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By Akshay Kohli
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World No.3 and reigning US Open Champion Andy Murray begins his campaign to lift the Paris Masters when he takes on local boy and wildcard Paul-Henri Mathieu in the second round. Murray was awarded a bye in the first round as a result of his seeding.
Playing his first tournament after the Shanghai ATP Masters, the Scot must be looking to go into the World Tour Finals with a lot of confidence by performing well here. He has had a good year so far, lifting 3 titles and also compiling a 53-13 win-loss record. With some fine serving along with some beautiful backhands, the Scot would be aiming to finish the year as World No.3 for the first time after Rafael Nadal withdrew from most of the season due to an injury. Murray, after his triumph at the US Open has raised the bar of tennis and has been displaying some outstanding tennis.
His opponent, Mathieu is on a comeback spree and jumped an amazing 37 places to 64 on the ATP Charts, all thanks to his semi-final stint at last week’s Davidoff Swiss Indoors. With a good backhand and the will to survive, Mathieu would be banking on the home support to help him test his higher ranked opponent. He is coming into this match with a straight sets victory in his previous round.
The two have faced each other 4 times with Murray maintaining a clean sheet of 4-0 against his French opponent. This match too, looks to be favoring Murray unless Mathieu has different plans.
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