Ricky’s picks for Tuesday at Queen’s Club, including Alcaraz and Murray

First-round action at the Cinch Championships will continue on Tuesday, when Carlos Alcaraz and Andy Murray are among those in action. Here are my previews and picks for two of the schedule’s best matchups.

(1) Carlos Alcaraz vs. Francisco Cerundolo

Alcaraz won the French Open a couple of weeks ago and now turns his attention to grass, on which he triumphed at both Queen’s Club and Wimbledon last summer. His title defense at the former event begins on Tuesday afternoon against Cerundolo. Their only previous meeting came five years ago on the red clay of the Palmanova Challenger, where Alcaraz cruised 6-2, 6-4.

Cerundolo may be at his best on clay, but he is capable on all surfaces–grass included. The 26th-ranked Argentine lifted the trophy in Eastbourne last summer. He is in fine form at the moment, too, having reached the last 16 at Roland Garros (lost to Novak Djokovic in five sets). Unfortunately for Cerundolo, this is obviously a terrible draw. Alcaraz is red hot and dropped just a single set during his trip to the 2023 Queen’s Club crown.

Pick: Alcaraz in 2

(WC) Andy Murray vs. (Q) Alexei Popyrin

Murray is the undisputed king of Queen’s. The 37-year-old Scot is the all-time leader in singles titles with six (2009, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016) in a historic tournament that has been around since 1881. Likely calling it quits on his career later this summer at either Wimbledon or the Olympics, Murray is thus making his final appearance at the Cinch Championships. Although he can never be written off at this event, success for the three-time Grand Slam champ in 2024 is unlikely. Murray has won just a single match since the Miami second round and that was via retirement at a Challenger tournament. He lost his opening match in Stuttgart this past week at the hands of Marcos Giron (6-3, 6-4).

It has already been a productive stay at Queen’s Club for Popyrin, who qualified for the main draw with wins over Otto Virtanen and Mackenzie McDonald. The 48th-ranked Australian also played well last week in ‘s-Hertogenbosch, where he beat Rinky Hijikata before falling to Tommy Paul in three tight sets. At this point in Murray’s career, this just feels like a little bit too tough of a test.

Pick: Popyrin in 3

Ricky contributes to 10sballs.com and also maintains his own tennis website, The Grandstand. You can follow him on Twitter at @Dimonator.

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