Battle of the Brits Day 3 Predictions including Andy Murray vs James Ward

Andy Murray in action during the Battle of the Brits

The big match of day 2, Kyle Edmund vs Andy Murray, certainly lived up to expectations, with Edmund prevailing 10-5 in the third-set champions tiebreak. That Murray was able to go deep against a player who entered the lockdown period by winning an ATP title must go down as a positive result for the Scot, although he will surely be disappointed by the defeat. Day three will see three more singles matches, but who will come out on top?

Battle of the Brits Day 3 Predictions

Dan Evans vs Cameron Norrie

Head-to-head: Evans 1-0 Norrie

This match sees the top two seeds in the Greg Rusedski group clash. Both players won their opening matches, with Dan Evans defeating Jay Clarke in straight sets, whilst Cameron Norrie edged past Ryan Peniston in the champions tiebreak. Evans went into the lockdown in sensational form, reaching the semifinals in Dubai and the British #1 looks determined to assert his authority over his countrymen in Roehampton.

Norrie too has played some fine tennis, although he had not been quite at his best in the early part of the 2020 season. And his slow start against Peniston may also be a concern, even if he did turn on the afterburners in the second and third sets to get the win. Against Evans, on a surface that should suit the British #1’s game, Norrie likely won’t have the same chance to pick up his game. Expect a comfortable enough win for Evans.

Prediction: Evans in 2
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Paul Jubb vs Ryan Peniston

Head-to-head: first meeting

There isn’t a great deal of statistical data or previous meetings to work from here. But if either player is to have any chance of progressing in the tournament then they must win this match. Paul Jubb certainly has plenty of potential and he is in good company as a former NCAA champion, winning the tournament for South Carolina. Other former champions include John McEnroe, Steve Johnson and Bob Bryan. Peniston also played college tennis in the US, but without the same level of success.

That said, he is currently ranked above Jubb, who has yet to break into the world’s top 400. But that is surely only a matter of time for Jubb, who is four years younger than Peniston. It is Jubb who has the real weapons and although he has yet to play a match in the Battle of the Brits after replacing the injured Jay Clarke, he should be the favourite here. Expect him to overpower Peniston and claim a much-needed win.

Prediction: Jubb in 2
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Andy Murray vs James Ward

Head-to-head: first meeting

Two of the elder statesmen of British tennis will meet when Murray and James Ward face off to decide who qualifies from the Tim Henman group. They have never met in a competitive match before, but they will definitely know each other’s games, particularly from their time as Davis Cup teammates. Both men may also have to contend with fatigue, however, after playing on both day 1 and day 2 of the Battle of the Brits.

Indeed, there is some concern that Murray may be forced to withdraw after his epic contest against Edmund yesterday. But if the match does go ahead, Ward may well feel confident after his dominant win over Liam Broady. His ability to keep the younger man off balance with his backhand was particularly impressive. But Murray also has reasons to like his chances. He served well against Edmund and had the chance to seal the win in straight-sets.

However, in the end, his lack of match fitness and sharpness seemed to allow Edmund in to steal the match in the decisive tiebreak. Expect fitness to be the key to this match. Murray is obviously the better player and has shown a good level here, and is the favourite coming into this match as a result. But there are question marks over his fitness, with the Scot having played little competitive tennis over the past two years. Still, whilst Ward may well keep it close, expect Murray to prevail.

Prediction: Murray in 2

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