Don't be fooled by the lopsided head-to-head here. Although Murray has a solid track record against Tsonga, at one point winning eight straight matches against the Frenchman, we're in new territory. Their most recent square-off was only weeks ago in Toronto, where the 6-foot-2, 200-pound Tsonga muscled past Novak Djokovic, Murray, Grigor Dimitrov and Roger Federer in succession. That's four Top-10 opponents in a matter of four days, including his third win over a world No. 1.
Murray, who made history last summer with his historic triumph on the emerald lawns of the All England Club, hasn't been back to a final since. Back surgery might be to blame, but it's clear that the 2012 US Open champion isn't playing to the best of his abilities. His five-set win over Dutch journeyman Robin Haase in the opening round here was a horror show of sorts, as the 27-year-old Scot battled cramps for much of the match. Although he's now into the fourth round, he hasn't exactly looked like a world beater since.
The potent and powerful Tsonga, meanwhile, is playing the kind of yellowball we saw him play when he first stepped into the spotlight at the 2008 Aussie Open, crushing his groundstrokes with authority and covering the court with a renewed confidence. The two-time Slam titlist Murray has earned his place as the favorite going in, but this one has all the makings of a gladiatorial clash to remember, and a potential upset.