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Murray meltdown is cause for concern

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Jonathan Overend | 07:42 UK time, Monday, 6 September 2010

Andy Murray has a reputation, proudly earned over a six-year career of comebacks and marathons, as a fighter who loves the heat of combat - someone who hates to lose.

On his US Open debut in 2005, having won through qualifying, he was sick on court but still recovered to beat Andrei Pavel in five sets. He has proved, time and again, his ability to turn matches around and recover lost causes.

So why, against Stanislas Wawrinka, did he look like a beaten man as early as the second game of the third set, barely moving on his baseline? Why was there so little fight and so much anger?

Relentless ranting, rackets thrown, negative body language - it wasn't pretty. I must confess, I thought those days were over.

Did we see such antics in Australia, when he made the final of his most impressive major tournament to date, or at Wimbledon, when he returned to form after a springtime slump to reach the semis?

He was impeccably behaved at both.

Surely he realises that when his mood turns and the atmosphere darkens, matches tend to slip away from him and tournaments end with painful post-mortems.

This bizarre match - probably the strangest I have seen Murray play since his crazy defeat to Gael Monfils at the French Open of 2006 - required considerable explanation.

Was he injured? If so, how badly? Was he ill? Was he fatigued? If so why?

We filtered into a press conference, less than 20 minutes after match point, for a series of one-sentence answers from a crestfallen Murray. And no amount of tiptoeing from the vexed journalists could elicit a reasonable explanation.

His leg was hurting and he felt pins and needles in his right arm but injury, he confirmed, wasn't to blame for his surprise loss. He felt flat and, to some extent, fatigued. Wawrinka, he acknowledged, was simply the better player.

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Murray must be praised for giving credit to his opponent. But if he was genuinely injured, to the point of not being able to play close to his best, then he shouldn't be afraid to say so.

Last year, after losing in the fourth round to Marin Cilic, we had the same situation. It later transpired he was carrying a wrist injury that ruled him out for six weeks in the autumn.

So was he injured against Wawrinka or not?

Oddly, he never called for an official medical timeout. Every time the trainer arrived, twice to rub the thigh and once to manipulate the neck, the treatment was within the confines of the regular change of ends.

Why didn't he take a timeout, as Wawrinka did for his own thigh problem in the third set?

Poor Murray, who fronted up to the media professionally but looked shell-shocked, didn't seem to have an answer. At one point, he said: "I just didn't feel great and it's my fault that I didn't".

There speaks a confused man.

He looked dizzy and troubled, such a contrast from the free spirit who blazed his way past David Nalbandian, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer in successive days in Toronto.

Perhaps the pressure is getting to him. Perhaps the split with coach Miles Maclagan has preyed on his mind. Perhaps he had a dodgy prawn. He wasn't saying.

His new coach needs to be someone he totally respects and will listen to. That coach, in turn, needs to feel comfortable saying the things that need to be said.

At the age of 23, Murray's impending decision is arguably the most important of his career so far. He has the ability to win a major tournament by himself but, after this episode, he clearly needs guidance and support.

Throughout all this, we must praise - as Murray rightly did - Wawrinka.

The Swiss impressively ran off a thigh injury, which required heavy taping in the sixth game of the third set, played some terrific tennis and held his nerve amidst the strange events on the other side of the net.

Wawrinka fought through his troubles and found a way to win. It was unusual - and faintly concerning - to find Murray failing to do the same.

Comments

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  • Comment number 1.

    He's never winning a grandsalm til federer and nadal retire.

  • Comment number 2.

    Jonathon

    I think you are dead right about this, Murray needs to drop the "team Murray" team of advisors, drop his ego a bit and listent to a top coach.... He obviously has the talent to win a major. But as the same way as Henman, is he does not not listen to someone who has coached another player to a slam he might never win one and that would be a real shame.

  • Comment number 3.

    Lets get real. Murray will never be that good a player, he doesen't have the fire to achieve much more. He has only got so far as he has because of his mothers insistance. No coach can improve Murray aas he acts with resentment at any advice given. His body language shows the true picture. He has enough money and he would prefer to have more time spending it.

  • Comment number 4.

    McEnroe would blow up on the court but, usually, he was very good at channeling that anger into playing better. When Murray gets angry with himself it tends to always affect his game badly; he's better when he has that sangfroid about him.

    I do think there could be an element of pressure in this. He's clearly got the game to beat the best players around, but he's often beating them away from the Grand Slam glare.

    He's still just that one rung of the ladder away from being someone that can win a Slam, but he's been that one run away for years now. Something needs to give, the right coach and just that right bit of luck at the right time perhaps to get him his first GS and will probably lead to more.

    But it won't happen if he doesn't make the right move soon.

    Credit to Wawrinka for managed to play through his own dodgy fitness and put the pressure on. He deserves his place regardless of a Murray injury or not.

  • Comment number 5.

    Personally it irritates me that Murray seems to have gone back to wearing a cap during play, something which he seemed to have abandoned over the last couple of years. If there's anything guaranteed to make you hot and sweaty during exercise its wearing a cap, but I bet nobody asked him about that in the press conference. (I AM being serious incidently).

    Also, Murray does seem to have an unenviable habit of running into dangerous 'floaters' like Wawrinka who happen to be absolutely on fire on the day (like Cilic last year), and can't work out a way to get past them.

  • Comment number 6.

    Murray was way too sure about wining the tournament. At the first moment of difficulty he collapsed both psychologically and physically. It is not the first time.

  • Comment number 7.

    Honestly a couple of years ago I thought of Murray as arrogant. How much of that was coming from the way he carried himself and how much that comes from his portrayal in the media, I don't know. All I do know is that in the last year I've watched that arrogance (which is the other side of the coin to self confidence) slowly turn into self doubt.

    I can't remember what he said exactly when he lost to Federer two years ago in the US Open Final but I'm sure I remember the feeling that while he'd failed at that major, his time would come. I don't get that feeling from him now. Now he doubts his own ability to go through with it.

    I hope for his sake that the conceited Murray comes back. There's no way he can win one this way. The man was either physically or mentally jaded, that or just plain ill, though he did seem to dismiss any physical ailment out of hand.

  • Comment number 8.

    Jonathan

    Do you think that perhaps the team tried something which didn't work? He was concerned about playing 7 matches in 12 days and I wonder if Team Murray tried something a bit different with his foods or fluids that didn't work. Possible?

  • Comment number 9.

    I think yesterday, the physical difficulties came about from the pressure Murray is putting himself under.

    From the start, and the Sky commentators said as much, the pressure was on Murray. He fights his way back into the first set, takes it on the breaker and then gets to the point he is serving for the second set.

    In the back of his mind though, he knows Wawrinka is a dangerous player, and a guy who has given him trouble before - losing that second set the way he did crystallises those fears and the fatigue becomes increasingly more troubling as he falls further behind on the scoreboard. Those were two gruelling sets up front, and Murray probably needed to regain the momentum in the third to win, which of course he never did.

    There's no way he should have lost yesterday, Wawrinka's recent form has been modest and the US Open conditions should favour Murray. But good players with great coaches (Wawrinka has Peter Lundgren, who is top-notch - who he hired, perhaps notably, around the same time Murray split from MacLagan) can pull out big wins, and no question Wawrinka deserved the victory.

  • Comment number 10.

    First serve % as usual was poor in the Grand Slam, thus he doesn't win enough cheap points on his serve plus second serve doesn't have enough spin. Also being passive in rallies is causing inferior players to beat him. Coach that improves his serve is needed urgently.

  • Comment number 11.

    Murray lost the plot in his head, you could see him giving the match away when he lost the second set. I turned off because weve seen it before and you knew he was going to throw it away. He didnt seem to want to face the fact that he had a game on against someone he was meant to beat and was going to need to dig in. Frankly, it was unprofessional.

    I agree with the comments about him not being able to channel his anger and also agree he is in real need of a coach, one who can work on his mindset and confidence above all. Arrogance is the mark of a player who doubts himself at heart. He needs to become a believer.

  • Comment number 12.

    I'm a big admirer of Murray's ability, and his massive contribution to British tennis, but his performance and attitude in last night's game was pretty embarrassing ... as was his Kevin the Teenager press conference afterwards! He's achieved a huge amount in the game, but there must be real doubts now about whether he can ever take the extra step to a Slam. It doesn't look likely.

  • Comment number 13.

    The first thing he should do is to stop writing columns or blogs during the tournaments. Why getting involved into these distractions?

    Perhaps he looked too far ahead. Take it 1 game at a time. Before the tournament started, he was talking about winning the whole thing all the time (perhaps the media has something to do with it). It's ok to be optimistic, but before you can win a final, you need to beat some other players in the earlier rounds too!

  • Comment number 14.

    You're supposed to be a BBC journalist. Shouldn't you know the difference between "illicit" and "elicit"?

  • Comment number 15.

    I am glad Murray Mania is over for another tournament. At least it's not as bad as Murray at Wimbledon. The media hype coupled with teenage girls shrieking: "come on Andy" does my head in. The excuses are running out fast. Nadal is 24 and has several Grand Slams to his name as did Federer at the same age. Murray can't make the last step and just as well because if he did win a Grand Slam the British public and the media would live of it for the next 40 years. Worse still I would have to witness his mother's soaring testosterone manifest itself in wild gesticulation and fist pumping.

  • Comment number 16.

    Agree that he needs a coach who has coached others to Slam wins.

    Also agree 100% that he plays better when he stays calm. Nadal said so a couple of years ago at Wimbledon.

    However, for all the people writing him off, get some perspective. Agassi won eight Grand Slam finals out of fifteen finals he got to. He also lost in early rounds at times. Murray is only 23.

    Agassi was 22 when he won his first at Wimbledon and it was on the back of a very poor run of form.

    He's a very good player who works hard. You certainly can't say for sure he'll never win a Slam.

  • Comment number 17.

    I've defended Murray in many discussions over the years, saying one day he'd do it. Now I just don't think he will.

    Post 1 says Murray will never win a slam while Fed and Nadal are still going, that's not the reason. He's beaten Nadal in slams before and will be able to be a waning Fed in the later years of his career. The problem is Murray's constant inability to beat "big hitters". How many of his "shock" Grand slam losses have been to these types of players? At the FO was perhaps the most obvious example, playing deep, passive tennis, allowing Berdych to not only dictate points but build a rhythm which took him through. If Murray played more aggresively against these players he would break up their game a bit. Just hitting balls backs and letting them get their big forehands swinging is always a bad idea.

  • Comment number 18.

    The way Murray played in Toronto was worthy of many Grand Slams, he just needs to get some consistency going and to get his head sorted. He surely will win one in the future, but he needs to get his act together.

    Really though, I agree with one of the previous comments. Murray does have a habit of coming up against players 'on their day'.

    The hype is kind of annoying. He had a bad day like lots of other top professionals. Deal with it.

  • Comment number 19.

    "But if he was genuinely injured, to the point of not being able to play close to his best, then he shouldn't be afraid to say so."

    So Murray should not be afraid to say he was injured, Mr Overend, but if Roger Federer dares to speak the truth under prolonged interrogation from the press, as after his Wimbledon defeat, he is pilloried for the rest of the year by a hugely biased section of the UK press - including yourself, I might add - for "making excuses". Double standards or what? I complained about that at the time, and that complaint still stands.

    If Roger had advertised his injuries and upset his opponent's rhythm by repeatedly calling the trainer, would the press have made the excuses for him, as it is doing for Mr Murray? I think not. He would almost certainly have been accused of gamesmanship

    Anything to say about this, Mr O?



  • Comment number 20.

    Argh!! The British public rounded on Henman because he wasn't a "winner". Then we said that Murray was "arrogant" and "rude" and disliked him for that. Now he just can't channel it right and looks jaded on court.

    There's just too much analysis. Every game is dissected. Wawrinka is a good player, and at the top the difference between these guys is a small percentage. Murray had the ability to win the match, definitely, but he wasn't playing at 100% (as nobody can every time) and lost to a very good player. End of story. Well done Wawrinka. No need for Murray to go back to the drawing board, let's just loook ahead to the next tournament, and get right behind him. I really hope he does win a major, as you can't doubt his effort, but if he doesn't he's been a terrific player and has recorded a number of wins over RF, one of the top sportsman in history.

  • Comment number 21.

    Murray'd be stupid to tell the truth about his failure, because there'd be no good way to explain defeat to other people. Everyone would have a different view at the happening.

    As much as I dislike Murray's uninspiring body language during the matches, I find it right that he kept his self-assessment for himself.

    The right answer to defeat is winning the next challenge.

  • Comment number 22.

    "He played better than me," said Murray afterwards. "There's not a whole lot more to it."
    ___________________________________________________
    Why can't we just accept that? When Nadal lost to Soderling in the French a couple of years back, it was all praise for Soderling. Murray loses to someone he is expected to beat and there has to be a big, sinister reason for it. As TJLM said, he had a bad day.
    I also agree with Tadees' humorous post (15). I don't dislike Murray but kind of want him to lose so as to disappoint the cartel of biased, screaming idiots who cheer every opponent's double fault as though Murray has just won the slam.

  • Comment number 23.

    jcb211 - totally agree.
    Murray had an off day, that's all there is to it.
    To those who are complaining about the nature of his press conference afterwards - the guy had just finished a mammoth and obviously draining match, coupled with being knocked out of a Grand Slam. He obviously wasn't going to be too perky.

  • Comment number 24.

    #19: Federer apparently had his injury since the end of the previous tournament, but didn't choose to mention it until Berdych beat him. That seems more like making excuses.

    Murray certainly does need to stop having these funks in matches. It was the same against Berdych at Roland Garros. It normally hinders his cause.

    Maybe it might have helped had he been more tested before meeting Wawrinka. Wawrinka was, I think, the highest ranked player that any of the top ten had played to that stage of the tournament, so there's no disgrace in losing, even though I think Murray should have won it. He said so himself.



  • Comment number 25.

    Agree there is too much analysis. All we learned last night, if proof were ever needed, Murray is no nor will he ever be a Federer or Nadal.

    They are very unusual players, it is not normal to rach the latter stages of every grand slam you play even for players who eventullly win 2-6 slams and federers run of making qf's sf's f's and winning slams is incredible. Nadal record is also amazing. Murray has reached 2 hard court slam finals, beat Nadal to reach them both times. That acheivement should not be underestimated. Did anyone who watched Tsonga thump Nadal off court in 2008 believe that Nadal could win a hardcourt grand slam. Murray can recover from this

  • Comment number 26.

    "This bizarre match required considerable explanation"
    "And no amount of tiptoeing from the vexed journalists could illicit a reasonable explanation."

    It was only 20 minutes after a bad loss and you expect, even demand, a detailed response as to what happened and when it's not forthcoming he's roundly criticised. Andy needed much more time to digest and understand what had happened before being able to give comprehensive reasons for his performance.

  • Comment number 27.

    HighTreason wrote:

    "Lets get real. Murray will never be that good a player, he doesen't have the fire to achieve much more."

    That match last night the first one of Murray's you've watched then?

    This kind of snap judgement is indicitive of your average British sports fan. When they win, they are brilliant, the best in the whole world ever, when they lose they are not "that good a player" (and that's putting it mildly).

  • Comment number 28.

    I have to agree with jcb211 - yes this wasn't Murray's finest match but Wawrinka has been as high as no 9 in the world im 2008, despite his inauspicious year. Men's tennis is hugely competitive and physically demanding and the margins between defeat and victory are small, even for top 10 players, particularly if you're not on top of your game.
    Federer and Nadal are going to go down amongst the finest players in history, and the consistency they bring to grand slams in particular has raised expectations of consistency in 'the rest' of the field. Murray's record in grand slams is decent this season - final in Oz, 4th round in French, semis at Wimbledon, making this arguably his only truly poor grand slam result this season. The number of Masters events he has won clearly show his ability - correct me if I'm wrong but I'm pretty sure neither Henman nor Rusedski won one.
    The one thing that disappoints me is Murray doesn't seem to have improved any one particular area of his game over the last season, the serve coming to mind - look at the way Nadal has improved his volleying ov the last 12-18 months.
    If a fist-pumping mother with "soaring testosterone" is the price to play for several years of tennis consistently in the top 5 players in the world with several Masters titles and two grand slam finals, I think a lot of professional tennis players would happily accept that...

  • Comment number 29.

    He won't win this tournament because at the moment, he doesn't have a grand slam game.

    When Murray plays on hard courts in 3 set matches in all other tournaments throughout the year, I expect him to beat everybody, all things being equal. That includes Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. He's proved time and again on Masters circuits especially that he can take these guys apart in 3 set matches and win important titles.

    But he doesn't have the game or mentality (will he ever have it) to translate these performances consistently to 5 set matches. Federer is the shining example of someone who is the opposite of Murray - he raises his game for grand slams. Murray's game deteriorates. Yes, he's had some very good grand slam experiences, but for someone who has been top 4 in the world for 2 years now, he should be getting to more semis and possibly getting closer to winning one.

    The talent, the game play, the intelligence - it's all there. The consistency isn't and that is down to mentality. He has a massive psychological grand slam barrier in front of him. Nadal and Federer don't have this barrier, and to a lesser extent Djokovic, although he can't cope in very warm weather so he has his own demons.

  • Comment number 30.

    Jonathan,

    Firstly, can I say - I want your job. (joke)

    On to the tennis - as noted above, unless you are Federer or Nadal you are sometimes going to lose before the very late stages of a slam. The worrying thing, is the manner of the defeat and Murray's rather strange behaviour. I could tell from a few snatches of the radio commentary in sets 1 & 2 that he was having "one of those days".

    Would it be fair to say Murray is a little immature - a very young man inside the 23 year old body? He and we need to remember that paradoxically 5 years (and surely he has another 5 years at the very top) is both a long time as well as a short time! Okay it will whizz past, but also very much will change in terms of the opponents around him and his own form and mental state. He needs to stay at the top of his game and form to take any chances that come along, while perhaps coming to terms with the fact he is not going to be a dominant force in the game i.e. his level is a world no. 3 or 4 not a world no.1. And we would all need to come to terms with this also!

    As noted, we can't be sure a coach can do this for him - but we can only hope!

    Whichever way, he's the best we've got and the best we've had for 70 years so without wishing to be harsh it's a lot better than following A. N. Other

  • Comment number 31.

    I can't help thinking that Murray's performances are inversely correlated with the amount of "bigging-up" he gets from the BBC and Mr.Overend.

    The day this stops ("The Andy Murray Column" for goodness sake!), is the day he might just win.

  • Comment number 32.

    #28: Henman won the Paris Masters in 2003 and Rusedski also won the Paris Masters in 1998 (beating Sampras), but Murray's titles have eclipsed them both.

  • Comment number 33.

    What a load on nonsense being written here - saying that Murray is not that good a player or won't win a GS due to Nadal or Federer! He beat both of them one after the other only weeks ago. It's normal for anyone to have highs and lows, good days and bad days. He just has to keep on improving so that even on a bad day he is better than the rest - and he can do that.

  • Comment number 34.

    Why do people in this country repeatedly say that one day Murray will win a SLAM?
    Is it because Federer and Nadal said he wouldwin a major immediatly after defeats to them? Fed and Nadal say that to all players they beat.
    I've been saying for years, Murray has peaked and is in decline - physically and mentally.
    He will always be a major threat but that's about it
    Murray fights great (at times) but is not a great fighter. Great fighters are natural fighters like Connors, Agassi, Nadal, William sisters and tend not not suffer from early burn out.
    Murray is in burn out phase

  • Comment number 35.

    @31 politeBoobie wrote:
    I can't help thinking that Murray's performances are inversely correlated with the amount of "bigging-up" he gets from the BBC and Mr.Overend.

    Here, here.

    BBC commentators often mention the pressure of expectation that is put upon our sports people by the media and the problems that creates, but seemingly never reflect on the fact that it themselves and the BBC that are one of the biggest, if not the biggest culprits...


  • Comment number 36.

    #34: how could you have been saying "for years" that Murray has peaked? He only turned pro in 2005 and is clearly better now than he was then.

    Mind you, I do agree that it's nonsense saying that Murray WILL win a Slam (as it is saying that he won't), but it is fair to say that he CAN win a Slam. He may never do so, but he's capable of beating anyone.

  • Comment number 37.

    What went wrong? Might it not have been Cincinnati?

    After the high point of Toronto, Andy said he nearly gave up v Mardy FIsh in Cincinnati. He should've. Fighting a lost cause in that cauldron looked, in the wider context, to be a very bad idea. Maybe yesterday he reaped what he sowed then? If the US Open was the target his strategy coming into the tournament was questionable. Needed a break between Toronto and the US Open.

  • Comment number 38.

    Andy has to play more aggressive ALL the time. Looping that forehand back to world class players is going to lead to what happened yesterday more often. It has nothing on it this shot, neither pace, length nor much spin. If he is trying to "mix it up" he needs to remember this is not club or county tennis. At least on his backand when he opts out of hitting it during rallies it has some slice and the opponent cannot hit winners off it. Another huge difference between Andy and the 2 best is how they nearly always get a big first serve in on the big points.
    As you don't have a coach Andy - hope this helps! You can be competitive for about 20 more Slams - one of them could well have your name on it - I hope so.

  • Comment number 39.

    Watched the game and Murray lost because he deserved to simples!!!!

    First serve % was very very poor and some of his errors were also very poor.

    Shot selection particularly the drop shot was bad

    And finally the most important thing with Murray as always was his head was in completely the wrong place and mentally he was not ready for a tough battle be it Warwinka or anyone else

    Back to the use of foul languange harranging his coaches and ''team'' and allowing his opponent to get under his skin and bully him on court just the way Fish did at Queens.

    Instead of complaining to the umpire about Warwinka delaying him when he was serving he should have used the rules to his advantage as the player serving you dictate the pace of the game he should have fired a couple of first serves down when he was ready and not waited for Stan that would have made the Swiss player up his pace a little

    Warwinka shouting allez and fist pumping when he won close points and particularly towards the end of the match was clearly a tactic to irritate further an already irritated Murray and it worked. He has to learn like Federer and Nadal to completly ignore these attempts to wind him up

    Maclagan took Murray to 2 GS finals where he lost to the greatest player ever and he lost the semi of this years wimbledon to the eventual champion who won in fine style and was not going to lose to anyone and in fact hasn't lost at wimbledon for two years

    sacking Maclagan may not have been the smartest move it would seem Murray is clearly a difficult and complec character and Maclagan did seem to at least get him mentally right most of the time

  • Comment number 40.

    jazzbenson wrote:

    I've been saying for years, Murray has peaked and is in decline - physically and mentally.

    -----------------------------------------------------

    Jazzbenson, it's this kind of post that really should be moderated, just for how ludicrous it is. You have been saying for years that he's in decline. So, I guess when he was about 18 or 19? Come on, the guy has been progressing well over the years. He has his ups and downs, but so do all sportsman. Nadal has had tought times. RF has too, and I doubt we'll ever see a player of his calibre again in our lifetimes. He's young and has been at No.4 in the world, and the future could well hold a slam. It may not, true, but let's just support him and hope he does push on.

    "Burn out phase" - tell that to Nadal and Federer the other week, because he must have been good in his peak then....maybe when he was 14 or something.

  • Comment number 41.

    I'm disappointed for Andy.
    He has a great technique which many professionals would love to have.
    Unfortunately, his serve lets him down from winning more matches. He also needs to be more aggressive, not just in his strokes, but also in his body language......... check out how purposeful Rafa is on court.
    If it needs an expensive coach to tell him these things then I'm puzzled........ these are obvious places to start looking for solutions to his issue.
    I'm sure he'll sort them out.
    As for the posters on these forums who gloat, saying he'll never win a slam, they just hope he wont win a slam, cos he's a Scot. Sad sad people.

  • Comment number 42.

    The British media put all the pressure on him to win a grand slam!! They have done for years now! i like andy murray as a teenis player but all the hype and fuss the media cause makes me wanna see him get beat and not win a GS coz ul never ever hear the end of it!! its all too familiar i mean all you gotta do is look at the english football team and their "adoring" media!!!

  • Comment number 43.

    Murray = bottler, how much more evidence is needed? Very good player but lacks the backbone on the big occasion, it's really as simple as that.

    Murray's been in two Grand Slam finals and has embarrassed himself both times.

  • Comment number 44.

    I’m certainly not a Murray fan, but he has the ability to win a slam... No doubt about that.

    Toronto was a slower paced surface and he thrived in those conditions. With Cincinnati being far quicker and hotter – possibly on a par with New York – Murray was always going to struggle against a clever, aggressive opponent.

    Maybe he will look for a coach that can add an extra dimension to his game... make him more confident going forward... make him play more aggressive on faster surfaces rather than being to defensive. He still has loads of time on his hands.

  • Comment number 45.

    Murray was poor last night, he didn't seem to have the game to penetrate wawrinka who isn't exactly the best mover on the court. Some of the tennis was what you would expect to see in junior tennis with both men content to float high balls into court. What happened to the backhand down the line in 4 sets I saw almost none, where was the flat backhand cross court again almost nowhere to be seen. What happens to the serve! He has the ability to top 130mph but is content to roll in the ball at around 100mph and still has a terrible percentage. The man winning cincinnati was a million miles away to the man on court last night a great shame.

  • Comment number 46.

    First of all, I still believe that Murray can win a grand slam in his career. He's still young and has at least 5-6 years ahead of him. He’s too good not to win a grand slam when he’s in-form.

    I just wonder why he's so reluctant to reveal about his injuries or physical issues in public. On the contrary, Federer usually has his own excuses for losing such as stiff back, muscle soreness, thigh strains, etc... By saying that, he tends to cheapen his opponent's wining, but sometimes it's necessary in front of vexed journalists.

    Of course, Murray’s answer is very simple and manfully, “He played better than me. There's not a whole lot more to it."

    However, he’s world no.4, there are only 3 tennis players who play tennis better than him in the world (ranking-wise), in that case, he needs to provide more reasonable answers or reveal truth of why he didn’t feel great on court. It seems that Murray is afraid of being candid in front of media by experiencing some controversial issues in his earlier career like ‘anyone but England’.

    At the age of 23, he carries the unique burden that seems too much for him. He knows better than to complain about all these baggage, instead he pretends nothing has bothered him physically or mentally.

    Now, Murray confessed that "I have no idea whether I'll win a Grand Slam or not.” Probably, it’ll help him to shed his burden and the ghost of Fred Perry.

  • Comment number 47.

    Andy is the sort of person who the media portray as someone who is capible of magical things - His skill and talent suggest the oposite.

    Andy will NEVER win a Grand Slam. Andy is slightly better then Tim Henman and we all know how much of a slop he was at Tennis.

    The Andy Murray fans who suggest he is talented and will win a grand slam are just blinded by there own selftistical ego's with no sense of realality. Look at the Facts. Hes an average player whom is no better then the average player he plays agaisnt.

    Roger, Nadal, Djokovic, Soderling, Del Pedro, Cilic etc... the top 15 players when in average form are twice the player Murray will ever be, Roger, Nadal and Djokovic could beat Murray blinded folded with a woodern tennis racket and still produce some of the finest tennis ever seen..

    Murray needs to retire now and save the hassel of embarassment to his fellow supports, the british public and to his team/family..

  • Comment number 48.

    Jibbers

    He has beaten Feds and Nadl both on more than one occassion

    With posts like yours I exect the rest of us will be happy at the end of school holidays and you have better things to do than post here....


    ---

    1. At 10:29am on 06 Sep 2010, Jibbers wrote:
    He's never winning a grandsalm til federer and nadal retire.

  • Comment number 49.

    Murray isnt good enough to combat the best players in the slams when they are on top form. You only have to look at his slam record and who hes lost to to see that. Forget the Masters Series as they are a whole different kettle of fish and a lot of the players just arent motivated enough to beat Murray there. The slams are different though and the big guns come out firing.

    Hes now gone into the 2009 and 2010 US Opens in great form, hyped up beyond belief by the British media and hes flopped against Cilic and Wawrinka before the quarter final stage. If that doesnt tell people he'll never win one then nothing will!

  • Comment number 50.

    There is no doubt that Andy Murray is a top class player but have said all along that his lack of natural athletic ability will always haunt him.
    You can only go so far with hard work and talent and then the natural athletic ability kicks in of which Federer, Sampras, Agassi and Nadal have in abundance.
    Henman also suffered with the same of limited athletic ability.
    I hope for all his hard work that he eventually wins a Grand Slam but do not really expect that to happen.

  • Comment number 51.

    I find it amazing how many people are so negative around Murray. He has had major issues over the years with being misquoted by the press. This has made him very guarded around the media particulary the British media. But his ability to talk to a camera or a press conference are irelevent. His ability on the court can surely not be questioned.

    He plays in probably the toughest era of mens tennis with Nadal and Federer as near perfect tennis playing freaks as one could imagine. He is only 23 has stayed within the top four for a sustained period of time. The guy is a top player who at 23 will win a major within the next 2 years. No player is going to consistently beat Roger or Rafa in the majors for a long period.

    For anyone to question his fitness or desire is crazy. Only Rafa has these atributes in as much of abundance as Murray. A bad day at the office yesterday (We all have them). Maybe a new coach who uses his undoubted counter punching skills but also gets him to be more agressive and try and win rallies more will help!!. But the constent negativity around one of our top sportsmen is mad. Give me Murray with his fighting attitude over timid Tim any day.
    Andy is ten times the player that Henman was. Henman is ten times the personality Murray is. I know which will achieve more on the court.

  • Comment number 52.

    How long do you keep giving excuses ?

    Like someone wrote above, Federer & Nadal had multiple grand slam wins by the age of 24.

    Murray is a very good tennis player, like many others before and who will come after him ; he's just not a "great" and until he wins a slam the record books will show he isn't.

    Montgomerie & Westwood in golf, Henman & Murray in tennis - all good enough to get in the top four in the world rankings but not one of 'em good enough to close out a major. One day, you run out of excuses and hard luck stories.

  • Comment number 53.

    47. At 1:29pm on 06 Sep 2010, Reccy wrote:

    Andy will NEVER win a Grand Slam. Andy is slightly better then Tim Henman and we all know how much of a slop he was at Tennis.

    Roger, Nadal, Djokovic, Soderling, Del Pedro, Cilic etc... the top 15 players when in average form are twice the player Murray will ever be, Roger, Nadal and Djokovic could beat Murray blinded folded with a woodern tennis racket and still produce some of the finest tennis ever seen..

    Murray needs to retire now and save the hassel of embarassment to his fellow supports, the british public and to his team/family..

    -----------------------------------------------------------------

    Murray beat RF and Nadal last week. They weren't blindfolded. They didn't have wooden tennis racquets. Who's Del Pedro? I'm not sure who his "fellow supports" are. The British public are not embarrassed by Murray, hence why we turn out to support him. His team?

    Go away

  • Comment number 54.

    This comment was removed because the moderators found it broke the house rules. Explain.

  • Comment number 55.

    When Federer lost in the first round at the French the year he won his first Wimbledon, it was like a rocket up his backside. Who says that Murray won't bounce back and win the AO 2011?

    No I'm not saying he'll be RF but he has the talent to do well in any tournament he plays, he just needs it to all come together.

  • Comment number 56.

    18 mistakes in Reccy's post. I wonder if I even got the gist of it...

  • Comment number 57.

    I feel sorry for Murray he clearly had a very bad day at the office.

    He needs a coach strong enough to stand up to both Andy and Judy if he is going to achieve his full potential.

  • Comment number 58.

    53. At 1:46pm on 06 Sep 2010, jcb211 wrote:

    You see? This is the sort of attitude that stops Murray from winning in the matches that count. The Grand Slams. Its people like you that make out average players are better than what they appear..

    Murray has "bad days" as they are so called, at every slam, where as the big names dont. This is why the records and his form suggest that he has the ability to not win a grand slam, proven in his previous matches at this sort of level.

    Wawrinka will be out of the next round, which Nadal and Federer in the finals with a 5 set exciting match to then hopefully Murray has the heart to retire from the game.. Such a disapointment to the game IMO!

    Now sshhhh you pest :-)

  • Comment number 59.

    The worry for Andy must be that he has lost against a decent player, no one special, just a solid player.

    Nadal or Federer would not lose a 3rd round match against someone like him. I dont believe it is the pressure getting to him, there will be huge pressure in Switzerland for Federer to deliver 7 the same in Spain for Rafa.

    I dont see how he will can cope with these type of defeats without it affecting him mentally. Lets not pretend that Cilic etc are genuine contenders for the majors & yet these type of players are halting his progress in the biggest tournaments.

    He does not have the 'one shot' to dig him out of trouble that a Sampras or Federer have, hence their ability to grind it out when not playing great.

    This is supposed to be his most comfortable surface, along withthe slightly slower Australian court, yet he has managed to reach two finals & been destroyed both times.

    Beating Federer in a Masters best of 3 is not the same as delivering in the big 4 tournaments. When he won in Toronto we were all told he is now favourite to go on the win at Flushing Meadows but he got bombed out by Mardy Fish in Cincinnati a week later & we again are told that this was good as he wont be burnt out for New York. How come Federer managed to get into both finals at the Masters yet not be burnt out by the 3rd game at Flushing?

    These are just excuses & lets be honest since Roger gave him a good hiding at Melbourne he has looked nowhere near a Slam winner, destroyed at the French & blown away at Wimbledon.

    You can talk talent all you want but he is further away now than he was 2 years ago in my opinion, all this talk of 'when Fed reitres & Nadal's knees give out' are pointless.

    You cannot predict who will come through next, when Sampras & Agassi went into decline we were told that Hewitt, Safin & Roddick would take the game on but it was a talented guy from Switzerland who blew them all away. Just because he is in the group behind them now doesnt naturally mean he will win one once they are no longer there.

    He needs to work hard on stamina, not muscles, his second serve & hire a top coach who will tell him a few home truths about what it tkaes to be a winner otherwise we could be watching the slw decline of our best player in decades. The difference between top 4 & being the top man is minute but it is about making sure all sides of your game are in top condition & Murray's mental side is severly lacking at present.

  • Comment number 60.

    Murray’s performance and behaviour last night was very disappointing. I simply wanted to shake him! From the point he led 3-0 in the 2nd set he appeared to be sulking. I am a big Murray fan and have felt more confident about him being able to win a grand slam than I ever did about Greg or Tim. But it does appear that he is beginning to have a block when he gets to the slams. I watch all sports and you do see top ranked players ‘sulking’ through respective matches – it seems to manifest itself in the lack of desire to get back into a particular match.

    One earlier contributor made a very valid point and something badly missed by the Sky commentary team last night – the woeful 1st serve stats. Because he fails so consistently to deliver top quality 1st serves it puts huge pressure on the rest of his game as he is not getting cheap / free points. Made Waw look like a top returner and all tennis fans know he is no more than ordinary in that area.

    The most frustrating aspect of all is the opponents he is losing to in the slams and the stages he is losing at. I know time is on his side but there are only 4 of these things a year – France and Wimbledon are going to be very difficult for him to ever win – so if you being really glass half empty you could say there are 2 a year. There really should be more semis at least for the ability he undoubtedly has. The best of 3 sets (issue me thinks) masters titles are nice but he and all his fans would trade a few for a slam. We all know that.

  • Comment number 61.

    AM just had a bad day. Everything is amplified with Murray because he's the sole british hope for probably at least the next 10 years ( maybe even more).

    He is abit confused. He can't get a lid on his emotions or at least he can't channel his anger into positive emotion, he sometimes struggled with tactical choice. he was not thinking clearly out there.

    For me it's clear. His coaching team have been good enough to get him to step 1 of his professional aims: break into the top 5 and be a real force to reckoned with among his peers at any tournament.

    Step 2 requires a different approach as it is much tougher to reach, but this is where Murray is at now. Step 2 is to win at least one grandslam and/ or become the best player in the world.

    I don't agree with one of the threads saying that Murray is only a slightly better player than Henman. He is much more talented at the still tender age of 23 and in his young career he has laready reached two semi-finals at Wimbledon and two finals (one at Australian open and one at the US Open. On those occasions he has lost to Federer twice, Nadal and an inspired and very much on form Roddick who was only beaten by Federer in the wimbledon final 16-14 in final set, after an epic counter.

    The recipe is simple, AM needs to hire a world reknowned coach who knows what it takes to win grand slams either through personal experience or even better having coached a player to win a grand slam. No disrespect to Miles Mc Clagan but on the world tennis scene who has heard of him before Murray hooked up with him? This is a critical priority. It will get his head screwed on properly, iprove his tactical awareness and most of all eliminate these mystifying performances where he just doesn't show up due to physical or mental fatigue (example Cilic last year and Wawrinka this year)



  • Comment number 62.

    I watched the match last night and Wawrinka played exceptionally well. With form like that he should be in the top 20 of the world rankings. Anyone who saw the match that even though Andy was down and out in the 3rd and 4th set I sensed like some of the crowd that Andy could turn the match on its head with some big points. Not many players in the world have that abillity.

  • Comment number 63.

    My god, some of the idiotic people who post comments on here who really have no idea is hilarious.

    Reccy, get a life.

  • Comment number 64.

    63. At 2:19pm on 06 Sep 2010, TJLM wrote:
    My god, some of the idiotic people who post comments on here who really have no idea is hilarious.

    Reccy, get a life.

    Sorry TJLM - Andy Murray is an aspired player and will win a grand slam, just you wait and see..

    Some people are just too stupid beyond belief.. Go sit in a corner and chew your hamd my friend. :)

  • Comment number 65.

    Yeeeah. Sarcasm doesn't travel over the internet, but I could sense some there.

  • Comment number 66.

    Supporting murray is frustrating because he has seemed to be on the verge for a long time. Contrary to what he says he did play badly last night; he wasn't there mentally; he let wawrinka dominate by being unbelievably passive at times; his decision making was awful and his body language was atrocious. He is a far better player than that.

    I feel sorry for him in many ways because i don't think he has had the belief, regardless of what he says, since australia that he WILL win a grand slam and its getting to him too much now.

    That said wawrinka is a great tennis player (what an amazing backhand he's got) and always has been. he seems to have more belief in himself and his ability with a new coaching team and on that form will be top ten again soon. My main consolation is having called this potential banana skin earlier than any journo ive encountered. Thought he was bein a bit cynical with the injury time outs though, he seemed fine to me

  • Comment number 67.

    There's no need to be so harsh to Murray. Come on.

  • Comment number 68.

    Why Jonathan are you saying it would have been ok for Murray to state right after a defeat that the reason he couldn't play his best was because he had an injury, whereas Roger Federer got blasted for mentioning his back/thigh injuries at Wimbledon after his defeat to Tomas Berdych? Double standards as usual by the media.

  • Comment number 69.

    It was so baffling and strange that I'm not too worried. It was the first time in a long time he seemed to just have nothing left to give. He tried but just couldn't find it. Now he needs to get a new coach and move forward. He's had a pretty solid year. He had a bad match but it seemed his injuries were really affecting his game. Losing in the 3rd round is a major disappointment but he's had a solid year and will keep trying to win one. Only 4 men have won a Slam in the last 4 years. Rafa and Roger have 24 together, so it's possibly the hardest time to try and win your first. He'll be back and hopefully with a new coach and a new attitude. I wish he'd not scream at his hand so much. A new calmer Murray for 2011. It's no coincedence that the best two are the two who don't seem to care too much about the odd miss.

  • Comment number 70.

    67. At 2:29pm on 06 Sep 2010, TJLM wrote:
    There's no need to be so harsh to Murray. Come on.

    Why? He played awful and does so at every grand slam?
    Just like the english football team at the world cup?

    The fact is in my humble yet discarded opinion, that Murray is an average player whos talents are fumble at best. The fact of the matter is the games people will remember are the slams, and he preforms like a 100th seeded player, pretty much every time. Given the fact that his record at these slams proves hes pretty bad, but sopprting a lost cause is unjustifed and he lacks motivation and moment to improve on his game. Which is just like most/all of the British Sportsmen and women we have in the sports!

    Slating him is a bit harsh i agree, but commenting on his average ability and stating facts and that he wont ever win a grand slam is just saying what is right from left.

    Nadal has won so much more then Murray and has far more superior raw talent and skill to provide the negitives and positives into his game to overcome the most "bad" of days.

  • Comment number 71.

    Reccy, you said.....

    "You see? This is the sort of attitude that stops Murray from winning in the matches that count. The Grand Slams. Its people like you that make out average players are better than what they appear.."

    Surely you have the attitude that stops Murray from winning - you'd have him stop playing! Murray is a great tennis player. The best Brit I've seen in my life. I'm delighted he's playing. So he lost to a good player. I'm not devasted (there are some countries where winning is the be-all and end-all) because I feel he gave his all and it just wasn't going for him. Credit to Wawrinka - great game.

    You also said: "Hes an average player who is no better then the average player he plays against."

    I guess you mean he's a top quality player who is no better than the other top quality players he plays against. I would disagree, given the fact that he generally beats most of the other players, hence his rankings.

    Also, people now saying how he lacks belief - a while ago he was hated for being arrogant. One of these days in the UK we're going to have to try and just get behind our sportsmen/women. I wonder if we have the strenght of character to do that, because it's a lot easier to criticise than credit.

  • Comment number 72.

    Also Reccy, you said

    "The fact of the matter is the games people will remember are the slams, and he preforms like a 100th seeded player, pretty much every time. Given the fact that his record at these slams proves hes pretty bad..."

    He has won 75% of his Grand Slam matches. Not really 100th in the world that.

  • Comment number 73.

    Every Grand Slam? No, just no.

  • Comment number 74.

    72. At 2:44pm on 06 Sep 2010, jcb211 wrote:
    Also Reccy, you said

    "The fact of the matter is the games people will remember are the slams, and he preforms like a 100th seeded player, pretty much every time. Given the fact that his record at these slams proves hes pretty bad..."

    He has won 75% of his Grand Slam matches. Not really 100th in the world that.

    But hes never won a slam has he? Winning 75% of matches leading to the finals of a grand slam isnt something positive to talk about..

    Like saying i nearly got up the stairs, but missed it by 2 steps.. Im great! Not at all..

    You have your opinion, i have mine. Yours doesnt matter to me, and mine doesnt matter to you. Simple as.

    Hes an average player, and his GS Record shows this.. until he wins a GS, i stand firm :)

  • Comment number 75.

    #11. Your spot on, after losing that second set there was only going to be one winner. I also turned off but not before I placed a bet on Wawrinka in play. No surprise to me to see the result this morning.

    Murray is a very good tennis player but he will never be great because he lacks the fight for every point winning mentality of a federer or nadal, especially in the slams.

    How many times have we seen him throw actual sets away, true champions don't do this.

  • Comment number 76.

    Johnathan, I really think you've been looking at Murray with rose-tinted spectacles. Yes, he has the capacity to be the very best, the capability to beat the very best. What he lacks is the consistency and, dare I say, the maturity.

    Murray has been convinced by either himself or his advisers that he is the very best. He's not, though not so far off on his day. This has given way to arrogance... I think he believes he can win without a coach. He thinks he has a right to beat the man at the other end of the court. He can't, at least not all the time.

    Murray needs to look himself in the eye and accept he's number 3, or 4. And if he's to be number 1, then he has to be at the very, very top of his game. All the time. He needs to respect his opponents. Every game of every slam needs to be approached with the belief that his opponent will play out of his skin. He needs to start every game with the same desperate mindset to do whatever it takes to secure the win.

    The slam win he's capable of will never come if he doesn't grow up.

  • Comment number 77.

    Hello,

    jcb211 your 75% stat doesn't really count for anything...... a qualifier who wins his first 3 matches and then looses his fourth would have a 75% rate yet this wouldn't mean he's a top 100 player.... so moo point really...

    I am afraid we are in front of another Henman here...... only difference Henman was never arrogant during his career as a tennis pro. I think the real problem is not Andy himself but the british media who keep promoting him as the favourite for every slam he is in even before he starts playing!!!! i remember countless times when the commentator where talking about his possible match ups in the semis even before he'd gotten through the 3rd round!!!!

    Andy is a very good player technically but he lacks character and continuity in his game, he might win 2 masters1000 on the trot and then collapse as he did yesterday...... while federer or nadal do exactly the opposite!!! he is definitely a top 5 in the world but if things don't change i do not see him winning any GS. federer or nadal never throw games or sets away as he does often and never have I seen them find excuses or complain so much.

  • Comment number 78.

    "He's never winning a grandsalm til federer and nadal retire."

    It didn't even take Federer or Nadal this time. Novak Djokovic, zero hyped tennis marvel is still in the race. Devoted to all "tennis experts".

  • Comment number 79.

    I am afraid the Andy lacks the mental grey matter to cope in situations where his opponent is prepared to stand up to him with 100% effort. He loses games in his head. He will not listen to those who can help him and appears to believe his own publicity.

    It is such a shame that one so obviously talented will never improve until he LISTENS and that seems so difficult for him.

  • Comment number 80.

    Many of you are saying that Murray have beaten Federer and Nadal several times, but you all fail to realise that he has never beaten Federer in a grand slam. At some point everyone loses, and Federer and Nadal do not produce their best tennis in the smaller tournaments, they save it for when it matters, so yes murray may have beaten them in the other tournaments, but he has a massive test to still overcome when it comes to roger in a grand slam. He can win a grand slam, but as long as roger and rafa are at the top of their game, he will not be as good, when they decline, he may win one. Murray is a very good player, and the best of the rest, but roger and rafa are two very special players, who murray is unfortunate to have to compete against, but at least he isnt playing when roger was at his peak...then he would stand no chance.

  • Comment number 81.

    For a player of his apparent quality not to have won a grand slam by now can only mean he's not psychologically up to it. If he'd won one, he'd have gone on to win 3 or 4. Every time he changes coach his form goes up then crashes down. I can't see him winning a slam now. He'll maybe get his act together and grab one in his 30s on the way down, but that's about it.

  • Comment number 82.

    EdTennisFan wrote:

    #28: Henman won the Paris Masters in 2003 and Rusedski also won the Paris Masters in 1998 (beating Sampras), but Murray's titles have eclipsed them both.

    I stand corrected, thank you!

    #79 "He will not listen to those who can help him and appears to believe his own publicity."

    I don't think he would have reached as high as 2 in the world by not listening to anyone. Neither do I think he is not aware of the areas of his game he could improve. The 'team Murray' camp seems generally very happy, and the recent split with Mclagan does not appear to have been particularly bitter - not the signs of a player who continually doesn't follow his team's advice.

  • Comment number 83.

    #76: "I think he believes he can win without a coach"

    News to me. Has he ever actually said this? Every time I've seen him comment on the situation, he's always said he'd decide on a coach after the US Open.

    #77: "federer or nadal never throw games or sets away as he does often and never have I seen them find excuses or complain so much."

    That's an odd thing to post to a blog where the main gist is that he didn't have a reason for losing, never mind an excuse.

    Murray always strikes me as being pretty level-headed off-court. He always says he could lose a match unless he plays well. That's certainly true. He said he wasn't looking ahead as that was disrespectful to the player he had to play first. I simply don't understand why people say he's arrogant.

  • Comment number 84.

    It's interesting the comments about him needing to become a believer when this was the title that Sky gave to there idents and video interludes before the match.

    When you are number 4 in the world and come up against an opponent ranked 20 places above you, 1 set up and 3-0 up in the second, you really should have the mental ability to control both the match and your own frame of mind.

    The commentators and other people here came up with an interesting point about the sub-conscious part of the brain being vital to winning at tennis and therefore banishing all doubt from conscious thought ie. that you are going to lose, over thinking and over reacting to your surroundings and not playing a natural doubt free game of tennis. It would be ideal for this to happen whenever you step onto the tennis court but it is not necessarily the case. Murray needs to be able to access this 'State' of mind where he becomes a believer and relies on his instincts. Basically that what he has in terms of skill and how he plays is enough to win. Last night he was too much inside his own head. When he got through to the US Finals and got beat by Federer there was less pressure on him to win or expectation for him to reach the finals, now it's all about him he can't handle it.

    I have always felt his game is enough in terms of having the skill required to win. He is an incredible tennis player with great talent, so for people to say he doesn't have the no lose attitude of Nadal i think is unfair. His pace on the court is up with Nadal. He hits great cross-court and down the line. He has a great touch at the net. But he lacked the psychological belief to win last night. Like I said...no.4 in the world and a set and a break up and then to lose as he did 3 sets to 1 is more about the psychology of his game than his skill as a player.

  • Comment number 85.

    Too often there is one match where Murray comes up against a big hitter with a game plan to beat him. Wawrinka, Cilic last year, Roddick at Wimbledon. For the so call "best returner" in the game it is very frustrating that he can't do anything about it. He needs a coach who can help him with the right plan to eliminate the passive tendency that arises in these situations.

    When he loses it's always the same. A big hitter hits a passive Andy off the court.

  • Comment number 86.

    Jonathan, 2 points:
    1 Amaranthbb and Fed4ever were absolutely right when they brought up the appalling media frenzy after Fed's loss at Wimbledon. His press conferences are always worth listening to because he tells the truth, not just a load of pretend modesty from which no one learns anything. Sometimes the truth is hard, which brings me to ....
    2 Some years ago after Murray beat Fed in a Master's event Fed said in the press conference that "Murray will never win a Slam playing in that way, he needs to change" What was the result? You, and all of the other British press got on Fed's case and went on and on ad infinitum about how this showed how Fed was now really worried about Murray and running scared of him ! Oh yeah! Did it ever occur to you that maybe he knows a little more about tennis than you and was actually right?
    Unfortunately the GB press do this all the time, always have, about every half decent player that comes along. I feel genuinely sorry for Murray, he must be devastated but perhaps he needs to listen to Fed and his kind more than the claptrap that passes for knowledge in the press.
    PS I still haven't forgotten you saying on air that Greg Rusedski (injured)was a disgrace and should never be picked for D Cup again! I didn't hear you retract that when he hit the shot that won the game, set, match and tie in his last outing.

  • Comment number 87.

    I met Andy Murray after the Australian open this year. He was naturally disappointed that he hadn't played as well as he knew he could, regardless of the result. He was polite and more than happy to answer questions. His mother took a photo of us together without any signs of being annoyed, and after I'd walked away he signed the odd autograph as people saw him.

    I think the first problem with this "Murray-mania", is the whole issue of nationality. I don't care is he's English, Scottish, Welsh. In fact, he's spent a load of time in Spain, learning his sport. He's a tennis player, he plays for himself, because he wants to. It's his full time job, he is very successful and will be able to live in any lifestyle he wants to. He is not playing FOR Britain (Unless it's Davis cup/possibly Olympics - due to the medals table). How many of his critics can say they are in the top 10 in the world at anything?
    It's not like the English football or Rugby team. When they pull the England shirt on they are playing for their nation, the rest of the time they do their other jobs, represent other teams etc. I don't understand why he gets particular coverage as there are so many Nadal/Federer "fans", but at the end of the day it's glory hunting.

    I was a Nicky Hayden FAN for 5 years before he won the MotoGP world championship. I saw him as a fighter, a character, and a really nice, genuine sounding guy, and wanted him to succeed. When he won in 2006 I ran into town, barefooted with a banner because it represented a huge achievement. I've got nothing against Rossi, he is quite possibly the best ever, but I don't get excited when he wins, and I wouldn't get half the satisfaction. I didn't hear people slating Rossi for breaking his leg at his "home GP" this year....? It's called not hitting your potential every time you do something...

    I think Federer is a great champ, but I will always feel that I want the other guy to beat him, because it represents a greater achievement.

    If I had to name the male tennis players who currently interest me from a point of view of style of play, character, dynamisism and the fact that there own personal journey interests me, Andy Murray would be right up there, as would Andy Murray, Fernando Verdasco, J-W Tsonga and Igor Andreev. For whatever reason, I always want those guys to win.

    We all know Roger and Rafa will forever be legendary in their success, but they were once "mortal", so let's stop worshipping the success stories, and start supporting the guys who have a chance to be the next one, because when they achieve it you'll enjoy it more.

    At the end of the day, who do YOU WANT to win the next Grandslam? If it isn't Murray, then stop shooting him down.

  • Comment number 88.

    What happened to Murray?

    He ran into someone who was playing better than he was.

    His mental response to that situation was anger, a sense of being maltreated, and a need for sympathy from his box.

    Wrong emotional character to win a Slam.

  • Comment number 89.

    Watching the match it was obvious that Murray did not look like he wanted to be out there.

    Wawrinka did not play great and you could name a handful of top players who would have creamed him. Don't know if there's some underlying personality trait that brings on these funks that Murray gets into, but think he needs more than a sports psychologist. It's one thing to be fighting your game, all players have off days, but it's quite another to be fighting inner demons.

    You cannot control your game always, but why is Murray so damned gloomy on the court? Like he would rather be doing just about anything else. Sad to watch so much talent being squandered. But if he really doesn't enjoy playing tennis, find something else to do.

  • Comment number 90.

    Give the guy a break!! He got beaten by a bloke playing exceptional tennis and had an off-day......British tennis (apart from some Henman highlights) has had an off day for decades until Murray came along. He'll win a grand slam, myabe just one, but he has no divine right to it. Me thinks the journalists who dine out on following his career should back off and let him let on with it...after all, he keeps them in their jobs..

  • Comment number 91.

    It's simple really. The Scottish Tim Henman is just not good enough to win the Slams. But to maintain the British publics dwindling interest in the sport, he must be advertised as good enough to win Slams!

  • Comment number 92.

    At 3:08pm on 06 Sep 2010, Kartesio wrote:
    Hello,

    jcb211 your 75% stat doesn't really count for anything...... a qualifier who wins his first 3 matches and then looses his fourth would have a 75% rate yet this wouldn't mean he's a top 100 player.... so moo point really...

    --------------------------------------

    Ok, but Murray hasn't played 4 games. He's played many, many more, and so the 75% stat demonstrates that he's clearly not an average player. Furthermore, getting to the fianls twice doesn't quite relate to Reccy's analogy that it equates to getting most of the way up the stairs and then failing.

    I'm not saying that Murray WILL win a slam, and I'm not saying he's world class. I'm saying that he COULD win a slam and that he is definitely not just an average player who when it comes to Grand Slams plays like he is 100th in the world.

  • Comment number 93.

    #89,
    I was going to ask the same question. Is he even enjoying himself out there any more? There was clearly some kind of mental block yesterday, you could see from the second set that he just didn't really have the will or the belief to fight it out. Strange considering he was on top up to that point.

  • Comment number 94.

    over-hyped Murray as usual, nothing new. Kudos to Wawa for demystifying the hype.

  • Comment number 95.

    Thinking back the warning signs were there in Cincinatti

    Having beaten Nadal and Federer in Toronto was expected to kick on and go up another notch but instead in Cincinatti against Fish we saw the old Andy Murray losing his cool literally in the heat, hobbling around, holding his ribs, looking at his sore thumb, melting in the heat, cussing and swearing at his entourage, and generally drama queening big style

    Basically this in my opinion is what cost him that match and yesterdays as well.

    As JP McEnroe succintly put it he as much beat himself as anything else

    Compare that to Federer lost to Murray in Toronto, improved and beat a determined Fish in Cincinatti to win the title and has played sublimely thus far at the US Open

    Nadal as well has timed his run perfectly improving all the time as we head to the final of the US open

    Very hard not see another Federer V Nadal final

    Think the spaniard will prevail

  • Comment number 96.

    Federer won his fist major at 23. Murray is 23, he obviously lost momentum in the run up to the US Open no big deal he is still capable of beating Nadal and Federer which no other player is you have to say on a regular basis. Fact is wawrinkia had the game of his life, Murray had a bad day at the office Y'esta!! Look forward to seeing you in 2011 Murray work hard and the luck will come with it.

  • Comment number 97.

    The over reaction to a Murray defeat never fails to amaze me.

    Is it no longer possible to simply have a bad day at the office and/or be beaten by a better player on the day?

    Maybe he should become a 'nice' loser like Henners to keep middle England happy.

    Don't worry Andy, you'll still have the support of us back up the road!

  • Comment number 98.

    Maybe he just isn't good enough to win a major. Just a thought.

  • Comment number 99.

    It was just a bad day in the office. I remember having a bad day in the office a few months back. I spilt tea over my paper clips and got my tie stuck in the paper shredder.

    Now before speculating what Murray should or should not do, one needs to find out what went wrong in this specific game. Murray said he felt fatigued - I think we should accept he did feel fatigue. Wawrinka and commentators were able to observe that he wasn't moving well, and Murray explained this as due to fatigue. However he was at a loss to explain why he felt such fatigue, although he said it was similar to the fatigue/excessive tiredness that he had felt early on in his career.

    He said his preparation was great and that leading up to the match he felt superfit. So why the fatigue during a tennis match that lasted 3 hour 56 minutes? Are there any nutritionists on these boards who might be able to come up with a possible reason for the excessive fatigue? Alternatively it may be due to the onset of a viral or bacteriological infection.

    Now separate to this feeling of fatigue it is strange that Murray seemed to suffer a "mental meltdown." He could have taken a medical time out, a toilet break, he could have tried to slow the game downv - but he didn't. He didn't seem to be particularly alert to the situation. Commentators were suggesting that he might be suffering from a headache and seemed to look "dizzy".

  • Comment number 100.

    I totally agree with 97.

 

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