Murray and clay - what's the problem?

Discussion in 'Pro Match Results and Discussion' started by Mainad, Apr 18, 2013.

  1. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, I'm a little depressed at the moment with this latest loss. I expected Wawrinka was going to be tough and had a good chance of winning but to inflict a beat-down like that on the world #2 for the loss of just THREE games! :shock:

    I can't figure out just why Murray has such difficulties with clay. This latest awful beat-down doesn't make me optimistic for any rapid improvement. If anything, he seems to have regressed from his highs of 2009 and 2011 when he made the semis of MC twice, taking Nadal to tie-break the first time and taking a set off him the second time, then served for the match against Djokovic in the semis of Rome and then made the semis of RG! Now he can't even win more than 3 games against the world #13 in the 3rd round of a tournament where he was twice before only stopped by the world's best clay court player!

    He is not suffering any obvious injuries (although his overall play has been very erratic since the AO) and has just come off a win in Miami. His opening round match went smoothly enough. So what went so badly wrong this time especially when he was defending his world #2 ranking?

    Is Murray ever going to get the hang of clay or is this going to be the one surface he is never going to master? Or am I just being too pessimistic?

    Thoughts (sensible ones please)?
     
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  2. TheF1Bob

    TheF1Bob Banned

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    See, in Scotland, he grew up playing on pebbles, seashells...stuff like that.

    It's not surprising really. 8)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
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  3. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Dunblane is inland you muppet!
     
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  4. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    I had quite a bit of hope this week that he could make the semis - but he was feckin mince today(although Stan was pretty bloody good it has to be said). Reminded me of the Kohly match back in 2010 when the Fenchies booed him off court.

    IDK - maybe he'll always suck on clay and we should just get our heads round it. That way we won't be disappointed.

    Put it this way - the last time he sucked this much in MC he had a nightmare clay season - his best result was a QF in Madrid and he went out of RG in R4.

    I've already got one eye on SW19 and will now view anything he does on clay as an absolute bonus.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
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  5. TheF1Bob

    TheF1Bob Banned

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    Even worse, playing in seashells and pebbles in a council estate. 8)
     
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  6. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    :) There aren't many council houses in Dunblane Bob. It's one of the poshest parts of Scotland.
     
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  7. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    It is puzzling for some reason on the clay Murray seems to revert back to playing very passive tennis which he doesn't on hard courts anymore on grass and hard you watch him and really feel it will take a top player to beat him on clay he doesn't seem to play very offensive therefore matches even against guys like Wawrinka are not on his racket!

    He is a great player though but I think a lot of this is mental now he probably can overcome it but I suspect as Batz says he probaly has o e eye on Wimbledon where I see him as one of the main men to beat this year.
     
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  8. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    He was v aggressive yesterday though mate (26 winners - albeit against an inferior player).

    It's like he doesn't even know what version of himself will turn up on the red stuff!
     
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  9. Ehh

    Ehh Banned

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    He matches up badly with people who topspin monkey his backhand. His backhand is hit very flat and is weak up high.

    See Murray's record against Nadal. Wawrinka and Gasquet both have one handers that are capable of much more spin than 2hbh's like Djokovic, so they are able to get the ball to kick out of the strike-zone of his backhand. Compound that with the high bouncing nature of the clay, and it's not a winning combination for the Great Scott.
     
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  10. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    That's very true! And remember he was v Ferrer last year and that was the catalyst to a huge year if I remember rightly you made the call at the time, great call :)

    Stan is a very accomplished Clay courter I beleive Murray has the skills to do well on clay but I think he still hasn't got the right mindset of game plan for each match? A lot of that is instinctive as clay is not a surface he grew up on, he probably can overcome this and make decision making on clay seem more natural but whether he would want to do that and if it would hamper his chances elsewhere I am not sure!
     
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  11. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    Does Murray being in the 'Big 4' means he gets less than 4 games in a match ? And that too against a player outside top 15 ?
     
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  12. Antonio Puente

    Antonio Puente Hall of Fame

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    I suppose it depends on what you mean by "master." His results in Paris aren't bad - 2 quarters and a semi. Even with a better clay game, in the Nadal era, would he be winning clay tournaments? No. Keep in mind, Djoker has made one FO final and Fed has relatively few clay titles.
     
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  13. Ironwood

    Ironwood Semi-Pro

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    Wawrinka has been a top 10er, clay is his best surface and McEnroe says he has the best one-hand back hand in the game! He is capable of beating or pushing any of the top 10. He's a good player if inconsistent, but you are right Murray shouldn't show his face for a couple of days!
     
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  14. Relinquis

    Relinquis Hall of Fame

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    Aggressive clay courters... How can he hurt them?
    • He doesn't have a movement advantage on clay the way he does on hard courts.
    • Doesn't have, or doesn't want to use, the weapons to hurt aggressive clay courters. You have to take it to them and hit heavy or deep during rallies.
    The first he'll have to live with, but the 2nd he can potentially change as it is a mentality thing. Just practice a few patterns that rely and build on his aggressive forehand.
     
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  15. tennisaddict

    tennisaddict G.O.A.T.

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    When was the last time any of the other 'Big 4 ' player lost to a player outside the big 4 losing 3 games ?
     
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  16. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Okay, continuing to get this off my chest:

    Frankly, if I were Uncle Ivan, I'd haul him over the coals big time for that embarrassing performance today. Let's face it Batz, it's not worthy of a top player to go out in that manner. There was just no need for it. Djokovic has been struggling all week but he's been getting through. Berdych and Delpo also went out today but Berdych won twice as many games as Andy managed and Delpo at least went down in a 3rd set tie-break!

    I mean, he said a while back that he wanted to concentrate on improving his clay performance this season. And then something like this happens? If I didn't know any better I would suspect him of bull-sh1tting and that he deliberately tanked for some reason. As you point out, he played well enough in his 1st round match! Plus he's just gone and lamely handed back his #2 ranking to Fed. How long did he manage to keep it for this time?

    What sort of message does Andy want to send out to the tour with a performance like this? "Come on and face me if you think you're hard enough and you'll probably beat the sh1t out of me?" The rest of the tour aren't exactly going to be trembling in their shoes at the prospect of facing him on clay, are they?

    Last year, there was an April Fool that Andy was going to skip the entire clay season in order to focus on winning Wimbledon. If he's going to turn in displays like this in the early rounds of clay tournaments, maybe that wouldn't be such a daft idea after all!

    Rant over (for the moment).
     
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  17. 6-1 6-3 6-0

    6-1 6-3 6-0 Banned

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    Doesn't Murray tend to have at least one lopsided loss in a Masters 1000 event each year? All it means is that Murray has got that out of his system, and 2013 is set to be dominated by Nadal and a bit of Murray (but mostly Nadal), while Djokovic grinds his ankle into the ground in the final of Monte Carlo 2013. :p
     
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  18. stringertom

    stringertom G.O.A.T.

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    I didn't see the match but I'm not surprised he lost, only that it was such a beatdown. Stan is tough on dirt, especially with some confidence built in by his superb play a day earlier.

    A winning formula is 2/3 serve points won...Andy failed there miserably (40%). Clay takes his flattish 1st serve penetration away. Also, he has no kick on the second ball. I can see any patient returner gradually working Andy out of service advantage in constructing return points. He's gonna have to work hard on the remedy, which has to be a higher %age, kicking 1st and 2nd serve. That current 2nd ball is WTA good, not ATP.
     
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  19. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Ha ha. Good answer.
    Personally, I don't think he was fed enough porridge in youth.
     
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  20. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Maybe he's getting mixed up with Stirling?
     
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  21. newyorkstadium

    newyorkstadium Semi-Pro

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    In Lendl, he has a coach who seem to learn quickly about his weaknesses, and improve them. Lendl also has experience on how to win the french. I'm sure he will be much stronger at the French open.
     
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  22. Ironwood

    Ironwood Semi-Pro

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    You're right.......Murray shouldn't show his face for a few days!! It was pretty bad!
     
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  23. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Mainad, really. Chill.
    Players outside the top 4 get far too little respect.
    I'm glad for tennis Wawrinka won today.
    It does become boring after a while watching D,F,M & N hump the rest of the field all the time. And I think this might be a healthy lesson for Murray and a good wake up call.
    His form's been gradually deteriorating and the Murray of Wimbledon, the Olympics and USO seems well gone but you know it always picks up again.
    And maybe Murray was playing fine today, just that Wawrinka had a blinder and good on him.
    He deserves it after the heartbreak of AO and maybe this is a reminder just how good top players outside the big 4 are.
     
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  24. ark_28

    ark_28 Hall of Fame

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    Fair point mate! Stan played Novak close at AO also was a break up in the fi al set v Federer at IW
     
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  25. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    I mean I'm obviously disappointed but that's not going to stop my enjoyment of the tournament and celebrating Wawrinka's progress.
    I'm genuinely happy for the guy.
     
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  26. Towser83

    Towser83 Legend

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    I don't think Murray is ever going to feel comfortable on clay. On HC he is so comfortable he can play pretty well even on an off day, on clay he has to be really up for it, and if he's a bit off his game it's all too easy for the match to run away from him. It's like players who don't like playing in wind or don't like the heat. If they're not up for it 100% it becomes a terrible day at the office.
     
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  27. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Fedex, I will chill. But I'm just a little p1ssed right now and need to vent a little. Nobody's a more keen defender of Murray on here than me as you well know but, in the interests of fairness and balance, sometimes you just have to acknowledge his god-awful ****-ups as well. And today was one such!

    As I said, it was not so much the fact that he lost to Stan W who is a fine player and well capable of upsetting the best when he's on, but the manner of the way he lost! I mean, come on, 1 and 2? What's all that about? He's the #2 player in the world for heaven's sake (or now was) and we expect him to put on a better display than that. Top players sometimes lose to those far below them as we know but which of them has ever been walloped by any of them with a scoreline like that?

    I could understand it a little better if he had played really poorly in his 1st round match, but he didn't. And although Big Stan is a much superior player to Edouard R-V, still you don't expect the world #2 to capitulate like that in such an abject manner, the more so when his recently acquired #2 ranking was at stake.

    Now if Murray goes on on to win Madrid, Rome and RG without the loss of a set, I guess I will be able to put it into a bit more perspective. In the meantime, I just feel like doing a bit of sulking and venting! :twisted:;)
     
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  28. Goosehead

    Goosehead Hall of Fame

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    murray has problems timing his slide on clay..then it takes him too long to reset himself and be ready for the next shot..

    i think that's the main thing....he seems heavy footed too. :confused: :? :( :confused:
     
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  29. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Dunno - but the same player took 3 sets off Roger for the loss of just 7 games so I guess it can happen to anyone.
     
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  30. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Vent away mate. I know how you feel.
     
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  31. kalyan4fedever

    kalyan4fedever Hall of Fame

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    Almost 31 year old and who was emotionally n physically drained from the previous match (from Roger himself), dont drag Sexi on this
     
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  32. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    :lol: :lol: Nice Defense.

    Murray isn't the same type of grinder as the Nadals, Ferers and Djokovics.

    Nadal and Djokovic absorb more from the ground while Murray absorbs power from opponents shtos. Murray does not take the intiative on the surface....which he can get away with on HC where he reacts well. Nadal always imposes with his forehand....he looks like a pusher but dam aggressive.

    Novak as well....willing to take the DTl backhand and CC forehands.....even if he does grind at times.

    I bet Murray forehand not having the best combination of spin and pace just never really puts his OP on the defence. You need to when the OP has ample time to hit shots.

    Nadal has like over 3300 rpms and hits with impressive pace in that spin range. Djokovic has 2700 rpms which is equal to Federer.....both being second in spin rates.

    Murray has possibly 2200-2300 rpms.
     
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  33. monfed

    monfed Guest

    Ever since Ralph returned from his extended vacation, Murray seems to have completely regressed. I smell a conspiracy going on here, Murray in mug mode so his idol Ralph could rake up some cheap wins?

    Oh BTW draw opened up for Rafael again. :lol:
     
    Last edited by a moderator: Apr 18, 2013
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  34. Peters

    Peters Semi-Pro

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    One thing to bear in mind - Murray can play much better on clay than this, so you have to take that into consideration. On a different day he might have played closer to his standard and had a closer match. He had a 'mare today.

    ..

    But generally speaking though, he's never been able to fully get the hang of the rhythm of claycourt exchanges (closest he came was '11 but it was still a big step down from the best clay players).

    There's something about his technique/habits on clay that seems to constantly drag his game down. With grass/hard he can lock down his gameplan and play to his strengths most of the time.

    Doesn't matter how you look at it, one way or the other he's failed to achieve what he should have done on clay in his career so far. Whether he's that concerned about it, I don't know. It won't make any difference to his goal of winning further slams.

    Plus, being Andy, he still might manage to find that secret 'clay mode' he found in '11 and go deep in some other clay tournies.
     
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  35. tennis_pro

    tennis_pro G.O.A.T.

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    Clay's the problem.
     
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  36. Fedex

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    That's why he changed his name.
     
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  37. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    cHill out mainad,have a sip of tea or wine.He will do well,it's more mental then anything.
     
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  38. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Defeat and disappointment are part of life.
    You get used to it especially if you're Scottish.
    Go home, take a double whiskey, even a treble, and life will be good again.
     
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  39. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Bloody hell! You read my mind.

    Edit: don't you just love Mainad's passion.
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
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  40. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    I do love his passion.It's the british way of relaxing,having tea and wine,right? My grand parents once visited london and specially my grand ma was surprised to see every one drinking wine instead of water(atleast she felt so)..:)
     
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  41. Fedex

    Fedex Hall of Fame

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    Thank god Murray's facing Lendl's wrath tonight instead of Mainad's!
     
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  42. mattennis

    mattennis Hall of Fame

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    I think Murray's movement on clay is just good, but not top-3 in the world (as it is on hard and grass).

    Also, his groundstrokes don't naturally produce an amazing combination of pace and spin, don't seem to bite the dirt and spring-off they way others players groundstrokes look.

    He is overall just so good that he is good enough even on clay to achieve some M-1000 clay SF here and there, but I think he will never be consistently good (reaching SF or Finals, or titles all the time) on clay.

    And that can harm his chances of being nº1 (because Djokovic usually gets much more points on clay than Murray).
     
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  43. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Thanks. I think I'll make do with a pint or two of beer maybe with a couple of whisky chasers! :)

    I think I may end up mental at this rate! ;)
     
    #43
  44. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    One day I might write my reminiscences of following Murray's career. I'm thinking of calling it, "The Agony & The Ecstasy!" ;)
     
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  45. tusharlovesrafa

    tusharlovesrafa Hall of Fame

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    LOL!! it's tough when you fav player loses in such a fashion despite knowing fully well that he can do well.I think murray problem is more between the ears..It's weird for a guy who can do so well at hard and grass,suddenly looks like a cow on clay courts..
     
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  46. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    'The agony, some more agony, acute pain, ouch that hurt, Yay! Back to the agony' would be a more apposite, if less snappy title.
     
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  47. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    I wonder what he would be like on karaoke singing, "I did it My Way" ?

    It couldn't possibly be worse than watching him play Stan Wawrinka today, could it?
     
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  48. veroniquem

    veroniquem Bionic Poster

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    To Andy's defense, Wawrinka is a much tougher/ more dangerous opponent than either Fognini or Nieminen. Let me remind you that he could very well have beaten Djoko at the tournament Djoko has owned in recent years (AO).
    Quite frankly, imo, it's more embarrassing for a top player to lose to journeymen like Nieminen or Fognini, regardless of the score. Wawrinka beat Fed at M-C in the past. We know what he's capable of on a good day.
    ETA: I don't think Murray would have lost vs Nieminen today (he didn't at RG last year)
     
    Last edited: Apr 18, 2013
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  49. RF20Lennon

    RF20Lennon Legend

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    Maybe he was just having a bad day. He almost beat djokovic in rome in 2011 and pushed nadal to 3 in monte carlo in 2010.
     
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  50. iriraz

    iriraz Hall of Fame

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    Murray can be ok on clay,will never be a great claycourter but certainly someone who could reach quarters or semis in the big events.The big problem is that he needs time to adjust his game from hard to clay.The transition will take longer then for someone who is used to play a lot more on clay then him.Wawrinka played last week for example in Casablanca.So he will play better when claycourt season finishes then at the start.
    He has lost in the past to these kind of good claycourters like Monaco,Gasquet,Kohlschreiber or Bellucci.
    Maybe he should try a few South American claycourt events to prepare better for the start of the European claycourt season.
     
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