”Elsewhere, Roger Federer faces American Noah Rubin from 04:00, while fourth seed Stan Wawrinka will play Rubin’s compatriot Steve Johnson.
World number one Angelique Kerber plays Germany’s Carina Witthoeft Australian Open Live, while Serena and Venus Williams appear in the first round of the doubles, playing Hungary’s Timea Babos and Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.Great Britain’s Davis Cup captain Leon Smith We’ll learn a lot more about Rublev in this match. He is a big-hitting player who goes after the shots and plays high-octane tennis.It’ll be good to see what this young man can bring but it’s a very tough ask for someone of that age against Andy.It’s an environment that Andy really enjoys. You would expect him to get the job done, but he will study him and won’t take anything for granted.