Andy Murrays latest opponent brands him a legend ahead of Winston-Salem clash

Andy Murray and Ash Barty pay tribute to each other

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Andy Murray has been labelled a ‘legend’ by his latest opponent, Frances Tiafoe. The Brit received a wildcard into the ATP 250 event in Winston-Salem this week and faces the world No 51 in the second round on Tuesday (August 24). Ahead of the match, the American took to Instagram to praise the three-time Grand Slam champion and share his excitement for their clash.

Murray was set to face off with Nick Kyrgios in a blockbuster opening round, with the winner meeting Tiafoe, but the Aussie pulled out shortly before the match.

Lucky loser Noah Rubin was forced to take his spot just half an hour after losing a two-hour qualifying match, with Murray beating the 2014 junior Wimbledon champion 6-2 6-0.

The former world No 1 will now face Tiafoe in a primetime Tuesday night match as both look to get some match wins under their belt ahead of next week’s US Open.

The pair have met once before, during the North American hard court swing last year, with the three-time Grand Slam champion winning in three sets.

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Murray faced Tiafoe in the opening round of the Cincinnati Masters 1000 last year, which was held in New York as a one-off as tennis returned during the coronavirus pandemic.

On the hard courts in Flushing Meadows, where the US Open is staged each year, the current world No 114 beat the home favourite 7-6(6) 3-6 6-1 in front of empty stands.

He then followed up the impressive win over Tiafoe, then ranked world No 87, with a win over Alexander Zverev to make the last 16.

The German went on to make his maiden Grand Slam final just weeks later, losing from match point up.

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Although Murray sealed victory over Tiafoe last year, the American has recently had an impressive run of form.

He made the round of 16 in the Masters 1000 in Toronto just two weeks ago, beating world No 10 Denis Shapovalov en route, so will be full of confidence.

The American is clearly feeling up to the challenge of meeting the former world No 1 once again, taking to Instagram to share his excitement.

Reposting a picture advertising their primetime night session clash to his story, Tiafoe, who received a bye to the second round, wrote: “Let’s have some fun tomorrow bro @andymurray”.

He piled on the praise for Murray, heralding his iconic status.

“Always dope to share the court with a legend,” he added.

“Pumped for this one.”

Murray or Tiafoe will next face the winner of a clash between second seed David Goffin and Thiago Monteiro.

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