Vienna QF previews and predictions: Murray vs. Isner, Ferrer vs. Troicki

Coming off a tough three-setter against Gilles Simon, Andy Murray will face John Isner in the Vienna quarterfinals on Friday. David Ferrer and Viktor Troicki are also aiming for a spot in the last four.

(1) Andy Murray vs. John Isner

Murray and Isner will be going head-to-head for the seventh time in their careers when they battle for a place in the semifinals of the Swiss Indoors Basel on Friday. All six of their previous encounters have gone Murray’s way, including five on hard courts. The second-ranked Scot has taken 10 of their last 11 sets since dropping the opener of what was a thrilling showdown at the 2014 Cincinnati Masters. They most recently collided this spring in round four of the French Open, with Murray getting the job done 7-6(9), 6-4, 6-3.
Murray 2
That has actually been one of Isner’s better results in 2016, during which the 6’10” American has lost a handful of close matches and therefore plummeted to 27th in the rankings. A much-needed positive week in Vienna has seen Isner outlast both Jan-Lennard Struff and Feliciano Lopez in three tight sets. Murray has also required a pair of three setters; he beat Martin Klizan 6-3, 6-7(5), 6-0 before overcoming Gilles Simon 4-6, 6-2, 6-2 in two hours and 41 minutes on Thursday. The top seed, however, has never had any trouble bouncing back from physically draining matches. He has won five of his last seven tournaments and Isner’s current level is such that the underdog is unlikely to be the one to stop Murray’s hot streak.

Pick: Murray in 2

Viktor Troicki vs. (5) David Ferrer

Troicki dropped outside the top 32 of the rankings in July and August, but a solid fall swing has allowed him to just about lock up a seed at the 2017 Australian Open. The Serb registers at No. 28 in the world and will likely climb to at least 26th if he advances to the Vienna semifinals. Among Troicki’s recent results are a quarterfinal performance in St. Petersburg, a semifinal showing in Chengdu, and a third-round finish at the Shanghai Masters after upsetting Rafael Nadal. So far this week he has defeated Kevin Anderson (4-6, 7-6(5), 7-5) and Dominic Thiem (6-2, 7-5).

Up next for Troicki on Friday is a fifth career contest against Ferrer, who leads the head-to-head series 3-1. The two veterans have not faced each other since the fall of 2014, when Troicki prevailed 6-3, 6-4 in Shenzhen. Ferrer’s victories came in 2009 (one in a dead Davis Cup rubber, the other at the Rogers Cup) and 2011 (in Monte-Carlo). The 34-year-old Spaniard appears to be slowing down in the latter stages of his career, as a modest 35-21 record for the season had him down at 19th in the world. Ferrer lost his opening matches in Shanghai and Antwerp, but so far in Vienna he has gotten past Kyle Edmund–via retirement–and Joao Sousa. Based on current form, Troicki should have an edge over Ferrer right now on anything except clay.

Pick: Troicki in 3

9 Comments on Vienna QF previews and predictions: Murray vs. Isner, Ferrer vs. Troicki

  1. Murray has made a habit this week of dropping a set before recovering to win and Isner is playing well. The match is bound to include the inevitable TBs so hoping Andy can improve his FS% this evening.

    Murray in 3 (again)

  2. Nice comeback from Ferru winning the last four games on the trot from 3-5 down in the decider.

    Absolutely Ferrerfic!!!

  3. Good to see Ferru back on form. But prefer he doesn’t repeat the upset tomorrow!
    Felt sorry for poor Isner. He looked like a fish out of the water tonight.

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