Promoting tennis discussion.

Date: 22 Jan 2009 13:21:32
From: grif
Subject: Andy Murray: the power and the glory
"...I hear all the tales of Andy toughening up, putting on the necessary
weight and muscle, running repetitions of 400m sprints until his lungs
expanded to bursting point and his legs burnt. I see from his matches that
this added strength has made his first serve a true weapon and nearly all
the other facets of his game are sufficiently top drawer to emulate what
Novak Djokovic did this time last year - following up a place in the US Open
final by going one step better and winning the Australian title.

The impersonal computer read-out at Melbourne that takes the place of
Wimbledon's traditional velvet bag could not have been more amenable to
Britain's No 1, presenting him with the sort of potential first week that he
could hardly have bettered if he tried. Another plus is the way tournament
referee Wayne McKewen and his match scheduling team seem more than happy to
agree with the requests of foreign television companies. I'd be amazed if
Murray started any of his matches in the boiling glare of a sweltering
Aussie early afternoon because that is in the middle of the night British
time and the BBC would like Murray on court at breakfast time or later, when
he can be seen on its interactive service.

What still leaves me in doubt is not his ability to go the distance in one
potentially marathon encounter. In my opinion that is well within his
capabilities. The thing that concerns me is Murray's capacity to regroup,
recover and walk back on court two days later to do the whole thing all over

I'd love to banish such doubts because Murray is such a sensational talent
that he deserves to open his Grand Slam account as soon as possible.

However, I think back to three matches last year and wonder. The first was
his lacklustre exit from Wimbledon against Rafael Nadal a couple of days
after sending the nation's imagination into overdrive with that sensational
fightback to beat Richard Gasquet in five sets. The second was the US Open
final in September when, having finally overcome the Spaniard who was the
man of the moment, he could not offer any great resistance to the supreme
Roger Federer. And the last was the Tennis Masters Cup semi-final in
Shanghai a couple of months later when, after beating Federer so
magnificently, he was reduced to mush a day later when he faced Nikolay

Don't get me wrong, I think Murray is now more than capable of beating
anybody in the world on any given day. He's proved that by taking out all
the big guys at least once in the weeks since Wimbledon. I'm not totally
sure, though, playing over the best-of-five sets, whether he yet has
sufficient powers of recovery necessary to go through a potentially
demanding climax to the second week when he could quite easily have to
overcome first Nadal and then Federer. Abu Dhabi in an exhibition is one
thing, the Australian Open is another.

That Murray has been installed as favourite for the title in some quarters
won't affect him in the slightest, though it would be wrong to say that when
the balls start flying, top tennis players give no heed to a word that
bookmakers say.

I can cast my mind back to 1988 and recall going into this tournament as the
man with the shortest odds after winning Wimbledon and not thinking it
exerted any added pressure. If memory serves me well, they only boosted my
confidence a little more. On that occasion I came up short in the final to
Mats Wilander but never once was that because I felt the pressure of
expectation. He just handled the day better than I did.

In two weeks, Murray could easily be on the verge of becoming a Grand Slam
champion for the first time. He has nothing to fear, the time zones work in
his favour and his game is better than ever. Only one thing makes me think
somebody else will win: the fact that Federer is a proven exponent at
winning major titles.

Sure he's lost to Murray in both Abu Dhabi and Doha this year but they weren't
tournaments that got Federer truly revved up. One was an exhibition and the
other a lucrative season-opener that was nonetheless of modest status. The
Aussie Open is one of the Grand Slams and those are events Federer knows how
to win. He loves doing it and this year is determined to beat Pete Sampras's
record of 14."

Mind you , Cash did pick Murray for the TMC at the end of last year, so ...

Date: 22 Jan 2009 15:03:49
From: Guru
Subject: Re: Andy Murray: the power and the glory
Murray' s gonna bite the dust (Copyright by Federer) ;)


Date: 22 Jan 2009 10:00:37
From: Rose
Subject: Re: Andy Murray: the power and the glory
> On Jan 22, 8:03=A0am, "Guru" <> wrote:
> Murray' s gonna bite the dust (Copyright by Federer) ;)

looks like murray, fed, nadal, and djok are all in fine form .. should
be a helluva battle in the semis and finals.