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Murray 'needs more confidence in his game'

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Tom Fordyce | 07:34 UK time, Tuesday, 26 June 2012

Andy Murray, ardent football fan, could be forgiven for having watched the England football team's displays at the European Championships with a certain amount of jealousy.

Not because he wanted them to lose (that was a mis-quote and a long time ago) but for the near-complete absence of expectation around their performances.

For while the English sporting public appear to have accepted that 23 men plus one wise old coach cannot be expected to end a 46-year wait for another trophy, they still seem to believe that one young man should end a far more malevolent hoodoo stretching back a further 30 years.

Very little about Wimbledon fortnight is particularly fair on Murray. On a surface that is not his favourite, after a build-up marred by injury and uncertain form, watched by millions who ignore tennis for the remaining 50 weeks of the year, he must either be crowned champion or forever be thought of as a failure, glorious or plucky or otherwise.

All this - and three of the greatest players in history to get past?

"In January I thought the gap between Andy and Rafa, Roger and Novak was getting smaller," says Richard Krajicek, Wimbledon champion in 1996 and back this year as an expert for BBC Radio 5 live. "Now I'm not so sure.

"This year those top three guys have been playing amazing tennis. Let's take just one of them. In my time there was Michael Chang who ran everything down and, as his opponent, that gave you real problems. Rafa is at another level above that altogether.

"He is so fast that you have to hit the ball even closer into the corner of the court, so close that you can easily go a fraction long or wide. When you make the error, you start doubting yourself - was that the right shot? Am I playing badly?

"I call it the Rafa Bonus. He makes you insecure. He makes you doubt yourself. He makes you take risks that you don't want to take."

Andy Murray heads to Wimbledon having lost all three of his preparation matches. Photo: Reuters

Nadal has beaten Murray at Wimbledon in all three of their meetings. Murray has lost to Djokovic and Federer, twice, in the three Grand Slam finals he has made. So what does he need to add to his game to break through that cut-glass ceiling?

"Murray is at a very high standard," says Krajicek. "Physically he is at the same level as the big three. He has shown plenty of times that he can produce their level of tennis.

"What he needs is to believe that. That sounds like a strange thing to say, but he needs more confidence in his game. He needs to remind himself that the top three are scared of his game and of his strength.

"A little more belief in his game would take him a long way. I don't think he has to worry so much. Don't worry about hitting winners, don't worry about taking your time in a point. There is a middle ground between passive and going all out for winners, and that's where he wants to be.

"Tactically he could certainly come to the net more. He came in against Federer in their last few meetings but sometimes did it off the wrong approach shot and got passed. He then stopped doing it, whereas what he should have done is keep doing it but off the right ball.

"Sometimes he doesn't seem to realise how big a game he has. I think he can out-hit both Rafa and Novak. Roger maybe has more power, but Murray is close behind.

"I wish I had possessed his game. He maybe isn't as consistent as those three above him, but neither was I and I still won a Grand Slam title. He has to believe in his game and there will be a Wimbledon or US Open title for him."

Some might consider Murray cursed to be at his peak when Federer, Nadal and Djokovic are all close to theirs. Andre Agassi has told the BBC that Murray would have won "multiple" Slams in another era.

Across all four of the Slams, there is now far less room for a Petr Korda, Thomas Johansson or Thomas Muster to sneak through on the inside and snatch one of the big ones. At Wimbledon, there is no sign of an opening to exploit as Goran Ivanisevic did in 2001 and Lleyton Hewitt in 2002.

Might Murray have to accept that he will be bracketed instead with the Tsongas, Berdychs and Soderlings rather than that trio of elites, that he may have to play the same role as Miloslav Micir in the 1980s and Marcelo Rios in the '90s?

"He shouldn't think about being unlucky," advises Krajicek. "It is very, very hard to be ranked number one right now. He can win big tournaments, Grand Slams, world tour finals - that's where his chances are for me. Not being number one.

"The dominance of those big three with ranking points is extraordinary. When I was on the tour, Pete Sampras was the best player by some margin but he wasn't winning as much as they are. It was the same with Stefan Edberg. Rafa Nadal has been world number two for longer than anyone else and we don't think less of him.

What of Murray's age? To win your first Grand Slam at his current age of 25 is historically unlikely. With the exceptions of those rogue champions above, the big winners start early and carry on.

"Andy has to make sure that he doesn't start to believe he might have missed the boat," says Krajicek.

"I feel positive for him. For the last three years I've been telling tennis fans in Holland that he will win a Grand Slam event. He could have won Wimbledon last year, had he been able to maintain the level he was at in the first set of the semi-final against Nadal.

"In his coach Ivan Lendl he has the perfect example. It took Lendl a long time to win a Grand Slam too, yet he kept believing and kept working. Once he got that break - in his case, coming from two sets down to beat John McEnroe at the French Open in 1984 - he went on to win another seven. Andre Agassi too - he lost his first three Slam finals. It takes time but you can make that step."

And what if this fortnight, as with so many before, fails to end Fred Perry's unwanted record? How then should the country treat its vanquished son?

"If he doesn't win Wimbledon he is still a great player. People say Lendl failed at Wimbledon. Ask him and he will point to two finals and five semi-finals on his worst surface.

"If Andy lost in the first round five times in a row you could call him a failure. Instead he has made three semi-finals, playing in the toughest era in tennis history. Britain should appreciate the player it has."

Comments

  • Comment number 1.

    Interesting comments from Krajicek. I do wish people would stop going on about '76 years since Fred Perry' won at Wimbledon as if that has something to do with Murray. He's only been playing there since 2005, so what were everyone else doing between Perry and Murray? I want Murray to win a grand slam for himself first of all.

  • Comment number 2.

    A good blog Richard. And you are right about the fact that instead of supporting our great tennis players (Henman included) we bemoan the fact that they haven't won Wimbledon as if it is their fault! Even when they have made numerous Semi-Finals.

    I too believe, like many, that Murray's only weakness is his mental attitude. In terms of tennis ability I think he is the equal of all of them but needs somehow to believe in himself more and not castigate himself when things do not go right. He is not a bottler and can beat the big three, as he showed against Rafa in the US a couple of seasons ago but he does not believe himself enough when points go against him.

  • Comment number 3.

    I completely agree with the comments from Krajicek. Murray is a special talent and people in Britain should recognise that.

    Murray can do really well in this year's Wimbledon if the pressure is not piled on from the media. It always seems to be his luck that when a major football tournament if played, England are knocked out by the time that he starts Wimbledon. No-one else could take this amount of pressure and achieve what he has done.

    http://playwithflair.com/2012/06/25/wimbledon-2012-who-can-stop-the-top-four/

  • Comment number 4.

    I know this is becoming somewhat of a cliché now, but Andy is truly unlucky to be playing tennis in an era where the three players above him in the rankings will go down as all time greats. On a positive note, this would make winning that elusive grand slam all the sweeter if he were to manage to win one. (I think he's definitely got the game, he just needs to put it all together in the second week of a slam)

    Personally I think Andy's best shot is the US Open, but it's not inconceivable that he'll win on grass. Roland Garros aside, he's a threat to the others at any other slam. But truth be told, right now, that's all he is. A threat, not a rival. All the best Andy, do us proud!

  • Comment number 5.

    I was on court two yesterday watching Oli Golding constantly beating himself up if he didn't win key points and he appears to be copying Andy Murray. Look at Federer and Nadal and they have their feelings under complete control and even when Djokovic gets angry he channels this in to an attitude that says "you will not beat me".

    If Murray wants to win a grand slam then he needs to sort out his mental attitude and if Golding wants to do well in a game where he has great ability then he needs to copy the three greats and not his fellow Brit.

  • Comment number 6.

    Nadal, Federer and Djokovic are just in a different class to Murray.

    I do rate Murray alongside the Ferrers and the Soderlings and the Tsongas. A very talented player, but not one of the greats of this era.

    I don't think he will ever win a Grand Slam tournament. I don't think he has the mental strength or the physical stamina to do it. He falls short in that regard.

  • Comment number 7.

    @6 - No - If Tennis stopped tomorrow, Murray would occupy a unique place. Undoubtedly below the top three but equally undoubtedly above the Tsonga, Ferrer and Berdych's - who don't have enything approaching Murrays GS record.

    A good piece Tom, and I'm glad the point was made about others like Johansen, Muster, Petr Korda, Hewitt and Ivanisevic (add Roddick to that list) sneaking through to win Slams. I wouldn't mind betting that a quick Locker Room survey of players past and present would rate Murray above most - if not ALL of those aforementioned.

  • Comment number 8.

    @ 7. But if it was a Grand Slam final with the added pressure, I ask you: would Murray find a way to lose against even those standard of players? When I mention 'mental strength' I don't just mean playing Nadal, Federer and Djokovic. I'm talking about playing the occasion too. Can Murray do that?

  • Comment number 9.

    With a very strong maternal figure, who has pushed him from a very early age, the confidence and self-belief Andy Murray needs is hard to come by, because however well he does he knows she wants (and expects) more. He knows how much his failure hurts her; being No.4 in the world is not good enough for him - or her.
    If and when he manages to do this tennis thing only for himself, he might just achieve his full potential, which is probably to win a few Majors, including Wimbledon. But although she may be physically less obviously present now than 3-4 years ago, psychologically she is hugely present.

  • Comment number 10.

    @8 - A fair point, but I don't necessarily think it IS the occasion....each time it's been one of those three - and I'm talking about all the S/F's also - including Nadal in THREE semi finals last year. We'll never know if he'd have beaten an Andy Roddick or a Lleyton Hewitt in a US Open Final, but I think he'd have been favourite to do so.
    Put it this way - Gerulaitis was the Murray of his day, but because he won a couple of Aussie Opens (in the absence of the big three), we tend to forget more easily all those losses to Borg, Connors and MacEnroe in Grand Slam Semis and Finals. Remember his "nobody beats Vitas Gerulaitis 19 straight" after he eventually won against Jimmy Connors. Mentally weak? I don't think so - just not quite as good as the others.....

  • Comment number 11.

    All this talk that Murray would've been a world number 1 apart from being unlucky to play in an era with Nadal, Djokovic and Federer is rubbish.

    Would he have beaten Borg, Mcenroe, Connors in the early 80s? no.
    Would he have beaten Becker, Edberg, Lendl in the mid late 80s? no
    Would he have beaten Sampras, Agassi in the early mid 90s? no
    Is he beating Nadal, Federer, Djokovic now? no

    There have always been great players - most of which have one thing in common, talent coupled with incredible mental strength.

    Murray might have the talent, but in no way does he have the mental strength. Thats why he will always fall short. Add in the fact that he has no personality and is dull and dour and frankly I'd rather see one of the other three win.

  • Comment number 12.

    Unkind @11. Fair enough the points about other Era's. BUT - Borg/Connors/McEnroe is the other great triumvirate and they were so good that from 76-84 no-one else won Wimbledon or the US Open (except when they played the US on Clay. And think about Wimbledon in 1987. Pat Cash deservedly won but he only faced one top player - Lendl in the Final, and I've had backed Cash every day of the week to have won that match - Murray has never benefitted from a similar scenario. Cash never won another Slam because he alwasy came up aginst someone who was better on the day - Edberg/Willander.
    As for the no personality / dull / dour comment - I prefer to listen to the people who know him better - players & media, where he is generally very popular.

  • Comment number 13.

    @12 I agree Murray could get lucky like Cash. But thats the only way he will win one, with the aid of luck.

    As for his personality, i don't care if he is popular amongst the pros. He needs to make more of an effort, he really does. Look at Djokovic's antics on court and his post match interview yesterday. He comes across as so friendly and warm. Could you ever say the same about Murray?

    Also don't get me started on Murray's on court injuries. Another illustration of his mental deficiency.

  • Comment number 14.

    @13 - He's a nice guy - I'd rather he was himself in front of the camera's rather than trying to cultivate a false persona to try and curry favour (Faldo/Monty). As for on court injuries - I'll kind of give you that one! Although I do think they are genuine he doesn't half let us know!!

    Personally - if he does somehow win next Sunday, or in New York etc, I'll be delighted, if a little surprised.

  • Comment number 15.

    When asked about the England football team several years ago Murray said what did he care...he was Scottish. I for one hope he loses , I'm English!

  • Comment number 16.

    Can I add a follow up to the general 'not mentally strong enough' thinking......
    Has Federer 'become' mentally weaker recently? He has effectively inhabited Murray territory for the past two years has he not? Novak and Nadal playing last 4 Slam Finals, and Fed's last Slam he beat Murray to win it - the one before that - he beat Soderling. Oh - and the one before that - he beat Roddick. Oh and the one before that - he beat Murray.
    In fact, he hasn't beaten either Djokovic or Nadal to win a Slam since he beat a 20 year old Djokovic in 2007 - nearly five full years. He's lost four Finals to Nadal and one to Del Potro.
    So Federer - since the arrival of the ' Big Two' (as I think I shall now provocatively call them) hasn't beaten one of them to win a Slam......Kind of puts Murray's record in perspective doesn't it?

  • Comment number 17.

    @15 OH PULEASE!! - HE- WAS - JOKING!!!! Jeez how many times does that need to be said.
    Just when a yorkshireman refers to Yorkshire as God's own County - it's tongue in cheek and we know you're only kidding.......

  • Comment number 18.

    Murray's main weakness now I believe is his predictability. He tries to wear players down and force them into making mistakes, or tire them out and rely on his superior fitness. A few years ago Murray started beating the top 3 regularly on the tour. But the top 3 guys have figured him out now, and are as fit, if not fitter than he is. Now other players are doing so too. I don't think he has a "Plan B", so when his tactics aren't working, he can't seem to snap out of it and try something different.

    Don't get me wrong, he is a top top class player, and it would be marvellous if he were to win a slam. But I honestly don't think he will ever win one, mainly because Djokovic and Nadal are young too, and have many top years ahead of them. Only Federer's retirement, and injury to Nadal and Djokovic would give him a chance. Even then you have the likes of Tsonga, Ferrer, Berdych, Del Potro, Soderling (when fit) and Tipsarevic who would all think they have a shout too.

  • Comment number 19.

    #17. No i'm not joking. The Scots hate the English national football side. Worst moment in Scottish football, England winning the World Cup. Who do the Scots support anybody except the English.

  • Comment number 20.

    @19 - This Scotsman supports England, against everybody except my own Nation. Yes there are plenty of my narrow minded / chip on their shoulder Countrymen who do dislike England, but I'm not one of them - and neither is Andy Murray

  • Comment number 21.

    Some more belief, some more aggression and a little bit of luck. That's basically all Murray needs to be able to win his first Slam finally. Easier said than done, I guess, but he has to keep grafting.

    I don't believe Murray was misquoted, btw, but it WAS supposed to just be a joke. That blew up in a way it shouldn't have.

  • Comment number 22.

    To 15. Read the quote from Murray re. England. He didn't say anything of the sort. You are obviously spoon fed from the media.

    Nice article & pretty spot on. The frustrating thing about Murray vs the top guys is that I can't remember him getting beat whilst playing at his best. Normally his 1st serve % is low, his unforced errors are high. Obviously the argument is that he has to push the boat out more against these guys, but I don't buy that.

    Murray has enough tactical nouse to tell him that he needs to take 5-10 mph off his serve from time to time. But there is almost an arrogance about him when he is serving badly that he starts going for even bigger serves…which in turn effects his %’s.

    If Murray can stay in a set with his serve then he will always carve out chances on ANYONE’s serve, because he is one of the top returners in the game.

    I have noticed recently that his serve has not been as much of a weapon as it became, 2-3 seasons ago. The 2nd serve has always been fairly weak but that has been worse recently too. I am convinced Murray’s entire game should revolve around his serving. The rest will come naturally. Lendl should be able to help with that, but I am not sure he has pinpointed it as the area of concern.

    He also shifted focus away from the tour events and towards the majors. This is fine in theory but if he is not careful he will be overtaken in the rankings which will mean he would likely play Federer in the Quarters – not what you want!

    My advice would be to take a step back. Focus again on winning the tour events. He was at his most dangerous in the majors coming in on the back of tour wins e.g. When he won 3 tournaments in a row in the American hard court season (cincinatti etc) then went all the way to the US Open finals.

    Murray will win a major if he makes some subtle, positive changes. If he continues as he is at the moment…he will not.

  • Comment number 23.

    @19.
    So you dislike Murray because of something that he supposedly said, but it is ok for you to tarnish all Scots with the same brush. You can’t generalise an entire nation because of what some people believe. Half of the Scots only say stuff like that for a bit of banter anyway. Murray lives in London with his English girlfriend. He would have to be pretty stupid if he was as anti-English as some people like to make out.

  • Comment number 24.

    I just don't buy this argument of strong era, three of the best players ever, Murray is unlucky etc etc. Murray has fundamental weaknesses in his game that would have been exposed 10 or 20 years ago by the best players of the time like it is exposed now.

    Once again the BBC belittles the achievements of other players of bygone days to regard them as "rouge" grand slam winners. Put it this way, Muster, Ivanisevic and Hewitt would have beaten Murray at those points in time too.

    It's time to stop making excuses and dragging out old champs to say nice thigs about Murray. What else are they going to say? They're hardly going to diss him with a few million British fans reading are they? They want to remain popular so they say the right things. The same happened when the golden oldies were asked about Henman. They tell the Beeb what they want to hear!

  • Comment number 25.

    @redpirate I agree with much of what you say and would add that talent wise Murray is right up their IMHO, Federer is the only one who can eclipse him in the top four. Also I look at Djokovic since he won his first major title in 2008 and he has been trying different things to improve incrementally over the years (including adding Todd Martin to his camp although this did not work) and I've not seen a similar focus on improvement in recent years from Murray since he reached the US Open final in 2008 up until the addition of Ivan Lendl to his team as coach in 2012 (an inspired appointment I believe). Since then Murray has played through an injury niggle to his back with mixed resultsincluding a stellar performance in defeat to Djokovic in Australia where at times he played with the authority and flexibility that he will need to win a major title especially in the second and third sets. There are a couple of things I would like to see from Murray in the coming months as he continues to work with Lendl hopefully for at least 18 months or so. Firstly improve consistency on the first serve to be able to regularly serve at 60-70% 1st serve (e.g. at Miami against Djokovic in the final this year he served just 55% in the match) and secondly play the same way throughout a tournament to develop good habits in an attempt to win it e.g. play with authority and dominance from round one.

  • Comment number 26.

    It's fair to say that Murray hasn't performed his best in Slam finals, but he has beaten the Nadal in a semi, and get close to Djokovic is Melbourne this year. He shouldn't let the French Q/F get him down to much, it's always going to be his worst slam. Unfortunately, he seems to have done. Up until then he was looking as close as anyone until Djokovic and seemed to be making progress. When he is down he loses sets cheaply rather than the odd game, making him more likely to lose serve again than break back. His serve is as good as anyone on the quicker surfaces, and if he can stop it misfiring when he gets tight then he has a great chance. However, winning the first set against the big 3 is a must for Murray, and high first serve %, and taking a bit more risk on second serve is vital.

  • Comment number 27.

    @24 TheRoar - I don't think your argument bears much scrutiny at all.
    1. Past players are probably more likely to stand up for their OWN era rather than than the current one.
    2. BBC 'yet again belittle players of a bygone age' - when have they ever done that?
    3. Please - Ivanisevic and Muster wouldn't be rated above Murray by anyone exept their Mothers - Hewitt possibly closer.

  • Comment number 28.

    #22 / #17 - to quote Mr Murray 'he would be supporting anyone other than England in the 2006 World Cup' . We hoped Andy could contribute something to the UK a little bit more than a Scotch pie and a grimace. Know what i mean.

  • Comment number 29.

    @david legge

    Nice to hear someone speaking some sense in a Murray debate, and trying their best to prevent it descending into the usual Scotland-England garbage (as has been pointed out on numerous occassions, Murray has an English girlfriend, lives in England etc etc so I just can't understand how people that barely know the guy think they can call him anti-English... non-sensical.)

    @12 Regarding his so-called on-court 'injuries'... I would like to add that Murray has retired less times than any other professional tennis player in the game today. Players pick up injuries! Murray hates to retire and tries to stick it out. If that's not physical (and mental) strength then i don't know what is.....

  • Comment number 30.

    @24

    totally disagree, I think Nadal and Djokovic would MURDER any player before the Sampras era. On the top of their game they would probably hammer Sampras and Agassi too.

    It's all relative to the era so we can never prove it, but I genuinely think Murray is unfortunate - he's SO far ahead of number 5 in the world but definitely behind number 3.....

  • Comment number 31.

    @15 you are mixing up nationalism with patriotism, Andy is a proud Scot but proudly plays TENNIS for the United Kingdom. who cares what football team he supports or doesn't support. ridiculous xenophobic comments to make with no founding in truth at all.

    moving on from the usual nonsense..

    great article, I hope andy takes the time to read it.
    It never fails to amaze me how here in the uk we berate a top world class athlete for "only" being no4 in the world, ridiculous.
    Andy is the best british player we have ever had by a country mile, a truly world class player. forget ancient records that have no bearing on the game that's played today.

    It is not andys fault he is playing in a time when we have arguably the finest top 3 players ever to have played the game. Ive said before that the top four are in the right order.. well they are at the moment ;-) Andy more than has the skills, he really just needs to believe that he can beat them, he seems to wait for the opponent to lose a point rather than him go out dictate and win the point aggressively, that's the only difference i can see when i compare his game to the top three.
    One of the best matches ive seen him play was against roddick at queens, semi final 2011, sublime tennis, it was like an exhibition match with roddick even muttering "keep it social" , i thought then if he continues to play like that then this year he will win wimbledon.. sadly.. not ;-)

    I truly hope that andy can breakthrough and win a slam, i think it will be more likely to be the us open than wimbledon but we can but hope ;-)

    anyway c'mon murray! or djoko or nadal or fed... or maybe tsonga ;-) As a tennis fan since borg i cant remember more exciting times for tennis.

    bring it on

  • Comment number 32.

    Re Murray's allegiances - watch him roaring on the Brits at the Olympics and you'll find that it won't matter a jot whether his team mates come from England or not!!

  • Comment number 33.

    #31 - I care..!. (that he wasn't behind the England team). How can he expect support from south of the border if he makes nationalistic / patriotic comments and won't get behind the England team. After all, what difference would it have made to him if he had???... other than making a few more friends.

  • Comment number 34.

    @27 and @30

    Take off you blue and white saltire tinted specs for a moment.

    Do you seriously think that retrivers like Nadal would stand much hope against Sampras on proper fast grass with 1990s racquet technology??!! Back in the time more skill was needed to get the ball past players now it's more and more about wearing an opponent out.

    Secondly, to speak more of Murray's weaknesses. A forehand and a serve has ALWAYS been important. A serve that is frequently under 60% or a second serve at around 80mph would have been pulverised by bygone players such as Agassi for example. A forehand that breaks down more often than Del Boy's three wheeler would also have spelt bad news for Murray 20 years, 10 years ago too.

    For a start Muster, Ferrero, Costa, Gaudio and muliple other one slam wonders would not have been bullied around the court by a lightweight like David Ferrer.

    Over the last 20 slams I don't see a world beater of any other era being foiled at the business end by three legends. I see a guy who just doesn't have what it takes both technically in his game and mentally to do it when it matters most. For a start, losing 10 games in a rown against Ferrer does not make him look like a champion elect. Meekly surrendering to Nadal last year in SW19 after he fluffed a chance to break also doesn't. Losing to decent but average players like Cilic and Wawrinka in the USO also doesn't make him look too great either.

    Murray is very good but I'm starting to hate the excuses of a strong era. They did the same with Henman and Sampras. eg. If only not for Sampras, Henman would have won x number of Wimby titles. Henny couldn't even get passed Ivan or Hewitt in the end. It's all dejavu!

  • Comment number 35.

    Roar @34 that is genuinely harsh, and I don't think most (professional) observers would agree with you.
    Comparing Sampras with Nadal is tough because they are in very slightly different eras, but only slightly. To call Nadal a 'retriever' is hard to fathom - you must be watching a different player to me! Sampras is near the top of anyone's GOAT list, but so too is Rafa so let's not get too hung up about that debate.

    However, bringing in Fererro, Muster, Gaudio Costa etc is strange because I don't see them being rated as great players - or anywhere near.

    To be honest, no player as technically flawed as the one you portray could win 8 Masters 1000 Titles. You need to do more homework......

  • Comment number 36.

    @33
    I have a mate like you, every few months I'll mention Andy Murray's name and she turns her nose up, oh i just don't like him she says, every time i say why? because he hates the English thats why. when i show her the facts all she can say is.. erm .. well.. i just dont like him. he's not patriotic, i just dont like him. like you she is misinformed and does not know the difference between nationalism and patriotism and does not want to hear the truth.

    any other country he would be lauded for his achievements.

    anyway enough of the football, this is about tennis.

    C'mon andy ;-) I'll support you no matter what. but federer will always be my favorite player of all time.. i suppose that makes me unpatriotic.. ;-)

  • Comment number 37.

    I agree with the majority verdict on this blog that Murray is ahead of the chasing pack (Tsonga, Ferrer etc) but some way behind the top 3.

    Most seem to be saying Murray's big problem is mental but I'd go further to say he just hasn't got the ability. If you look at the facts; to my knowledge Murray has yet to beat Djoko or Federer in a GS and his record against Nadal is very poor. The only time Murray seems to beat the big 3 are in smaller tournaments or Series 1000 events either at the end of the year when most are tired or at the start of the hardcourt season after a long break from SW19. All this says is Murray is better adjusting to surfaces.

    If you actually watch Murray play all he has weapons wise are a good return of serve, defence and consistent in keeping the ball in play. I've yet to see a performance of great shot selection (i.e. winners, down the line etc), even when he loses. It seems like he relies on unforced errors. He overplays drop shots too much which become easy to read and shows that Murray doesn't have any other answer.

    Don't get me wrong I really want him to win multi-GS', but my gut feeling is he either won't win any, or he will do a Roddick, Safin, Hewitt, Ivanesevic and might sneak 1/2 slams based on kindness on the draw and the big 3 either injured/tired/out of form.

  • Comment number 38.

    Yorkshirekippy and David Legge,

    I think everyone including Andy Murray is free to support whoever they like in whatever manner they like (as long as its legal) from whichever competition they like without being labelled small minded, racist or what have you.

    I hope Murray wins a grand slam (totally agree with he is skilled enough but lacks mental strength).

    I was happy that Italy beat England at the Euros

    I want Luke Donald to win a major but not Lee Westwood.

    I always support the Rebel Alliance and the Jedi.

  • Comment number 39.

    good win today for Murray, although Davydenko was even worse than expected. Murray just had to keep the ball in with slices and Nikolay went long or into the net after a couple of shots. Made for fairly dull viewing to be honest!
    Interesting to see if anyone can challenge the top 4, doesn't seem likely. And despite Federer's good showing in the first round and shaky starts for Rafa/Novak, it's hard to see past a repeat of the 2011 final, and probably with the same result I reckon

    http://samhopwood.blogspot.co.uk/2012/06/wimbledon-2012-those-four-again.html

 

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