Murray, Wawrinka On Collision Course At Bordeaux Challenger
Andy Murray is celebrating his 36th birthday Monday in Bordeaux, France, where the Scot is gearing up for this week’s star-studded ATP Challenger Tour 175 event.
Despite being the third-oldest player in the Top 50, Murray can still take down the best players in the world. The three-time major champion proved so by rolling back the years at this month’s Aix-en-Provence Challenger, where he defeated World No. 17 Tommy Paul in the final, capturing his first title at any level since 2019.
Can Murray produce another strong week en route to a Challenger 175 crown at the BNP Paribas Primrose? The path won’t be easy. The former World No. 1 could clash against three-time major champion Stan Wawrinka in the second round, should the Swiss defeat qualifier Ugo Blanchet in his opener.
An encounter between Murray and Wawrinka would be must-watch TV for the tennis world. The pair has met on the biggest stages of the sport, including in two tour-level finals (2008 Doha, 2019 Antwerp) and two Grand Slam semi-finals (Roland Garros 2016, 2017). They’ve also met at the Nitto ATP Finals, in Davis Cup, and at the Olympics. Across 22 tour-level meetings, Murray leads Wawrinka 13-9. If Murray were to meet the 24-year-old Blanchet, it would be their first meeting.
The second seed Murray is in the bottom half of the draw alongside Richard Gasquet, Ugo Humbert, Mikael Ymer, and Thanasi Kokkinakis. Arthur Fils and Luca Van Assche are among the #NextGenATP Frenchmen aiming for a run on home soil.
Jan-Lennard Struff, who was a finalist at the ATP Masters 1000 event in Madrid, is the top seed at the BNP Paribas Primrose. The World No. 28 was a semi-finalist at the Challenger 175 debut event in Phoenix, Arizona, where he fell short to eventual champion Nuno Borges. This week, the heavy-hitting German is seeded to meet Adrian Mannarino in the last four.
Fans in Bordeaux will be treated to a first-round clash between home favourite Benoit Paire and former World No. 3 Dominic Thiem. The pair has met three times before, with Thiem holding a perfect record, including a five-set victory over the Frenchman at the 2019 Australian Open. Paire arrives at the Challenger 175 off the back of a finalist finish at the Francavilla al Mare Challenger.
World No. 40 Sebastian Baez headlines the field at the Piemonte Open Intesa Sanpaolo. After a disappointing early exit in Rome, the Argentine looks to find his best tennis on the Italian clay. The 22-year-old Baez has captured both of his ATP tour-level titles and all six of his Challenger Tour trophies on the red dirt.
Baez will open against a home hope, Riccardo Bonadio or 19-year-old Gabriele Piraino. The Buenos Aires native is seeded to meet countryman Juan Manuel Cerundolo in the semi-finals. Fifth seed Taro Daniel and Oscar Otte are also featured in the top half.
Second seed Daniel Elahi Galan reached the last four at the Cagliari Challenger 175 event, where he lost to eventual champion Ugo Humbert. A four-time Challenger champion, Galan will aim for his first title of the season. Juan Pablo Varillas, Yosuke Watanuki, and Aleksandar Kovacevic are the other seeded players in the bottom half of the Turin Challenger draw.
Where can I watch the Bordeaux and Turin Challengers?
For App Users
To watch Challenger TV on the ATP WTA Live App, navigate to the screen you see when you open the app. On the purple navigation bar at the bottom of the screen, click the "More" button on the far right. The second option down will be "Challenger TV", where you can select any match from any ATP Challenger Tour event that day.
To view Challenger scores, draws, schedules and more, select "Scores" on the navigation bar on the bottom of your screen. At the top there are two tabs: "ATP Tour & Hologic WTA Tour" and "ATP Challenger & WTA 125". Select the latter and explore all the Challenger events for the week.