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Where Murray goes next

Tom Fordyce | 22:50 UK time, Friday, 1 July 2011

BBC Sport at Wimbledon

After all the hope and hype, the story stays the same. For the third year on the bounce, Andy Murray has left Wimbledon after being flattened in a semi-final.

His role in the longest-running narrative in British sport - the search for a homegrown male champion - seems secure: the stooge, the plucky loser, the supporting act for whichever glamourpuss foreigner chooses to steal the Centre Court stage this time around.

That he's not the first to play the part does not make it any less cruel. British men have reached 11 Wimbledon semi-finals since 1938 and failed to win a single one between them.

Can the plot change? Is Murray the man to do it?

If history is against him, maybe the present is too. Murray is reaching his physical peak at the same time as not only the most successful Grand Slam champion of all time - Roger Federer - but the man most likely to match him, Rafa Nadal.

It is arguably the most competitive era of men's tennis in the history of the sport. We used to talk about Nadal as the best number two the world has ever seen; since Novak Djokovic will take the number one ranking on Monday regardless of his performance in Sunday's final, we could now have the best number two, as well as the best number three - Federer.

Does Murray, currently at four, face a tougher battle in winning a Grand Slam than those who came before?

Andy MurrayMurray has been in seven Grand Slam semi-finals and three finals

"It is a great compliment to be considered as one of the top four in the world and he definitely belongs there and has improved massively," says Boris Becker, who won six Grand Slam singles titles - including three at Wimbledon - and who is now working as an expert summariser for BBC Sport.

"But is he unlucky that he plays in the era of Nadal and Federer? Absolutely not. There is never an era that is easy.

"The McEnroe/Borg/Connors era wasn't easy, the Sampras/Agassi era wasn't easy and the Becker/Edberg era wasn't easy. Every era has its good players."

Murray had played his best set of grass-court tennis in memory to take a one-set lead over Nadal on Friday afternoon. At 2-1 in the second and 15-30 on the Spaniard's serve, he had a simple mid-court forehand for two break points. He sent it long and was never the same player again.

"Missing that forehand was obviously the key moment in the match, but it shouldn't have been," says Becker. "One point should not stop you playing for a further 45 minutes.

"He lost it, not technically, but mentally. That missed opportunity affected him emotionally and mentally far too much and that simply can't happen. In a semi-final you only get small opportunities and if you get upset too much, your chance is shot."

At his best Murray is a match for anyone in the game, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer included. On Friday he hit 42 winners to Nadal's 37, and 15 aces to Nadal's six.

To match their Grand Slam wins he will have to maintain those levels for longer. He also produced 37 unforced errors compared to Nadal's seven; and converted just 25% of break points to Nadal's 63%.

"Andy played great tennis for a set and a half against Nadal and his serve and forehand was much better than last year," says Becker. "But against the likes of Djokovic, Nadal and Federer it is about the mind and the spirit you have.

"You have got to be tougher within yourself to not let defeats like Friday's happen.

"I didn't lean on a sports psychologist during my career because mentally I was strong enough but there were a number of players then, and now, that looked for support.

"He doesn't need to talk about it and no one would need to know. There are conditioning trainers, there are tennis trainers and there are psychologists. If they make you stronger and if it can help, then why not?

"Of course there were times in my career when I was affected by mental demons. The key is that you have to admit them. You have to openly talk to the people close to you about them and they can only help you find a solution. But the first step is admitting you have a problem."

This was Murray's 23rd Grand Slam tournament. Only six of the 51 Slam winners in the Open era have required more attempts to win their first.

But there is hope in history. Players with less natural ability and far fewer shots than Murray have won Grand Slams in recent memory.

Thomas Johansson never got past the quarter-finals of the US Open or the second round of the French yet took the Australian Open in 2002 - his 25th attempt in a Grand Slam; Petr Korda won the same tournament four years before that yet failed to get past the quarter-finals at either Wimbledon or the US Open, and was thrashed in Paris in his only other Grand Slam final, losing in straight sets to Jim Courier and winning just eight games.

There have also been easier years at Wimbledon. In the gap between the dominant eras of Pete Sampras and Federer, wildcard Goran Ivanisevic took advantage in 2001 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. Is Murray an inferior player to those two? No.

"During the semi-final on Friday I was thinking how big Andy's team is," says Becker. "There were a lot of people in his box telling him a lot of things. I don't know whether he needs more people around him - if anything, I think he needs to cut down on the amount of people that he is working with."
What of his playing schedule?

"I think the mistake Andy made after losing the Australian Open final was to take too much time off," says Becker. "If he was my player I would send him out there as soon as possible and throw him back into competition.

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"You can only improve by putting yourself back on the line in a competitive environment. If the problem is coping with tough situations that is exactly where you need to be, you need to be back out there."

It is Murray's misfortune, just as it was for Tim Henman, to be perceived as a failure by some British sports fans regardless of his achievements away from Wimbledon.

Just as Henman's remarkable feat in making the semi-finals of the French Open - serve-volleying at Roland Garros? - tends to be obscured by memories of his four semi-final defeats at SW19, so the seven Grand Slam semis reached by Murray (making the last four in all four) are in danger of being forgotten by those who only care about tennis for two weeks a year.

"Playing at his home tournament has its own pressures - it's a lot more than just being about the tennis," believes Becker.

"hope now he is going to continue the way he has been playing, not only this week, but at Queen's, at the French Open and in Rome. He has had a couple of really good tournaments all summer long. The US Open will soon be upon us and he is going to get another chance at winning his first, elusive Grand Slam.

"His best surface is not the grass of Wimbledon but the hard courts of Flushing Meadow and the Rebound Ace in Australia. I think he will definitely win a Slam."

Comments

Page 1 of 2

  • Comment number 1.

    First. Yippee.

    Rafa too good for Andy. I feel sorry for Murray but as a Nadal fan, I can't claim to be disappointed about the results with a straight face. At least Andy did not cry after he lost like someone we know would. *wink*

  • Comment number 2.

    I think it's time for Mummy Murray to step aside and let her fully grown son stand up for himself. Andy Murray is always looking for Mum in the crowd and it seems to have become a burden for him.
    I'm no great Murray fan but it's pretty obvious he would become a better player if Judy wasn't there screaming like a banshee over every point.

  • Comment number 3.

    Nadal is the best player i have ever seen. If you hope to have a chance of winning you cannot have an average 1st serve for 2 sets of around 53%. Murray was very good for for the 1st set when he was getting around 68%. If Murray could have kept that sort of consistency then he at least would have had a chance. The rest of his game isn't too bad, not perfect but at least it would give Nadal something to think about and put a bit of pressure on him to produce

  • Comment number 4.

    the pundit who said that one bad point should not cost a top player the next 7 games was spot on. Murray's weakness is in his head not on the court.

  • Comment number 5.

    Sorry Tom, but get your facts right! Nadal hit 42 winners to Murray's 37!

    Lest I forget "At his best Murray is a match for anyone in the game, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer included."

    That may be true in the best of 3 sets and before anyone mentions the AO and USO quarters/semis, Nadal was injured in the latter and was still developing his game on the former.

    Murray is a very good player and well respected, but way overhyped much like the English National football team, who coincidentally are 4th in the World Rankings too, but World beaters?? I don't think so!

    Nadal deserves more credit than the so called pundits on TV or R5L would choose to give. He beat the GOAT on his own favourite surface after all! How I laughed when I read the article on "How to beat Nadal" or Tiger Tim's opinion, never mind the deluded view that Deliciano Lopez was a good warm up for Nadal! Nadal has demonstrable pedigree on grass and should never be viewed as a one trick pony or the view that Murray made him look one dimensional in the two Grand Slams he knocked out Nadal.

    Murray will win someday, his talent is such that it should be inevitable, but I can't help but think Nadal or Fed and now Djoko will have to have an off day, much like Nadal had in the 1st set of this recent clash!!!

    Anyhow, Murray's game is best suited to hard courts, so the AO or USO are his best bets for a first GS!

    Head up Murray!!

  • Comment number 6.

    Murray's a good player, but he's unlucky in that he's playing at a time when there are three players who could one day be considered as true greats of the sport. He might win a slam, but only through law of averages of beating people...that's not a jab at Murray by any means, he's far better than 99% of the tennis world and is unlucky.

    What annoyed me more today was the reaction of the crowd at the match when Murray had his serve broken in the second. There was a palpable air of "oh no, not again", and there was little support shown for the rest of the match, it was flat. Murray's a confidence player, and the crowd is a part of that confidence. It's one of the reasons why I think he's more likely to win the US or Aus Open than he is Wimbledon, the other being that hard court is his best surface.

    Too often our crowds at Wombledon give off that air of defeat when a British player is behind in a match. I'd rather we packed Centre Court full of people supporting the other guy, as Murray would still be able to feed off that energy.

  • Comment number 7.

    Am curious Tom, Do you take this British-centric view because you're genuinely desperate for a man who was born on the same slab of the planet as you to win or is it just the angle the BBC want you to take.

    Tennis is a sport for individuals. We should just enjoy the talent of who is playing and if your are some daft nationalist, accept that if your man is the 4th best player in the world then he is unlikely to win tournaments that the 3 above him care about.

  • Comment number 8.

    It's quite simple Nadal is unbeatable.

  • Comment number 9.

    As good as Murray is the sad fact is the other 3 guys are better. Federer's days at the top may be numbered (due to age and motivation, not talent). To say at his best he is a match for anyone is a bit vague. The number 200 in the world could be at his best for one point against Nadal and pull off a wonder shot. Murray has to be at his best for over 3 intense hours against guys like Nadal. Having said all that, Murray has made a very good career for himself and has earned a lot of money. Life can't be that bad.

  • Comment number 10.

    "There have also been easier years at Wimbledon. In the gap between the dominant eras of Pete Sampras and Federer, wildcard Goran Ivanisevic took advantage in 2001 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002."

    Taking advantage? Johansson, yes. Hewitt, no. He was the top seed and reigning US Open champion.

    "Players with less natural ability and far fewer shots than have won Grand Slams in recent memory."

    Korda was World No. 2 for some time, just like Andy Murray has been.

  • Comment number 11.

    Funny how he is no longer Scotland's number one. Who agrees with me that he shouldn't go to the Olympics?

  • Comment number 12.

    Murray lacks what all champions need in spades......belief. His problem is definitely in the head. He comes across as relatively dour and completely lacks the charisma of his main competitors and that, in my book, is all about confidence and being a winner.

    Whether Becker is right that with the proper support Murray can sort that out I don't know. To some extent you either have or you don't have those qualities and Murray doesn't. Whether he manages to squeeze out a major somewhere along the way who knows but he's at an age where it's clear he won't be a dominant player of his era.

    I look at the young Australian kid, Tomic, who took Djokovic to 4 seats in the QF and he's full of self belief and a winning mentality. He's another who will pass out Murray in the next couple of years.

    It's all about belief and Murray ain't got it!

  • Comment number 13.

    I think British media put too much pressure and expectation on their sportspeople - with predictable results. It's not just tennis: look at football.
    Every footie world cup, England are installed as firm favourites by the English media. When they (predictably) lose, every excuse is dragged out of the cupboard, save for the real reason why they lose - not being good enough. It's the same in cricket and now tennis, and even athletics (Tom Fordyce has a particular liking for Mo Farah, and has been building him up ahead of the Olympics in London - yet we all know that the 5000 in London will be won by Bekele, with the 10,000 going to a Kenyan. Farah might get a silver or a bronze - so don't make your readers expect too much. Such is life!).
    Perhaps if your media would stop lionising people like Murray (or the England cricket team, of Jenson Button, or Mo Farah, or Wayne Rooney, etc), they would learn to just get on with it: Murray has more than enough talent to win all Grand Slam titles, but now when 70 million people are waiting to happen on him for failing at the quarters. Britain is not any better at any sport than any other nation, so get used to that, oh ye of the media.

  • Comment number 14.

    Murray is twice the player posh toff Tim was.
    More titles, miles better record in all 4 slams and in an era containing Fed, Rafa & Djok.
    I think it is imperative that Murray appoints a full time coach, someone like Stefanki would be ideal who I think has taken A-Rod as far as he can.

  • Comment number 15.

    If the media and fans are being more realistic, then Murray wouldn't need a sports psychologist. The pressure he is under is immense. Just in this website, there is a daily blog/article during every Grand Slam tournament. He should really be concentrating in the games, instead of telling people what he's doing each day.

    And no, it wasn't a "near miss" as the introduction of this article says. In GS tournaments, he is still some way behind, and it is clear that he remains the fourth best player in the world.

  • Comment number 16.

    Murray's biggest call of his life is to determine whether his 1st set strategy was too risky to win over 5 sets or whether he has to improve his game to be able to deliver that standard over 5 sets.

    He thinks the former, I'm firmly of the belief that it's the latter.

    It's his life, his career and his decision.

    But 68% dropping to 54% on first serve is the stat I'd focus on.

    And accepting that, against someone the caliber of Nadal, the chances of you winning a match without losing your serve or losing some break points is small. It's about accepting that as part of the mix and not being affected in the mind.

  • Comment number 17.

    typical brit. all hype, no end result.

  • Comment number 18.

    There is no top four, only top three. And Andy Murray is not one of them.

  • Comment number 19.

    people keep blaming the media. it's not just the media, but the player himself. so much attitude, so little accomplishment.

  • Comment number 20.

    Obviously he has not got the mental toughness that is needed. It is the same with lots of British sport. Great plans, great skill, but when things go wrong, boy, do they go wrong. Look at our football, cricket and rugby - they can be winners, but can they be 'comeback and win' winners? Rugby and cricket have shown that they can at times be such winners.

    In team games it is a little easier as there is more likely to be someone in your team who will get you going again, than if you are on your own, but it is still possible. When you are own your own out on court you need the mantra of just one other person beating in your head. Andy's mum is the worst person to be out there helping him. Yes she has the passion and drive, but in the end she's his mum and mums will always forgive - it can just take the edge off. The tennis people who are supporting him and to whom he looks should not be so soft.

  • Comment number 21.

    This whole wimbledon has been dominated by the talk of first Federer, then Murray, and Nadal.

    Not a whole lot has been spoken about Djokovic, who has quietly moved through the draw to get to the final without too much of a fuss.

    With Nadal having lost four successive finals in a row to Djokovic, this is going to be an interesting final.

    At the post match interview when Nadal was singing praises of Murray, did anyone notice the look that came over his face, the way his eyes turned to steel when Djokovic was brought up? I am really looking forward to the final, and it has all the makings of being a classic.

    I am a Nadal fan, but with Djokovic beaten Nadal on both hard courts and clay, I think Djokovic will take the final, and the number 1 ranking.

    Really, really excited about the final.

  • Comment number 22.

    Typical Brit( scot ) celt blah blah

    far to much bunny yap yap and not enough do do when it matters

    overblown overpaid and overated

    One thing the media and pundits have not picked up on though and that is;

    he, needs to work more on his Grunts, Screams and Shrieks as per the lil darling females do.

    Murray mania dead and buried for another year may it always be so.

  • Comment number 23.

    To some degree, Murray, like others, has allowed himself to be affected by the consistent propaganda tactics of the Nadal camp. They have everyone saying that Nadal is incredibly "mentally tough" etc. Well, not when he loses he isn't - and that happens much more often than folk think who only follow tennis for a couple of weeks a year. Nadal deserves respect, as do Federer and Djokovic. But respect must not turn into awe.

  • Comment number 24.

    Andy needs to improve his physicality, weights, aerobics and hire a cave for a month before hand. Comparing him with Nadal one can see the difference.

  • Comment number 25.

    Nadal has a strong technical grasp of certain shots. But noone could ever sensibly characterise him as a great all-court player. Essentially, he still goes up and down the baseline dishing out heavy topspin, having his opponent lose more points than Nadal tries to win outright. In the middle of the match. Murray lost the sense of need for variety mixed with aggression against Nadal. As soon as he did that, Murray was playing on Nadal's limited terms - in essence, moonballing - and was always going to suffer. At least Nadal is no longer Number One. Nadal was not a good example for other players to try to base their game on. I hope Djokovic, who is a more complete player than Nadal, comes through in the final.

  • Comment number 26.

    Nadal is a force of nature but Murray has the ability to win a GS. He just needs to adopt Nadal's never say die attitude and believe!

  • Comment number 27.

    22. Does it ever strike you as rather profound and moving that people have given their lives for the right to freedom of speech?

  • Comment number 28.

    What people need to realize is that although Murray is a very good player he was always a long way behind Federer and Nadal. Federer is not the player he was but now Djokovic has stepped up to the plate and left Murray well behind. With two players vastly superior to him Murray needs a lot of luck to win a major, he needs to beat both of them and that is very unlikely. It might be sad but Murray has probably already had his best chance to win a major. Murray has unfortunately shown us on several occasions that when the going gets tough he crumbles and his best days, I suggest are already behind him.

  • Comment number 29.

    Murray is comfortably the fourth-best tennis player in the world. That's something that people should praise more often, rather than talking about how he can improve his game to beat the top three - this is as good as he's going to get, so let's just appreciate it!

  • Comment number 30.

    I said people shouldn't underestimate Djokovic and surprise, surprise he's in the final. It seemed everyone was too busy hyping Federer up again.

    As for Murray he played well and gave it everything but when you're facing Nadal at his best what can you do?

    I personally think Murray's best chances at a Slam are at the hard court majors as he's already proven himself in those tournaments by reaching finals but again he'll have Nadal, Djokovic, Federer and even Del Potro coming back, standing in front of him who all have experience of winning these events.

  • Comment number 31.

    Murray will never win a Grand Slam unless the top 7-10 players buckle out in the earlier rounds. Over a 3 Set match and a less meaningful tournement Murray has the ability. But this could also be the fact the the Grand Slams where the top players engage in 6th gear, Murray hasnt got a 6th gear.

    Thing is, people say hes got talent and the ability to win a slam, but i dont think he has. He a good player, but nothing special. Novak sat down and sorted his game out and its between him and Nadal for a few years now, with Federar looking to be on a downslide of his peak, Del P is looking half a player of his former self, and the rest of the group are just "good" players with nothing special for the big moments.

    Mark my words, Andy will never win a Slam, hes just a small tournement guy, always will be.

  • Comment number 32.

    His role in the longest-running narrative in British sport - the search for a homegrown male champion - seems secure: the stooge, the plucky loser, the supporting act for whichever glamourpuss foreigner chooses to steal the Centre Court stage this time around.
    ----------------

    Utterly stupid statement. Invarably he has been beaten in these situations by either Rafa or Federer, easily two of the top 5 players (and in some people's eyes the top 2) to have ever graced any court in any era. In any other time he would likely have been a multiple time winner by now.

  • Comment number 33.

    murrays problem is clearly mental. he has the ability and all the physical tools too win but it's his head that let's him down. it drops to easily, he gets to worked up, too negative and his general manner just doesnt shout champion.

    You can see the body language when he is up against it in a tough match, it's almost as if he thinks himself out of the game, if he can change that he might start winning.

  • Comment number 34.

    Physcology, fitness, belief, pressure...? Pftt!

    Nadal won yesterdays match with Murray using statagy. He exposed Murrays weak forehand and targeted it relentlessly. Simple, effective, brilliant and cruel... It was difficult not to feel sorry for Murray at the end. He looked shell shocked.

  • Comment number 35.

    Murray will never win a slam of any description never mind Wimbledon he just doesn't have the self belief despite having all the technical weapons.

    Boris Becker is right when he says if the missed forehand had been played by Nadal it would have been dismised from his mind in a few seconds whereas Murray allows errors to play around in his head resulting in him losing the match.

    I'm a Scot and would dearly love Murray to win Wimbledon but...................

  • Comment number 36.

    As a tennis player of very average standard myself it is a well known fact that tennis strength is at least 50% mental strength. Andy Murray seemed to have attained a new level of mental strength this year but then he forgot to shave and that was the give away sign. Rafa on the other hand is always clean shaven and only displays POSITIVE emotion. Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are all clean shaven and look like well prepared players - both mentally and physically.

  • Comment number 37.

    A good player would have recovered and won the match or at least would not have been defeated as badly as Murray was. It is all a matter of attitude and being athletic enough to run around the court for as long as it takes. In some cases, Murray didn't even try. Nadal tries for every ball no matter how impossible. Then, there is the attitude, Nadal, Federer, Djokovic etc., come into the court shaven and looking presentable, while Murray appears unshaven and looking rough, he gets defeated easily and doesn't seem to have the mental strength to push himself forward. Andrew Castle made a good comment yesterday, that perhaps it is time to accept that Murray cannot go any further. After all, by now Murray should have what it takes to build up a good strategy in a game and to succeed. Time to accept the facts.

  • Comment number 38.

    Murray is a good player. Nadal is a great player and that's the difference. National hope has nothing to do with it, -Murray will never win Wimbledon.

  • Comment number 39.

    Keep an eye on TOMIC he's comin to get all of them, eventually!!

  • Comment number 40.

    Murray's problem is a lack of consistency on his first serve. The top three all have a consistent first serve percentage and build their game around that. Murray has to develop a first serve that owes more to accuracy than power and therefore up the percentage. If that doesn't happen he will never win a grand slam. The other aspects of his game are as good as, and in some areas better than the top three but the serve is significantly worse.

  • Comment number 41.

    It may be he already does, though I don't think so, but Andy Murray might take a leaf out of Mark Cavendish's book and ignore what people are telling him he should and shouldn't be doing. He's a very good player, who was in control of yesterday's semi-final until he put what looked like a simple volley out over the baseline. As he so often does, Boris Becker hit the nail on the head. It should have been forgotten about within 30 seconds and the battle immediately rejoined with girded loins. Wimbledon will not reward mental fragility. He needs to overcome this if he wants to step up to the next level.

    AM's nothing to be ashamed of. He's making reaching GS SFs a habit, which shows his #4 ranking is deserved. To be ahead of every other tennis player bar 3 is an achievement. To want to be better still is a good quality and certainly no crime, as some fragile egos might have us believe. While I have no love for our media's inability or refusal to analyse what they see and what the stats support, people who think overhyping doesn't exist elsewhere, don't know what they're talking about.

    Yesterday, Mark Petchey said AM hadn't done anything wrong in a rally while Boris Becker responded that AM was happy just to have got the 2nd serve back in play, when he should have been attacking it. How many times do we watch sport and wonder if we are watching the same event as the commentators? There are too often too many egos and/or charlatans getting in the way of constructive analysis and criticism. They too often report what they've told themselves, or some body else has told them, to be true, and consequently report what they expect and want to see, glossing over deficiencies if results are in the positive, and conversely ignoring pluses when in the negative. They are unable to think for themselves. We need more brute honesty. Even if Frank Lampard has scored all those goals for Chelsea, if he's playing poorly for England, the commentator needs to be able to say so.

    Boris went on to wonder if Andy needs all his entourage telling him to do this and do that. He himself had been of a strong enough mind to not require so many people around him, and at the end of the day, you've got to be able to think for yourself on the court. Boris won 3 Wimbledons.

  • Comment number 42.

    Djokovic might be the bookies favourite to win the Mens' singles final at Wimbledon but I still fancy Rafa to pull off a 5-set win. Djokovic has shown signs of wandering concentration in the last round against Tsonga and that could be his eventual downfall against Rafa on Sunday? But whoever wins it promises to be a great final. I hope that both men are 100% fully fit and that neither suffer any injury.

  • Comment number 43.

    Andy himself has it right, he needs to find another 10% to take down Nadal in a slam (unless Nadal has an off day - which he rarely does when it counts). And 10% is a lot in top level tennis. He's extremely talented though, Murray, and I make it more likely than not that he'll win not just one slam in his career but two or three. The US Open this year represents a live chance. Nadal's best surface seems to be grass now, funnily enough, and the final should be titanic. A win for Djokovic and it's no longer a 'streak', it's the new king of men's tennis. If Nadal wins, he stands alone and starts to look a good bet for overtaking Federer on career slams. Not a bet I'd take, however, on balance - I'm seeing Fed/Nad/Djo/Mur ending up with 18/15/7/3.

  • Comment number 44.

    I wont bash Andy but I have said on occassions that he is much better than 5 downwards in the world (with the exception of a fitter Del Potro) and is, unfortunatley for him, a way off the top 3 in 5 set tournaments. He lacks the big shot that can end points early and his second serve does not stand up to the pressure over the long matches.

    He is capable of beating one of them in a slam but whenever he has another one of the big three is waiting for him.

    It must be tough for him to take as he was a better player then Novak 2 years ago but whereas Nole has been able to correct his problems with serve Murray has stood still.

    This might sound ridiculous due to his success in the last 12 months but I dont think Nadal is actually playing at the level he was a few years back it is just that Federer is showing signs of slowing down & this has allowed Novak to come back to the top 2 players and now over take them.

    I remember about 3 years ago that Federer said Murray will get success with his defensive tennis but that the big prizes will elude him unless he decides to dictate the points. He was able to do that for the 1st set yesterday but then fell back into his natural way which is to make the other player hit one more shot, which Nadal is more than capable of.

    3 Slam finals and not one set won to go alongside another Nadal Wimbledon defeat makes you wonder if he will ever win one. Del Potro, Djokovic, Nadal & Fed will all be tough on the Hard Courts of Flushing Meadows so I dont see it getting any easier for him either this year.

    He has achieved so much but maybe it just wont happen for him. No one can predict the future and Murray may have missed his chance, when the Sampras-Agassi era drew to a close everyone tipped Roddick-Hewitt-Safin to dominate but an unkonwn Swiss kid blew them all away, this may happen again some player we havent paid attention to may come up & make life even harder for Andy.

    In NFL they always talk about the 'window closing' for certain teams and at 24 Andy's window doesnt have too long left either to break his duck

  • Comment number 45.

    As others have said, he has the weapons to match the top 3 but not the mentality. Unless he can sort that the only way he is going to win is if the rest slip up or he simply outlasts them.

    I wonder how much longer Federer will keep going - he still has it but seems to have lost the motivation. I suspect he will drop to or below Andy's level fairly soon but now the Djoker has sorted his issues and taken Fed's place Andy still has two good players above him. Nadal will burn out in the next few years as well so if Andy can keep at the top of his game he will only have Novak to beat - unless someone like Tomic comes along fast enough to stamp his mark on the game.

    People talk about Hewitt and Ivanisavic as similar players who have won majors but the main thing where they are concerned was the lack of depth in the game at the time they were around. In some ways the Women's game has a similar problem at the moment - the only players who could really stand out (the Williams sisters and possibly Clijsters) are missing for whatever reason and the rest just seem to be milling about trying to work out who is going to come out on top. Look how many times the Women's no 1 ranking has changed in the last few years! The Men's game however has three strong players. Take out the top three and I'm sure that Andy as well as Tsonga, Soderling and probably others would have won Majors.

    You can't argue that Andy is a top player. His problem is that he has come to the top at a time when there are outstanding talents on the scene. That's no shame and I only hope that if he does manage to dig deep enough to find a win in a Major people will fully appreciate what he was up against.

  • Comment number 46.

    Murray quite simply isnt good enough to beat the top 3 if they are playing at least 80% on form. Im a Murray fan and certainly hope he does get that elusive slam he craves, Wimbledon preferrably for the british public but any slam will do I think for Murray in terms of confidence to win more.
    But I think if he is unable to make that tough next step up like Djokovic has over the past year and a half then if he is ever to win a slam it will only be if the top 3 are all off form during a two week tournament, and I cant really see all 3 having an off day to be honest.

    I think he needs to sit down with his coaching team and assess the way in which Djokovic has broken the Federer-Nadal grip on mens tennis at the moment and try to emulate that. Me saying this and Andy and his team identifying possible ways to do so is easy, whether he can implement that plan then is another matter all together.

    But good luck Muzza, I hope you have it in you!

  • Comment number 47.

    One comment I did want to make was about what SW19 has allowed to happen to this tournament. The balls and the grass have slowed down far too much and it is resembling a clay court not a fast court. Nadal would have been eaten alive in the late 90's early 2000's but for some bizarre reason they have made it a baseliners tournament just like all the others.

    This has clearly helped Rafa and Novak who are at home on the slower courts and that is why Novak will fancy his chances tomorrow as he seems to be able to anticpate Rafa play better than any other player and deals with his kick serve and spin really well. He also got into Rafa's head earlier in the year.

    It is a shame that tennis's 4 slams used to differ from each other allowing more variety in the mens game, the days of Muster being world number 1 nut bombing out on the fast Wimbledon grass are long gone and it plays just like Roland Garros now, hence the smae faces ing in the 1/4's and semis of every slam.

    I am not saying Fed, Rafa & Nole arent top players but I still think is was harder for Sampras and Agassi to achieve waht these guys are doing now.

    Wimbledon needs to speed up the court, not back to the serve-volley only era but make it suit players with touch as well as defensive powers and base line hitting ability.

  • Comment number 48.

    There is something horrible obsessive from the Brits towards their sporting heroes: so in love with the status of celebrity which is exacerbated by the BBC forever zooming in on all the famous faces when they turn up to watch Murray. As if I care that Pippa Middleton is watching Andy. He obviously cannot cope with this pressure, I so agree with Billy the Bull's comment about Andy not shaving. He needs to completely shut off and get on with the game. He is capable of beating any one of the top three but the one he must convince is himself - not us. I agree too that Wimbledon may not be his show piece arena, more like AO ( twice a finalist there) only nerves let him down. But having said all this, how easy it is for us,in our armchairs with cups of tea, pontificating about a sport that most of us have never played properly.

  • Comment number 49.

    Self belief is key to being a professional sportsman and climbing the ladde.

    But there is also the need to take advice from experts (who have been there and done it) not the public/press.

    As a young amateur sportsman it is nice to have support on the sidelines but eventually as a professional surely you have to standalone? Team Murray has staff, mum and a girlfriend who is getting as vociferous as mum.

  • Comment number 50.

    >>> "The seven Grand Slam semis reached by Murray ... are in danger of being forgotten by those who only care about tennis for two weeks a year."

    This is probably part of the problem for Murray. He faces huge pressure from a public that pretends it is interested in tennis but in truth doesn't realise it exists for another 45 weeks or so of the year.

    In other countries, players would be lauded for their performances not only in one tournament but in the masters tournaments, also, for example.

    Murray in a sense is like Tsonga - has the ability, and makes a lot of noise and gesticulations, but ultimately comes up short in the big moments.

  • Comment number 51.

    I think he will probably win a major one day. Chances are there will be a time when Nadal is injured, and Djokovic gets knocked out by someone else - then Andy will take his chance. But it needs to happen soon, before the new guys come along - Tomic is already a threat, and there will be others.

  • Comment number 52.

    I have little doubt that Murray will get his slam. That is not to say that he has or ever will have on average the quality of a Federer or a Djokovic. But tennis is mostly played on a cup/knockout basis and, sometime over the next two years, the right circumstances will come together to give him his dream. As for Nadal, I do not myself see him as one of the all-time true greats except on clay. He has benefited hugely from the bias in the tennis rules towards left-handers; this arises because the right-handed server on breakpoints gets one slot to use his outswinger to the backhand (15-40) while the leftie gets three slots (0-40, 30-40, ad out). Without that built-in advantage, I seriously doubt whether Nadal would have won any Slams off of clay. (What should really happen is that lefties should start serving from left to right to equalise the opportunities but the lefties won't agree the rule change). Ever wondered why there are so many lefties in the top one hundred? There it is.

  • Comment number 53.

    Perhaps now that Murray is out the BBC coverage can dispense with the ( annual ) hysteria ( though I think the hand-wringing / post-mortem re: British Tennis are due to begin ). Shame there's only a few matched left.
    The more desperate the need for a 'home' win ( see also - the football World Cup ) the more, it seems, the TV analyse verges on desperation itself.

    Show-horning in an Andy Murray reference every 5 minutes ( is it a contractual obligation to do so ? ), asking anyone and everyone if Murray would / could / will win Wimbledon this year.
    Every 'celeb' interview playing out with startling familiarity, all seemingly designed to finish with THAT question ?!
    It was like I was caught in a loop, and it got to the point that the moment the interviewer mentioned pressure in golf to Jack Nicklaus, I KNEW the next question would be about a certain Scottish-born tennis player, and of course everyone is far to polite to say anything other than 'He's got a great chance' ( non-Brits ) or 'Of course he's gonna do it !' ( Brits ).

    I have nothing against Murray, and I hope he wins a Slam soon, but please, all this 'if people say it will happen then it will happen' nonsense is tiresome.

    C'mon Tim !!

  • Comment number 54.

    The BBC are not tallowed to be negative about a British player so that does excuse the commentators but also they fall into the 'tennis only exists at Wimbledon' theory and use it to laud or wrtie off players.

    Last month Federer beat Novak in Paris and pushed Rafa all the way yet a loss here to Tsonga and he is washed up. Perspective is needed in all of this.

  • Comment number 55.

    i really cannot see andy murray winning wimbledon unless some big changes are made although whether he can do this is debatable.
    he simply so often plays the wrong shot or more so position on the court.
    yesterday he just attacked nadal on one side so nadal knew most of the time where it was coming . both nadal and tim henman are fantastic players but one needs more . sabine lisicki put the ball in an intelligent place so many times. maybe andy should watch her. brain is also very important .

  • Comment number 56.

    Andy Murray is definitely a very good player. But let's face it - he is not exactly a top notch super league player as Djokovic, Nadal or Federer is. It is not so much the quality of the game, but the mental attitude and strength of character. He always gives the impression of vulnerable mental disposition. If he wins a hard faught point, he jumps with ecstasy and opens his mouth like a jaguar. On the other hand, when he loses a point, he behaves like a cheshire cat. One cannot move up and down the mental disposition so violently within the match like this. He must be mature enough to take the good and the bad quietly and keep his attention focussed on the game until the end. His mental maturity is well behind his age.

  • Comment number 57.

    Relaxed, smart, pinpoint accurate, Murray destroyed Nadal in the first set. He then upped the tempo. Why? Immediately his first serve dissolved and his allround game went the same way. The damage was self-inflicted. Happily his mistake is so obvious that he he could well get over it in no time at all. Best wishes to him.

  • Comment number 58.

    I really want to see everyone who has critised Murray on here try to even gain a point from Nadal - it takes time for someone to win a Slam, Nadal turned pro in 2001 - Murray turned Pro in 2005

    Take That!

  • Comment number 59.

    Every year the BBC make out the whole nation is shouting for Murray, yet nothing could be further from the truth. He plays for Scotland, as can be seen by his attitude when he speaks & his wearing only Scottish flag logos. Every year the BBC seem to want to create a Murray hysteria, they surly this year will be his. But once again he fails. Analysis & analysis is done after each failure, but it's all down to him simply not being good enough.

  • Comment number 60.

    We, who invented most of the major games in the World, seem to be doomed to be second or third best - if we're lucky. Time. perhaps to invent a new new one, at which we naturally excel - synchronised queuing perhaps......

  • Comment number 61.

    I thought that Andrew Castle's post-match comment was the most telling - to paraphrase, he suggested that when it comes to playing Nadal, Murray falls short, that on the biggest stage he is not quite good enough to beat his contemporary and all-time great. There is no shame in that, any more than there is in being the fourth best player in a talent-drenched era.

    However, it may be as well for the future that people, emphatically including the British tennis cognoscenti, remember how wide the gap is between the top three and the fourth best player. Before yesterday's semi-final, men such as John Lloyd, David Felgate, and the aforementioned Mr Castle seemed to be suggesting that Murray had a favourite's chance against Nadal. I can only say that I wish that they were my bookies. The stats before yesterday: Head to head: 11-4; at Wimbledon: 2-0; Grand Slam Titles: 10-0; Grand Slam Final appearances: 12-3 - all in favour of the man who was apparently to be disposed of by our hero yesterday.

    It is quite a British thing to heap unjustified pressure on our best sports stars, of whom Murray is clearly one. The best tennis player that this nation has produced in about eighty years, in fact. That in itself does not mean that he should be EXPECTED to beat some of the greatest players that ever picked up a racket. One hopes that Murray will take the Grand Slam or two that his effort and ability would seem to merit. I'm only guessing, but I sense that it's more likely to happen at a place where unrealistic expectation doesn't meet an almost insane patriotism.

    Perhaps New York or Melbourne, then, but there are no guarantees.

  • Comment number 62.

    Andy Murray is an excellent player,put it this way, Henman and co would not match him, so lets give credit but

    The reality is this.................................................

    First it was a league of 1.......... Federer
    ........................................Nadal then ups his game, yes the courts at Wimbledon have helped as they have slowed down but hey it was said its not his natural court.......................... and yet look where is he. So it became a league of 2

    People seem to think its now a league of 4..................... it is not, it is a league of 3, it should be a league of 4 and this is why

    Look at Djokovic..................... where was he is 18 months ago. he was, with Murray, at a level below the other two.

    Andy Murray needs to look at Djokovic and ask.................... why ?

    If he finds the answer to that question, it will become a league of 4, until then Murray will alternate with our footballers every summer as we brits get the blinkered eyes on and say how good we are........................................ yeh.

  • Comment number 63.

    Couldn't agree more with A Rahman. Andy Murray is undoubtedly one of the world's best players but seems to simply lack the mental toughness, fortitude, strength etc to make the final breakthrough. Sir Jackie Stewart frequently talked of taking the emotion out of performing in order to succeed at the highest level and this is sadly something Andy appears unable to do. Further, of his 7 finals and semi-finals he has only won 2 of 23 sets of tennis which unfortunately makes it crystal clear just how far far he is away. He is a wonderful player and one we should take great pleasure as Brits watching but at the moment it seems it's just not to be. Lets keep our fingers crossed however he can turn things around.

  • Comment number 64.

    About the courts, and endless discussions, AND Wimbledon saying that intrinsically the traditon,the nature of the Championships has never changed.

    I beg to differ.Grass court tennis has changed a lot,obviously.

    Wish the BBC would just juxtapose 2 photographs up on screen 1 of the centre court playing area now and 1 from say 1970's it would be so so obvious how much the game at SW19 has indeed changed.

    I agree wholeheartedly that Wimbledon should have retained that unique element seperating their Championships from all others but just what would they do now if they wanted to? change racket stringing? the grass? the balls? for the fortnight?

  • Comment number 65.

    He's world class - no question. It's all in the mind - the ability to forget your mistake and move on but play with the same skill and intensity as before....for 5 sets if required! Federer, Nadal and Djokovic can do that.. Andy can't at the moment - that's why he lost. Mentally he went to pieces. Of course, easy for me to say: I'm not on the centre court at Wimbledon! - but that's the only piece of the jigsaw he needs to find. Everything else he has in spades...

  • Comment number 66.

    Rafa was too good today but if He stops beating himself every time he misses a line He'll do better.

    And is Murray today better than Goran in 2001? No
    And is he better than Hewitt was in 2002? No

    Is he good enough to win a Major? Yes! watch him win the US Open

  • Comment number 67.

    Comment has been made on this thread about the special relationship between Murray and his mother. Whatever it was prior to the massacre in his school in Dunblane, one can only guess at what impact that tragedy had upon the mothers of those who lived.

    To some extent I believe this has been an important factor in making Andy Murray such a driven character (not to mention his mother) with a real sense of pursuing the dream which is relatively rare in Britain. But such trauma is difficult to put behind at all times, and the weaknesses within British society which produced that lonely isolated and eventually paranoid killer are still there, though at Wimbledon it is nice to dream of older times and values.

    But in these times of what Mr Osborne in another context has labelled the generation of the fall of the Berlin Wall, it was interesting to note that all four lady semi-finalists are the product of ex-communist Eastern Europe.

  • Comment number 68.

    Based on 'W , there is a top 3 (RN/NJ/RF) and next 3 (AM/JWT/DelPotro). By USO, JWT & DelPotro will raise their game even more. If the other 5 stay fit, it is very difficult for AM to win a GS...he needs a lot of luck. Time will tell...and then there are other players like Soderling/Tomic/etc, who can be good in a GS on their day. AM may win 1/2 GS's by luck if he keeps going for next 4 years. He needs lady luck as he's no great...cant give a fight in top matches like the top 3 can.

  • Comment number 69.

    From the middle of the 2nd set you could see Murray choking. He threw it away: you can't give the best players such an easy hour, mid-match. Problem is, Murray is the only man in history to reach 3 Slam finals and not win a single set in any of them. He's a choker, plain and simple, and if he doesn't believe he can win then he never will.

  • Comment number 70.

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

  • Comment number 71.

    AM is still a bit boyish...he needs to man up. Not shaving wont do it. Its in the mind...His team needs to think how he can develop his mental game more. Not much time left...2/3 years while RN/NJ will still be at their peak. Unfortunate situation for AM...

  • Comment number 72.

    Murray is Scottish. Fact. We are English. Fact. Murray has made disparaging remarks about the English. Fact. This bit you can remove, I dislike the bad-mouthed loser. Leave the rest, please.

  • Comment number 73.

    Just like to say, that I would have maintained Wimbledon's grass court playing tradition in ALL respects.

    For the Championships i would have kept everything as it was, wooden rackets, standard stringing, ball compression, shoes AND the original grass seed. What an absolute unique Championships it would be, so so different. Aah, just a dream.....

  • Comment number 74.

    He needs to lose his mum for at least year, before it's too late.

    In the old days compulsory national service would have broken the umbilical cord for him.
    He can see her for 2 weeks at xmas, period.

  • Comment number 75.

    If he can't sort that bit of his life out for himself then he's definitely going to struggle with the pressure of high level tennis.
    At that level of sport, mental ability becomes every bit as important as physical ability.

    And at the end of the day the whole lot of them will be stronger for it too.

  • Comment number 76.

    How many grand slams does the Scot have? The fact that Salmond got involved is unbelievable. Are we dealing with something similar to Batasuna?

  • Comment number 77.

    Before looking at Murray, just a quick comment on the reference to Ivanisevic and his victory displaying easier years in Wimbledon tennis, Goran was a four time finalist, and as McEnroe has said in this tournament a player with one of the three best serves the game has ever seen, so to be frank I wouldn't have fancied Murray in that period either.
    The crowd was mentioned in an earlier comment, and they did go flat but ultimately I see that as indicative of Murray himself, he just fails to project himself as a determined, talented, confident player when he steps on court against the best. Personally as well if i was in competition with a man in his mid-twenties who had his mum in his corner cheering his every point I'd feel quite lifted, I would view it as a weakness or a sign of an unconfident man, much like Becker has commented throughout.
    In fact post match one of the most worrying aspects of this defeat is Murray's opinion that it was "aggressive" policy that led to this loss. It wasn't his overt aggression, it was the simple errors during his mental vacation and the fact as mentioned by others that his first serve percentage dropped to below 50% (4th set) - I would like to see the serve percentages of the top 4 players across the last two years of slams, it seems as though Murray rarely triumphs in this area against the top players without improving on this aspect he will have to struggle so much to win a major tournament.
    So there are many areas he can work on, he's undoubtedly a great player but to win he will have to improve, Djokpvic has really led the way here, his increased aggression, in every facet of his game has led to his ascent to world number one. When I hear Murray saying this defeat was down to excess aggression I have to wonder if he has the tactical nous, skills, confidence and physical and mental strength to ever dominate Nadal, Federer, Djokovic and lift one of the major trophies.

  • Comment number 78.

    @72.

    Murray is Scottish. Fact. Scotland is part of GB. Fact. England is part of GB. Fact. The Union Jack is made up from the Scotland and England flags. Fact. Those flags can therefore be used independently at the choice of the person. Fact. Scottish and English (and Welsh and Irish) people say 'disparaging' things about one another all the time. Fact. English people have said 'disparaging' things about Andy since day one. FACT.

    Ergo, what does being English, or Scottish, have ANYTHING to do with being British? Unless you are trying to tell me that you are subscribed to the uneducated view that British = English, in which case all your points are void. At the end of the day British people say bad stuff about each other all the time, be it Scottish and English people, or 'Northerners' and 'Southerners'. All the people like you need to get a grip and realise this before you start demonising one of our best sportsmen who coincidentally apologised for things he said. Bitter much? Cause if you are saying all the nice people down in London shouldn't be supporting Andy at Wimbledon cause of this immature point of view about what is British, then you are very very bitter.

  • Comment number 79.

    i would be quite happy to be half of the "failure" tim and andy often get percieved to be. 4 in the world is briliant. we never chide athletes for being "only" no 4 but tennis so desparate to be top dog. i think andy has the physical game but like jo wilfred tsonga can't quite do the mental stamina for a 5 set grand slam big match. sort that & its much more of a likelihood. good luck andy!

  • Comment number 80.

    MacPlop @ 72/76

    I spy with my little eye (!) something beginning with Scotaphobia.

    Nasty complaint but by no means incurable. You have to want to be cured though.

  • Comment number 81.

    What a bunch of losers you lot are. No wonder England keep losing. this defeatism is very disheartening. and for Andrew castle to suggest Murray might never win a major beggars belief. i guess that is why he (Castle) never got past the first round at this event.
    Winners never think this way. they dust themselves down and get back in the ring and try again until at last they achieve their goal. that is exactly what Murray will do because he is a winner.
    Murray will work on keeping his serve to the same intensity as it was in set 1, and to execute half court forehands as clinically as nadal. and he will be back again next year and the following until he wins.
    remember, nadal has been a professional 4 years longer than Murray so there is no need to panic.
    And please don't suggest Federer and Nole are at the same level as nadal; they are one level below along with andy. i happen to think Murray has the best game to get at nadal as long as he keeps his serving stats up. they dropped off dramatically yesterday.
    And for those who criticise Murray, hang your head in shame. better still, get off to switzerland and support your beloved attention seeking Federer. To criticise someone for being reserved, reticent, careful is tawdry. thankfully, we are not all celebrity seeking wannabees that seem to populate the south east region of this country.

  • Comment number 82.

    What "high risk strategy"? Trying to keep the ball in?
    What a feeble excuse! He must face reality.
    He lost because he made too many errors,and he tries to win spectacularly rather than
    win. His shots down the line were makable, they were poorly executed.
    I would describe him a talented but incompetent.
    An amateur practices until he gets it right, a pro practices until he can't get it wrong.

  • Comment number 83.

    Im 56 now and ive said it all my life - we may never get a Wimbledon mens champion. Why?. Because we in the uk only let kids from privileged backgrounds get on a tennis circuit. NO investment in schools and no tennis courts etc. Also people like Henman and Murray have not got the hunger and drive that you would see in a kid reared on some council estate. The kid on the estate never is given the the opportunity and so has no hope. Nadal says he was playing tennis at four, most kids dont ever see a tennis court. No equality in Britain means no Wimbledon champ - accept it.

  • Comment number 84.

    54. The BBC are not tallowed to be negative about a British player...
    ------

    Have you ever listened to Martin Brundle tearing into Lewis Hamilton?

  • Comment number 85.

    "Goran Ivanisevic took advantage in 2001 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002. Is Murray an inferior player to those two? No."

    Typical, arrogant, dismissive Brit comment. And there lies the problem......

  • Comment number 86.

    @84.
    RantingMrP

    Lewis Hamilton is a Formula One driver, not a tennis player. Wakey, wakey.

  • Comment number 87.

    72. At 11:50 2nd Jul 2011, Plop wrote:
    "Murray has made disparaging remarks about the English. Fact."

    Link to your source please?

  • Comment number 88.

    How can anyone in their right mind think Andy murray is a better player than Goran?? Andy is a good player. Goran was great on his day. FOUR Wimbledon finals. He won one, should have beaten agassi also. And quarters in all other slams and semi at the US. Goran would wipe the floor with murray in his prime. No contest. Too many people have short memories

  • Comment number 89.

    This over analysis is in keeping with the cringeworthy 'Murray Show' over the last couple of weeks. Personally I like Murray and think he is an excellent player, but I can understand why some people are fed up hearing about him and would see him lose so that the media stop banging on about him.

    Would add that to state he's not 'good enough' to win a slam is shortsighted at best. A player cannot 'luck' his way to 3 Slam Finals if he's not good enough.

    As others have said, the hard courts of AUS & US are his best bet - that's right tennis is played for more than 2 weeks at SW19!

  • Comment number 90.

    Well I still believe that Andy is definitely going to win a grand slam!

  • Comment number 91.

    As predictable as the Murray hype is, the overblown negativity from Britain after he is out of the tournament is just as so, i suppose it is rather fashionable these days to do anything but support our sportsmen.

    Yes he is clearly not on the same level as the other guys at the moment, but do people remember how average Djokovic was till around the US open last year, after his maiden slam win in Aus. Murray was arguably performing much better than him, and this shows that it is possible to step up, and that they (or at least Djokovic, as the other two are two of the greatest players ever) are not as massively far away as is exaggerated by many.

    Winning a solitary grand slam doesn't instantly make someone a great player. There is a considerable list of players who have won one grand slam and done little to nothing else. What matters, in my opinion, is being able to mix BOTH consistently being at the end of championships AND being able to go on and win grand slams.

    (One analogy of this situation I believe you can draw from, is 'one hit wonders' of the music world, where one massively successfully single is followed by complete anonymity)

    For that matter, Del Potro is not 'way' better than Murray and I believe he doesn't deserve to be classed as better. Yes he won a grand slam, but hes made one other semi, at the french, and consistency matters a great deal too. Obviously he has been massively hampered by injury and it might be that he does end up winning more and proving better than Murray, however there is no way to gauge that yet, we have to wait and see how many more semi's and final's he can get to.

    In the end, as disappointing as yesterday's match was, 4 semi's in a row is still a great achievement, and to be the number 4 player in the world in your respective sport is an incredible achievement

  • Comment number 92.

    Murray, I think, has one more chance to do this at SW19 and I think he's going to need to be in the Federer half of the draw - and even then he'll need to beat potentially either Novak or Rafa in the Final so JUST getting to the final probably will be THE accheivement. However I think he'll win other events and other slams - just maybe not SW19.

    I only hope this year hasn't damaged him too much.

  • Comment number 93.

    The very early hope for Andy, a few years back, was that he'd be the guy to succeed Federer (at the very least on grass and hardcourt) as the no. 1 superstar and become a several-time Slam winner.

    Obviously, that really seems unlikely to happen.

    So he's not the next Federer, or Nadal, or Djokovic. Well, that's okay, let's just accept that. We know he's the best British player since Perry, and he has a chance to one day still get that Wimbledon crown. And perhaps some others yet.

    He really only needs to win Wimbledon once and he'll be able to lunch out on it for the rest of his life! British wait finally over, one of a select few to win a Slam anyway and so on.

  • Comment number 94.

    Savour his talent. I watch tennis all year round and Murray is an outstanding contributor to an outstanding era of mens tennis. He may not be able to overcome the relentless Nadal when it matters most, but we should appreciate his ability and fantastic shotmaking for what it is. When he wraps up his career he will hopefully have achieved his goals and we will realise just how good Murray was, it just so happens that there a a couple of better plays on the planet.

  • Comment number 95.

    Wonder if the French media blew everything completely out of proportion in regards to Tsonga's defeat.

    People criticise Murray not because he isn't good enough to defeat the top 3 when it comes down to the latter end of the tournaments, but rather he has proven multiple times he can beat the top 3 so is expected to win.

    Really hope he gets a coach in before the US Open so they can work to understand how to best implement his game. I believe he can win the US Open this year, but depending on which quarter Del Potro goes into, he may have to defeat 3/4 of the other best players in the world, consecutively.

  • Comment number 96.

    I find all the reports and comments on this match about the most bizarre I have ever seen, or did I watch another match.
    Did I not see Andy pull up clutching his hip in agony in that second set. Did I not see his game go south from that moment on. Did I not see those flawless forehands that had been skimming the net start dropping too low or going long. Did I not see him stop going for short balls, or stopping halfway (something he never does). Did I not see him repeatedly pressing his side after shots.
    And yet, it's like none of these things ever happened. I must have been watching a different match.

  • Comment number 97.

    96. At 15:55 2nd Jul 2011, canchaz.

    Only reports in THIS country it seems canchaz.

    Read this from the NY Times - unbiased & accurate.

    http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/02/sports/tennis/wimbledon-nadal-djokovic-federer-and-murray-drive-mens-game.html?_r=1&adxnnl=1&ref=sports&adxnnlx=1309618823-+j2YojCEA1vxUU2tbm6uSQ

  • Comment number 98.

    It still makes me laugh when people say that Murray is a failure... He is still 4th in the world of his chosen profession. That seems to be quite an achievement in my eyes. And I an certain that these critical people have not reached such heights in their profession (it sure puts my modest achievements into perspective!). Back to the armchair for another entertaining rant, please...

  • Comment number 99.

    Good to see all the bitter people here taking a vendetta against Murray.

    Maybe they'll all stop whining when he wins in US/Aussie?

  • Comment number 100.

    lets be honest i never thought andy could beat nadal in five sets, lets put it oin order, in grass it goes a little like this nadal, federer, andy, than djokovic, if andy played djokovic he would've very much have beated djokovic, nadal was too good, but the forehand andy missed was the turning point, and someone mentioned about his mum, andy's way too much a mummy's boy, yeah me too, but i wouldnt want her to be every tournament, only slams, and he keeps on looking to her inspiration, nadal never does that or federer, but djokovic does, i dont think djokovic is better than andy, djokovic got lucky he faced tsonga, a unknown player at australian open slam, and andy who is not aggresvive in 2010, this andy who played very aggrisively would have definetly would have beatn nadal,

    and the goat claim, it surely goes to nadal now, federer only had a young boy chasing after him, who was nadal, slowly but gradually turning into a man, but nadal has probabily the greatest player ever in federer, and djokovic and murray and others now who did federer have,

 

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