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View Full Version : Andy Murray's 2011 - Your thoughts of it


Hitman
12-17-2011, 11:14 AM
How would you all rate Murray's year this year in comparison to where he was last year at this time, and also where he stands against the others going into 2012.

Positives I saw for him were the following
-Reached the semis of all four slams in the same year
-Defended his RU at the AO
-Played his best tennis on clay this past year, giving Nadal in MC and Djokovic in Rome a good fight.
-A second title in dominant fashion in Queens
-Beating Novak in Cincinnati, giving him his first defeat in a final in 2011
-A perfect Asian Swing, wining in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai, with a powerful win over Nadal in Tokyo final.
-Two Masters titles - now done this four straight years

Negative I saw
-Failed to deliver in the AO final, sure Novak was red hot, but Murray fizzled away.
-Lost his way again after the AO, with early losses in IW-Miami, however did pick himself up unexpectedly on the clay.
-Lost to Rafa in three straight slam semis on different surfaces.
-Mentally collapsed in the Wimbledon semi.
-Couldn't finish the season strong, although this was also due to the injury he was carrying, but it cost him the number 3 spot.

I think in the big moments, he just can't control his focus long enough. I am hoping that if he can just hold that part of himself together, he could get even more positives next year. I do think he belongs in the top four, because when he is playing well, he can beat anyone, but next year I think he needs to break through and win a slam. That really is the next step for him.

Homeboy Hotel
12-17-2011, 11:29 AM
I was trying to think of a response but you have literally, point for point, taken the words out of my mouth.

All in all, the only faults of Murray's year were mental. He needs to stop talking to his box when he gets late into a slam, when an opponent see's Murray anger they just feed off that energy like Nadal did 3 times.

Also, check his interview here (http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/15907211.stm). He regrets not taking a mid-season break like the other top 3 did. Maybe he should of not played Bangkok/Paris and 'attempted' to try play Basel. He could've rested that injury and maybe got to the final of London and ended 2011 as #3.

In hindsight, 2011 has been a very good year for Murray to 'mature' - some hard losses and withdrawals makes him learn some big lessons. And in the long run, I think that will help him most. Thus,
"It's not the size of the dog in the fight, it's the size of the fight in the dog"

tennis_pro
12-17-2011, 01:21 PM
If I have to be perfectly honest, I'm dissapointed with him. Andy lost that spark he had in 2008-2010 which gave hope for a victory in a big tournament. Right now I don't see him as a slam contender no matter what the bookies say.

It's all mental with him, in 2008-2010 he could still play well in major semis and did better in finals (than he did in 2011 - that was a disaster). Nowadays not only he falters in slam finals but also does it in semis, losing 3 times to Nadal this year (completely off mentally at Wimbledon and the US) and even his victory over Ferrer in AO wasn't convincing.

syc23
12-17-2011, 01:22 PM
Murray is improving incrementally in slams, people are heaping pressure on Murray to deliver that long awaited slam whilst giving Tsonga, Berdych and Soderling all the time in the world - all 3 players are at least 2 years older than Murray.

I won't be speculating much as to what 2012 has in store for the Scot but would not be surprised if he reaches his first Wimbledon final. He will also be better prepared for Indian Wells and Miami.

SLD76
12-17-2011, 02:40 PM
Wimbledon proved to me he will never win a major.

He just imploded all because of one point.

I mean, I have seen Federer implode before, but after a few games or what have you, he reigns it back in.

Rafa imploded after breaking Djoker to start the USO and then getting broken back immediately. After djoker held, Rafa imploded for a few games..but he kept coming back and fighting.


Murray .....has no heart.

Tony48
12-17-2011, 02:51 PM
I was really impressed at his form on clay, proving that he's no slouch on this surface. He gave Nadal a tough match at Monte Carlo, made the semis at RG for the first time and came close to handing Djokovic his first defeat of the season.

But the AO final and the Rome semi-final matches were very telling. Murray didn't put up much resistance in Australia and allowed an already incomparable Djokovic to get even better and become even MORE confident as the match went on.

In Rome, his desire to win was eclipsed by Djokovic's. If Murray wants to win a slam, he's going to have to fight for it. Djokovic wasn't going to just roll over and hand Murray that match....just like how Djokovic's wasn't going to hand Federer that U.S. Open match. Murray's going to have to ascend to that critical level of play that we have already seen from Nadal, Djokovic, and Federer.

Mainad
12-17-2011, 02:54 PM
Murray is improving incrementally in slams, people are heaping pressure on Murray to deliver that long awaited slam whilst giving Tsonga, Berdych and Soderling all the time in the world - all 3 players are at least 2 years older than Murray.

Excellent points, well made!

Mainad
12-17-2011, 03:09 PM
I think Murray had a reasonably good if patchy 2011. Like in 2010 he seemed to be up and down like a yo-yo. He needs to be a bit more consistent.

He did well in making all four Slam semis and finished the year with 5 titles including an Asian hat-trick. Unfortunately he lost the momentum he had built up in Asia and couldn't carry it over into the last two big tournaments of the year, Paris and London.

He never should have tried to play Basel. It was not on his schedule, he didn't need to play it and it just looked farcical when he then promptly pulled out after the organisers had gone to the trouble of giving him a wildcard. Not his finest moment.

All in all he finished the year confirming his status as the undisputed world #4.
His task for 2012 is to step it up and force his way into the top 3.

TTMR
12-17-2011, 04:23 PM
Wimbledon proved to me he will never win a major.

He just imploded all because of one point.

I mean, I have seen Federer implode before, but after a few games or what have you, he reigns it back in.

Rafa imploded after breaking Djoker to start the USO and then getting broken back immediately. After djoker held, Rafa imploded for a few games..but he kept coming back and fighting.


Murray .....has no heart.

I always hate this moronic Disney sports cliche, implying that just because a player loses, he didn't try as hard as the other guy. A winner is morally superior to a loser. The winner deserves accolades and adulation, while the loser deserves ridicule and contempt. Absurd.

I am sure Ferrer has tried as hard as is humanly possible to beat Federer, yet he's never been able to do so. Why? Primarily, Federer is a much better player, regardless of Ferrer's effort level, and secondarily, the matchup.

Murray lost because he is not as good as Nadal or Djokovic at this point (nor is Federer anymore as evidenced by his zero slam wins in 2011), not because he 'doesn't have the heart' or 'has no passion'. Anyone who has seen how emotional he is on the court would realize the guy is plenty passionate. If anything, he needs to contain himself and move from point to point with steely indifference.

mental midget
12-17-2011, 04:54 PM
he had a great year. the guys winning the slams are playing really goddamn well. he's close. i know it's ridiculous to criticize the strokes of a world-class player but i wish the mechanics on his forehand were a little looser. he can hit it well but he does arm it a bit relative to roger, nadal, novak etc, and as a result he doesn't seem to have as many options on his rally ball, ie. he has to get further out of the way to hit his inside-out forehand, for example. just my opinion.

kaku
12-17-2011, 05:02 PM
It's mostly mental for him. Against the top 3, he needs to stop letting everything get to him. His oncourt bursts wouldn't be nearly as bad if he just ignored it and moved onto the next point. A good example is Wimbledon vs Nadal. He should have never given away after his missed forehand at 15-30. It was still 30-30 after that error, by no means did it mean he had lost his chance to break. For murray to take his game to the next level and win a slam it has to be mostly mental for him. He was to believe that he can beat the top 3 guys not just at a masters level but at the slam level.

i also wish he would go down the line with his forehand more. watching the match vs nadal in tokyo, almost every time he went down the line he put nadal in a defensive position.

Standstill
12-17-2011, 06:43 PM
I always hate this moronic Disney sports cliche, implying that just because a player loses, he didn't try as hard as the other guy. A winner is morally superior to a loser. The winner deserves accolades and adulation, while the loser deserves ridicule and contempt. Absurd.

I am sure Ferrer has tried as hard as is humanly possible to beat Federer, yet he's never been able to do so. Why? Primarily, Federer is a much better player, regardless of Ferrer's effort level, and secondarily, the matchup.

Murray lost because he is not as good as Nadal or Djokovic at this point (nor is Federer anymore as evidenced by his zero slam wins in 2011), not because he 'doesn't have the heart' or 'has no passion'. Anyone who has seen how emotional he is on the court would realize the guy is plenty passionate. If anything, he needs to contain himself and move from point to point with steely indifference.

This man speaks the truth.

NadalAgassi
12-17-2011, 07:11 PM
Dissapointing. He was consistent and good but really made no forward progress at all. It is reaching now or never time for him. He isnt going to miracelously breakthrough if he hasnt yet at 27 or 28. If he wins a slam sometime in the next 2 years he could win multiple. However if he is still slamless at the end of 2013 he is never going to win one.

Crazy man
12-17-2011, 07:19 PM
i know it's ridiculous to criticize the strokes of a world-class player but i wish the mechanics on his forehand were a little looser.

I don't think 'looser' is the word you're looking for. I think he should revamp his FH technique all together. He's quite a natural player from his strokes, I think he brushes up, and plays too passive from the baseline. I don't think it's anything technical with Murray, he just needs to get am aggressive mindset and use it. The guy can hit big, but he enjoys camping 10 feet behind the baseline.

TTMR
12-17-2011, 09:24 PM
Wimbledon proved to me he will never win a major.

He just imploded all because of one point.



This is another sticking point that irritates me to no end, since it was ceaseless repeated by the likes of Carillo and McEnroe. They kept referring back to that one instant and saying 'that's where Murray lost the match'. He supposedly mentally collapsed at that point. Of course they have no evidence to back that up; it was just a nice little narrative to sell a mostly disinterested American audience.

I have no doubt that error aggravated him, and probably cost him his next service game (costing him the set). But the real reason why Murray seemingly completely fell off? He was serving out of his mind in the first set. Murray's first serve can be an ace/winner machine when it's on; however, his average hovers usually near 55% which is very poor for a top ten player, and it tends to weaken when match pressure builds. If you watched that first set, you'd see Murray and Nadal were fairly even from the baseline; Nadal might have even held a slight edge, but Murray was serving brilliantly. Unfortunately, no one can keep serving at that high of a percentage (I can't recall what it was, but it was very high for Murray) and simple regression kicked in.

That's why I think the key for Murray in terms of winning a slam in 2012 is less improving on mental strength (you gain confidence after achieving, you don't achieve because you are confident), and more on increasing mean first serve percentage without cost himself easy service points, and adding more kick/slice/disguise/whatever else to his second serve so he isn't put on defense right away when he does miss his first serve. That would be more than enough to put him over the top.

batz
12-18-2011, 02:25 AM
This is another sticking point that irritates me to no end, since it was ceaseless repeated by the likes of Carillo and McEnroe. They kept referring back to that one instant and saying 'that's where Murray lost the match'. He supposedly mentally collapsed at that point. Of course they have no evidence to back that up; it was just a nice little narrative to sell a mostly disinterested American audience.

I have no doubt that error aggravated him, and probably cost him his next service game (costing him the set). But the real reason why Murray seemingly completely fell off? He was serving out of his mind in the first set. Murray's first serve can be an ace/winner machine when it's on; however, his average hovers usually near 55% which is very poor for a top ten player, and it tends to weaken when match pressure builds. If you watched that first set, you'd see Murray and Nadal were fairly even from the baseline; Nadal might have even held a slight edge, but Murray was serving brilliantly. Unfortunately, no one can keep serving at that high of a percentage (I can't recall what it was, but it was very high for Murray) and simple regression kicked in.

That's why I think the key for Murray in terms of winning a slam in 2012 is less improving on mental strength (you gain confidence after achieving, you don't achieve because you are confident), and more on increasing mean first serve percentage without cost himself easy service points, and adding more kick/slice/disguise/whatever else to his second serve so he isn't put on defense right away when he does miss his first serve. That would be more than enough to put him over the top.

Whilst I genuinely enjoy reading your erudite rebuttals of the more vacuous criticism of Murray (e.g. the 'no heart' assertion above), I do think there might be something in the 'it's mental, not physical' viewpoint.

I haven't missed many of Andy's matches since 2005 and he does have a tendency to go walkabout mentally (see numerous bagels against him out of nowhere for more evidence of this phenomenon).

I was at that semi final with Nadal and when he missed that shot I winced, not just because it meant a missed double bp opportunity, but also because, as an experienced Murray watcher, I knew it had the possibility of being a 'walkabout' trigger. I actually turned to the person I was with and said "I hope that doesn't become a 'Sliding Doors' moment in the match".

The rest is history.

vernonbc
12-18-2011, 02:52 AM
That was an important point to be sure but c'mon, give Nadal a little bit of credit here too. Rafa's a two time Wimbledon champ and played pretty darn well himself and even if Andy hadn't made that mistake it would have been a real test for him to beat Rafa over five sets. Andy and Rafa have always had very close and very exciting matches. I always look forward to them playing.

batz
12-18-2011, 02:56 AM
That was an important point to be sure but c'mon, give Nadal a little bit of credit here too. Rafa's a two time Wimbledon champ and played pretty darn well himself and even if Andy hadn't made that mistake it would have been a real test for him to beat Rafa over five sets. Andy and Rafa have always had very close and very exciting matches. I always look forward to them playing.

+1

It was obvious to me that it wasn't just about Andy - Rafa stepped it up big style too.

CMM
12-18-2011, 03:52 AM
This is another sticking point that irritates me to no end, since it was ceaseless repeated by the likes of Carillo and McEnroe. They kept referring back to that one instant and saying 'that's where Murray lost the match'. He supposedly mentally collapsed at that point. Of course they have no evidence to back that up; it was just a nice little narrative to sell a mostly disinterested American audience.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GkxifsRFR9k#t=69s

kiki
12-18-2011, 05:17 AM
Murray better marries Dench and hangs up the racket...heŽll be far happier.

TTMR
12-18-2011, 07:45 AM
http://www.youtube.com/watch?feature=player_detailpage&v=GkxifsRFR9k#t=69s

Well of course Nadal is not going to say, "I'm the better player and I turned it on in set 2; he regressed back to his normal standard of play".

Whilst I genuinely enjoy reading your erudite rebuttals of the more vacuous criticism of Murray (e.g. the 'no heart' assertion above), I do think there might be something in the 'it's mental, not physical' viewpoint.

I haven't missed many of Andy's matches since 2005 and he does have a tendency to go walkabout mentally (see numerous bagels against him out of nowhere for more evidence of this phenomenon).

I was at that semi final with Nadal and when he missed that shot I winced, not just because it meant a missed double bp opportunity, but also because, as an experienced Murray watcher, I knew it had the possibility of being a 'walkabout' trigger. I actually turned to the person I was with and said "I hope that doesn't become a 'Sliding Doors' moment in the match".

The rest is history.

I don't disagree at all. He tends to spend an inordinate amount of time in self-flagellation on the court, to his own detriment. However, given the still relatively early stage of the match, given the unusually high ace/service winner count and first serve percentage from Murray in the first set, I think it was hardly a guarantee that Murray would have won had he made that shot, or had that short ball never appeared.

kaku
12-18-2011, 08:08 AM
Murray's serve stats seem to have an impact on whether he wins or loses. Two if the biggest stats i feel he needs to improve are 1st serve% and 2nd serve points won. if he can get his 1st serve % consistently into the mid 60s and his 2nd serve points won into the mid 50s then holding serve would be much easier for him. He already has a great return game, winning 36% of his return games.

Eternity
12-18-2011, 02:01 PM
Murray is improving incrementally in slams, people are heaping pressure on Murray to deliver that long awaited slam whilst giving Tsonga, Berdych and Soderling all the time in the world - all 3 players are at least 2 years older than Murray.

I won't be speculating much as to what 2012 has in store for the Scot but would not be surprised if he reaches his first Wimbledon final. He will also be better prepared for Indian Wells and Miami.

I see your point but Murray is viewed as a notch above Tsonga, Berdych and Soderling (people are always talking about the Big 4). I'm sure it wasn't that long ago people were comparing him (even favourably) to Novak, not Berdych and Sodeling.

I don't disagree at all. He tends to spend an inordinate amount of time in self-flagellation on the court, to his own detriment. However, given the still relatively early stage of the match, given the unusually high ace/service winner count and first serve percentage from Murray in the first set, I think it was hardly a guarantee that Murray would have won had he made that shot, or had that short ball never appeared.

I agree.


I was very impressed with Murray's improvement on clay but while he has been more consistant his 2011 still seems kind of static as he's yet to make the big breakthrough.

In terms of the slams at the AO I though he was better in 2010, obviously FO was a big improvement and I'm undecided about Wimbledon. At this year's USO he managed to survive the possible early upset to a dangerous lower ranked opponent unlike in 09 and 10. If he keeps up this consistancy he'll give himself a good opportunity for a maiden slam in 2012.

SLD76
12-18-2011, 02:10 PM
I always hate this moronic Disney sports cliche, implying that just because a player loses, he didn't try as hard as the other guy. A winner is morally superior to a loser. The winner deserves accolades and adulation, while the loser deserves ridicule and contempt. Absurd.

I am sure Ferrer has tried as hard as is humanly possible to beat Federer, yet he's never been able to do so. Why? Primarily, Federer is a much better player, regardless of Ferrer's effort level, and secondarily, the matchup.

Murray lost because he is not as good as Nadal or Djokovic at this point (nor is Federer anymore as evidenced by his zero slam wins in 2011), not because he 'doesn't have the heart' or 'has no passion'. Anyone who has seen how emotional he is on the court would realize the guy is plenty passionate. If anything, he needs to contain himself and move from point to point with steely indifference.

Tell it to the marines. We all know Ferrer isnt really a match for the big 4, but that is NOT the case with Murray. What a baseless and silly comparison.

But in regards to Murray, it what u want to call it, heart, mental strength whatever.

Murray has shown he can beat Nadal at majors. Beat him in AO 08, beat him in USO 08.

Has beaten Fed, Djoker and Nadal at MS events.

So whats the difference in the matches he loses? Especially in matches when he is outplaying Nadal and lets one error completely derail him??

Again, call it whatever u want to call it, heart, mental toughness, courage etc.

All I know is, the man folded like a cheap suit for no discernable reason.

I have no hope of him ever winning a major.

SLD76
12-18-2011, 02:12 PM
This is another sticking point that irritates me to no end, since it was ceaseless repeated by the likes of Carillo and McEnroe. They kept referring back to that one instant and saying 'that's where Murray lost the match'. He supposedly mentally collapsed at that point. Of course they have no evidence to back that up; it was just a nice little narrative to sell a mostly disinterested American audience.

I have no doubt that error aggravated him, and probably cost him his next service game (costing him the set). But the real reason why Murray seemingly completely fell off? He was serving out of his mind in the first set. Murray's first serve can be an ace/winner machine when it's on; however, his average hovers usually near 55% which is very poor for a top ten player, and it tends to weaken when match pressure builds. If you watched that first set, you'd see Murray and Nadal were fairly even from the baseline; Nadal might have even held a slight edge, but Murray was serving brilliantly. Unfortunately, no one can keep serving at that high of a percentage (I can't recall what it was, but it was very high for Murray) and simple regression kicked in.

That's why I think the key for Murray in terms of winning a slam in 2012 is less improving on mental strength (you gain confidence after achieving, you don't achieve because you are confident), and more on increasing mean first serve percentage without cost himself easy service points, and adding more kick/slice/disguise/whatever else to his second serve so he isn't put on defense right away when he does miss his first serve. That would be more than enough to put him over the top.

Please. Even Rafa after the match said that one point sort of changed the match and that the one point seemed to affect murray.

try again.

achokshi99
12-18-2011, 04:54 PM
Murray had a phenomenal year and only got better as the year progressed. AO Final, french semis losing to the Clay GOAT, Wimby semis, and USO semis. Yes he was a no show at the Aussie open and had his early skids in the early spring but then he played pretty darn tough in the clay season. Gave Nadal a great challenge in MC, and then in the FO semis. Remember he lost in straights to Nadal but it was over a 3 hr match AND he had an ankle with a bad tendon during the FO run. And then he had Djoker in Rome but couldnt close it out but prob one of the best matches of the year.

Wimby I was pretty bummed out because he did let that one missed FH in the 2nd set IIRC really get under his skin and changed the match around.

USO semis same thing, didnt see a top notch match from him.

Nonetheless, it seemed as the year progressed he was getting more confident and working on his game to "figure out" the others. He looked great in Cinci and I think would have beaten a healthy Djoker. And then in the Asian swing of the tour Andy blasted Nadal. What was interesting to see to me at least is that Andy went for much much more in the Asian swing. He was rocking 130mph serves and just unloading big shots off both wings.

In the past when Andy would beat Nadal it would be because he just outlasted Nadal or Nadal was a little off. In the Asian swing, Murray was just blasting away, a differnet approach overall.

So I think overall Andy had a phenomenal year to build upon. I think the Oct-Nov run helped him with confidence going into 2012. He was playing much more aggressive, beyond any of the "aggressive" Andy you only see at Masters tournies during the summer in recent years. I think 2012 he has a shot at being the best on the tour.

Bartelby
12-18-2011, 05:15 PM
The big four used to be really 2 plus 2 and now it's three plus one.

OddJack
12-18-2011, 05:18 PM
I think Bodo said it best,

He failed when it mattered the most and won when the least of people cared.

jokinla
12-18-2011, 10:17 PM
I think Bodo said it best,

He failed when it mattered the most and won when the least of people cared.

Yep, when it matters he's #4 in the world, when it doesn't he could be #2.

celoft
12-19-2011, 11:12 AM
He better hurry up, time is running out for him.

Mainad
12-19-2011, 02:00 PM
He better hurry up, time is running out for him.

Still got more time than anyone ranked 5-10!

Eternity
12-19-2011, 02:06 PM
^^Murray's thought of more highly than no. 5 - 10, in terms of achievements and potential. Consequently he's judged by harsher standards, it's not necessarily a bad thing.

Russeljones
12-19-2011, 02:10 PM
"-Defended his RU at the AO" I don't think anyone wants this achievement.

CocaCola
12-19-2011, 03:25 PM
I think Bodo said it best,

He failed when it mattered the most and won when the least of people cared.

:lol: so true.

celoft
12-19-2011, 04:48 PM
Still got more time than anyone ranked 5-10!

Clock is ticking. Imagine a new slam winner next year not called Murray?:shock:

It would be terrible for him if Tsonga or some youngster like Tomic broke through before him.

Crazy man
12-19-2011, 05:12 PM
Murray will be hyped to win AO, W and US Open. Will win none of them unless he plays high risk offensive tennis. Even if Murray was stronger mentally, with that defensive style of play, nobody would stand a chance of winning a major. It's no coincidence that the last slam champions outside Nadal at FO -Djokovic, Nadal outside FO, Federer, JMDP and Safin all played aggressive tennis and took chances on the big points. Murray seems incapable of dictating play when it matters in slams.



Another major problem Murray has is that it seems he grinds just for the sake of grinding. By the last couple of matches, that would certainly take it's toll on his body. Now, if he plays aggressive and ends points quicker/sees off his opponents instead of letting opponents hang in matches which should have already been won, he would be a lot fresher when comming up against the big guns.






I honestly have two predictions


1) Murray does his usual junkball game: 0 slams

2) Murray plays high risk offensive tennis: At least 1 slam, potential for more




I wouldn't get much hope up on the second prediction happening (although quite possible IF Murray implemented this tactic). Murray hasn't ever been offensive for a whole tournament in a slam. Sure, he's had the occassional match against Nadal or whatever, and yep, he's played aggressive in MS titles - which is good. However a slam is a completely different animal. Murray's default style is to hope his opponents miss. Period. No one can even argue that. I wonder when Murray will wake up and realise the chances of Djokovic missing at the moment are precisely 0%???.



Celoft: If Tsonga breaks through before Murray on the slam count, why would that be terrible? Tsonga is one of the biggest talents out there, bigger than Murray. Has beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic on the biggest stages, Murray hasn't. Tsonga is a much more skilled player - serves better, better strokes, better touch, better volleying technique. However where Murray has been better is that he is A LOT more consistent than Tsonga and doesn't have Tsonga's daft mentality and shot selection.

adamX012
12-19-2011, 10:09 PM
Murray will be hyped to win AO, W and US Open. Will win none of them unless he plays high risk offensive tennis. Even if Murray was stronger mentally, with that defensive style of play, nobody would stand a chance of winning a major. It's no coincidence that the last slam champions outside Nadal at FO -Djokovic, Nadal outside FO, Federer, JMDP and Safin all played aggressive tennis and took chances on the big points. Murray seems incapable of dictating play when it matters in slams.



Another major problem Murray has is that it seems he grinds just for the sake of grinding. By the last couple of matches, that would certainly take it's toll on his body. Now, if he plays aggressive and ends points quicker/sees off his opponents instead of letting opponents hang in matches which should have already been won, he would be a lot fresher when comming up against the big guns.






I honestly have two predictions


1) Murray does his usual junkball game: 0 slams

2) Murray plays high risk offensive tennis: At least 1 slam, potential for more




I wouldn't get much hope up on the second prediction happening (although quite possible IF Murray implemented this tactic). Murray hasn't ever been offensive for a whole tournament in a slam. Sure, he's had the occassional match against Nadal or whatever, and yep, he's played aggressive in MS titles - which is good. However a slam is a completely different animal. Murray's default style is to hope his opponents miss. Period. No one can even argue that. I wonder when Murray will wake up and realise the chances of Djokovic missing at the moment are precisely 0%???.



Celoft: If Tsonga breaks through before Murray on the slam count, why would that be terrible? Tsonga is one of the biggest talents out there, bigger than Murray. Has beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic on the biggest stages, Murray hasn't. Tsonga is a much more skilled player - serves better, better strokes, better touch, better volleying technique. However where Murray has been better is that he is A LOT more consistent than Tsonga and doesn't have Tsonga's daft mentality and shot selection.

interesting views. keep posting, crazy man!!

celoft
12-20-2011, 04:27 AM
Celoft: If Tsonga breaks through before Murray on the slam count, why would that be terrible? Tsonga is one of the biggest talents out there, bigger than Murray. Has beaten Federer, Nadal and Djokovic on the biggest stages, Murray hasn't. Tsonga is a much more skilled player - serves better, better strokes, better touch, better volleying technique. However where Murray has been better is that he is A LOT more consistent than Tsonga and doesn't have Tsonga's daft mentality and shot selection.

Because Murray is a great player, only Djokovic, Sampras, Agassi, Federer and Nadal have won more masters series than him. Would be a shame if he never won a slam. He has been very consistent since 2008.

Standstill
12-20-2011, 07:50 AM
Is there something lurking in Murray's form that is keeping him from safely hitting the low percentages? He plays a flat game, with an eastern grip.

Going back to the serve percentage thing, I've heard that his serve is considered "too flat". Does that keep him from making serves consistently? Or am I crazy to think that there is a flaw in a professional's technique?

Peters
12-20-2011, 08:34 AM
It was a shame about his injury at the back end of the year; it robbed him of 3rd place in the rankings which he was easily cruising towards.

It was another solid year; he won quite a few tournaments, got to the SF at 3 GS's, final at another. Beat the top players with some impressive performances occasionally. He's basically an excellent player, but was up against Novak/Rafa and couldn't play at optimal level to defeat them over 5 sets.

He's in an interesting position: there are two tennis players who have been overall better than him - Novak (in particular) and Rafa - and another who's roughly on the same level or slightly below (current Federer). But everyone else from 5th in the rankings downwards is miles below him in ability, it's almost laughable how much of a gulf there is.

This year just confirmed that. Shame he couldn't break through and win a slam, since I genuinely feel if he could take one then more would follow. It's just getting that monkey off his back so he can start the ball rolling.

I hope he doesn't go on to be 'the best player never to win a slam'. It's an accolade he'll struggle to live with, when considering his abilities and opportunities. I really hope he gets one in 2012.

eric draven
12-20-2011, 10:50 AM
If I have to be perfectly honest, I'm dissapointed with him. Andy lost that spark he had in 2008-2010 which gave hope for a victory in a big tournament. Right now I don't see him as a slam contender no matter what the bookies say.

It's all mental with him, in 2008-2010 he could still play well in major semis and did better in finals (than he did in 2011 - that was a disaster). Nowadays not only he falters in slam finals but also does it in semis, losing 3 times to Nadal this year (completely off mentally at Wimbledon and the US) and even his victory over Ferrer in AO wasn't convincing.

Well said. It is all mental with Murray and what you seem to see with the other players that make up the Big 3 seems to be an ability to either focus with laser-like intensity or brush off negativity. Let's keep in mind that Djokovic only recently learned this ability and he credits that with his incredible success this year. Federer credits the beginning of his success with when he finally learned to control his temper and focus with more positive energy rather than negative energy. Nadal in his autobiography talks about the importance of being able to silence his own negative thoughts so that he can bring a focus to his game.

Murray seems all too willing to crumble when the pressure is on, albeit it is an immense amount of pressure. But then again no more so than any of the expectations that Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic deal with on a regular basis.

TTMR
12-20-2011, 11:28 AM
Is there something lurking in Murray's form that is keeping him from safely hitting the low percentages? He plays a flat game, with an eastern grip.

No he doesn't. He uses a semi-western grip and does not play a flat game in any sense on his forehand side. However, his forehand is a comparatively 'light' topspin stroke most of the time, in contrast to those of "the big three" who hit with a lot of rpms and a lot of sidespin as well (particularly Nadal). I don't think his forehand is the liability that others think it is. He could stand to send it down the line more, but I don't think his forehand costs him matches, except when he becomes impatient and overly aggressive, which often happens with him against Nadal (if you look at the stats in their matches, Murray typically leads by a large margin in both winners and unforced errors).

Going back to the serve percentage thing, I've heard that his serve is considered "too flat". Does that keep him from making serves consistently? Or am I crazy to think that there is a flaw in a professional's technique?

There is no flaw in his technique, rather it comes down to execution. I do think Murray is slightly below par (vs. say the top 10 or maybe top 20) at generating heavy spin on his serve, whether it be his first or second, so he goes for huge flat serves that are very effective when they go in, but likewise miss a great deal. Because his second serve is really lacking in action, he is immediately forced way back behind the baseline and then gets the 'pusher' label attached to him. His style of play differs significantly based on his first serve percentage on a given day. That's why I think improving his first serve percentage and second serve points won would be his best hope in getting to even against Nadal and Djokovic (and other players that sometimes trouble him, like Berdych).

kaku
12-20-2011, 11:31 AM
Murray's slam results have been improving each year since 2008-2009ish. His 2009 may be around even with his 2008, but his 2010 was a vast improvement with a AO Final and a W SF. His 2011 major results were even better than his 2010, reaching the SF of the French for the first time and getting out of his little 2 year USO hump.

TTMR
12-20-2011, 11:42 AM
Murray's slam results have been improving each year since 2008-2009ish. His 2009 may be around even with his 2008, but his 2010 was a vast improvement with a AO Final and a W SF. His 2011 major results were even better than his 2010, reaching the SF of the French for the first time and getting out of his little 2 year USO hump.

You could argue he had very easy draws at least until the USO. I thought AO 2010 was the best form he had ever shown in a slam and was a tournament he should have won. I think he's mostly been static since then, aside from that embarrassing Wawrinka loss at USO 2010.

Standstill
12-20-2011, 02:35 PM
No he doesn't. He uses a semi-western grip and does not play a flat game in any sense on his forehand side. However, his forehand is a comparatively 'light' topspin stroke most of the time, in contrast to those of "the big three" who hit with a lot of rpms and a lot of sidespin as well (particularly Nadal). I don't think his forehand is the liability that others think it is. He could stand to send it down the line more, but I don't think his forehand costs him matches, except when he becomes impatient and overly aggressive, which often happens with him against Nadal (if you look at the stats in their matches, Murray typically leads by a large margin in both winners and unforced errors).



There is no flaw in his technique, rather it comes down to execution. I do think Murray is slightly below par (vs. say the top 10 or maybe top 20) at generating heavy spin on his serve, whether it be his first or second, so he goes for huge flat serves that are very effective when they go in, but likewise miss a great deal. Because his second serve is really lacking in action, he is immediately forced way back behind the baseline and then gets the 'pusher' label attached to him. His style of play differs significantly based on his first serve percentage on a given day. That's why I think improving his first serve percentage and second serve points won would be his best hope in getting to even against Nadal and Djokovic (and other players that sometimes trouble him, like Berdych).

Seriously? Man was I mislead. I'm really annoyed with myself for believing whoever told me that. And I guess I don't know how to classify a "flat game". So I'm basically just speaking like I know what I'm talking about like an idiot :P

Thanks for clearing it up (as always) dude :)

TTMR
12-20-2011, 06:32 PM
Seriously? Man was I mislead. I'm really annoyed with myself for believing whoever told me that. And I guess I don't know how to classify a "flat game". So I'm basically just speaking like I know what I'm talking about like an idiot :P

Thanks for clearing it up (as always) dude :)

I apologize if my post sounded a little harsh, I only noticed as I read back.

You are right in the sense that Murray has a very flat first serve, and he flattens his backhand out a lot. Many people say Murray has a 'conservative' forehand grip, but any images I've seen confirm semiwestern.

tennnnis
12-20-2011, 07:32 PM
I was so disappointed Rome semi final this year.

Standstill
12-20-2011, 09:25 PM
I apologize if my post sounded a little harsh, I only noticed as I read back.

You are right in the sense that Murray has a very flat first serve, and he flattens his backhand out a lot. Many people say Murray has a 'conservative' forehand grip, but any images I've seen confirm semiwestern.

Hahah no my friend, no harsh at all. Just dealing the facts :)

And I guess that "conservative" nature to the grip is what allowed me to be tricked into thinking it's eastern. :oops:

Zelda
12-21-2011, 03:27 AM
2011 has been OK for Andy, but he will be looking for more in 2012. He has every shot in the book, sometimes spoilt for choice. His serve has to get more consistent, both first and second. How many times do we see the top three getting out of trouble with unreturnable first, and sometimes second, serves? When he is serving great he is unstoppable. Andy, more than any other player, has huge room for improvement while the others already appear to be at the top of their game. God help them if he gets that serve firing on all cylinders.

Nathaniel_Near
12-21-2011, 03:49 AM
Anybody who chooses Zelda as their username MUST be respected. I hope you got a hold of Skyward Sword.

Back on topic:

I have some thoughts on Andy Murray's year.

TTMR
12-21-2011, 06:17 PM
Anybody who chooses Zelda as their username MUST be respected. I hope you got a hold of Skyward Sword.

Back on topic:

I have some thoughts on Andy Murray's year.

...

What are they?

InspectorRacquet
12-21-2011, 06:26 PM
Like most have already said, the only thing that stopped Murray from reaching finals was himself (and Nadal).

I am not so much disappointed in anything he did as much as his performance in slam semifinals. Murray never took any risks in those semis, and if he wants to take a slam for once, he needs to play like he did in the Asian swing: aggressive with a gamble at risk to win the big points.

My favorite Murray performance was his bagel against Nadal in Tokyo. Actual great tennis.

zagor
12-22-2011, 06:44 AM
You could argue he had very easy draws at least until the USO. I thought AO 2010 was the best form he had ever shown in a slam and was a tournament he should have won. I think he's mostly been static since then, aside from that embarrassing Wawrinka loss at USO 2010.

I agree his 2010 AO was by far the best slam form he ever shown-no hiccups or coming from the brink matches against lower ranked players, only Cilic gave him some trouble on the way to the final but I never felt Murray was in any danger of losing (like I felt he was against Ferrer this year for example), his level of play before the final was the highest out of anyone.

However I disagree that it was a tournament he should have won given that he lost the final in straights, maybe I could see it if he pushed it to five(or atleast 4). His level before the final was the highest but slam final is a crucial part of winning a slam.