Murray on Gamestyles, Lendl, Cursing, and Focus for 2013

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by batz, Dec 4, 2012.

  1. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    From an interview at http://espn.go.com/tennis/story/_/i...as-unbelievable-espn-magazine-interview-issue

    ASSAEL: You're 25 years old now and playing in an era when conditioning is just off the charts. But a lot of people wonder whether Rafael Nadal's knees will ever be 100 percent again, and you needed to take painkilling injections in your back prior to the French Open. Is tennis becoming like the NFL, where the average career span is going to be six years or so?

    MURRAY: I don't think so. You need to remember that Rafael got to No. 2 in the world when he was 19, and he's now 26 years old. He's been among the top two or three players in the world for like eight years. His style is incredibly physical, maybe more so than anyone who's played the game before. And yet he's still managed to stay at the top. Roger's obviously been able to do it for a very long time too. Novak's been at the top of the game for five or six years, and he doesn't look like he's slowing down. I think I'll be able to hang around for four or five or six more years.

    Maybe what's different is that guys are taking longer to reach their peaks. I don't think you'll see someone like Rafael winning slams at the age of 19 now. Look at the number of teenagers in the top 100. I think there's maybe one. When I broke through, there were eight or nine guys around that age. The average age in the top 100 was 24 or 25. Now it's 27 or 28.

    ASSAEL: But doesn't all that backcourt bashing take its toll?

    MURRAY: Actually, the serve-and-volley game does a lot more damage. A lot of guys struggled to maintain their form at the top of the game when they were playing that way because it's a very explosive way of moving. You look at someone like Andre Agassi. He stayed at the top for 16 years [with a style that dictated points from the baseline]. But the serve-and-volley guys -- Patrick Rafter, Michael Stich, Richard Krajicek -- they had to stop playing a lot younger because that game is actually even more physical.

    ASSAEL: Watching Novak now trying to defend all those world-ranking points, do you ever think that being No. 1 is overrated?

    MURRAY: I think most players would love, at one stage in their career, to say, "I've been No. 1 in the world." But I've spoken to Roger about it and obviously Ivan [Lendl], and I have talked about it as well, and the focus really has to be on winning grand slams and winning tournaments. That's what their focus has been on rather than hanging on to the No. 1 ranking. If you get too desperate to hang on to No. 1, it means changing your schedule, maybe playing more events. If you have one or two bad tournaments, you have to start adding events onto your schedule. And that can affect you later in the year. It is amazing to think that after the year Novak had [in 2011], he'd already lost the No. 1 ranking five or six months into this season. It wasn't even like his year started badly. He won the Australian Open, got to the final at the French and got to the semis at Wimbledon. And he still lost the No. 1 ranking, even though he didn't lose but five or six times. Some would think that doesn't seem fair.

    ASSAEL: You're coming up on your anniversary with Ivan Lendl as your coach, and he's been getting a lot of credit for opening up your forehand and getting you to meet the ball earlier. Is that his influence?

    MURRAY: I've always worked on those things. But it's one thing to work on them in practice and another to actually want to go for it and take that chance when it comes to break point in the fifth set of a slam. That's more of a mindset thing that Ivan has spoken to me about before a lot of the big matches this year: "If you're going to lose, go down swinging. Don't go with your ass against the back fence, chasing down every ball." Getting me to make that happen in a match is what I credit him with.

    ASSAEL: Is there something to be said for looking into your box and seeing that stony face looking back out at you?

    MURRAY: Yeah, having someone in your box who has been there and knows exactly what you're going through -- mentally, physically, emotionally -- that's been a calming influence. He went through all of the same things as me in terms of losing a lot of big matches and slam finals, against John McEnroe or Jimmy Connors, and then finally managing to turn it around. There are so many similarities with how our careers started. I'm not promising that I'm going to finish my career like his, because that would be incredible.

    ASSAEL: You know, you still talk to yourself a lot on the court.

    MURRAY: Yeah.

    ASSAEL: Actually, you curse a lot too. So much so that you were given a warning at the Rome Masters 1000 in May.

    MURRAY: Obviously, me saying "s--" or whatever is bad and it's wrong, and it's something I want to try to stop doing. But it isn't as bad as some of the stuff that the foreign players come out with. I wouldn't want to name any names, but some of what they say is absolutely ghastly. It's just that all of the umpires speak English.

    ASSAEL: You're a boxing nut. Bonus question: Pound-for-pound, Pacquiao or Mayweather?

    MURRAY: Mayweather. I'd love to see them fight, and hopefully we will. They're both unbelievable. But Pacquiao makes more mistakes, and Mayweather capitalizes on mistakes better than anyone I've seen.

    ASSAEL: You're spending December in Miami with Ivan. What are you two going to be working on?

    MURRAY: Most of the stuff I want to work on is ways of shortening points. The transition of going from the back of the court to the net is something I could improve. I really want to shorten points by coming forward more, attacking my opponent's second serve more and improving my own second serve so I don't have to run as much. It's getting so physical -- if you're playing longer points, it's going to have an effect on the length of your career.

    ASSAEL: Besides that, do you have a goal for next year?

    MURRAY: To be honest, the next big goal is the Australian Open. I don't really look any further than that. And if I was to do well there, I'd give myself a shot in the early part of next year at maybe getting to No. 1.
     
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  2. NatF

    NatF G.O.A.T.

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    Sounds very positive. I like that he acknowledges the cursing is bad, I don't blame him for it though...I'd be f'ing and blinding non stop I expect! It's a shame the guys who do it in languages other than english can get away with it better too...

    I think if Murray can get those things working, the second serve and the transition when coming forward he'll be a serious force next year.
     
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  3. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    Great stuff from murray he know's what he's talking about also regarding the cursing matter I used to do it a LOT but i've lowered down also to 1-2 words a match from 5-10
     
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  4. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    I completely disagree with him on saying serve and volley play is more demanding on the body than staying back.

    Look at people like Martina and John McEnroe they played for an enternity.

    Just look at the average length of points of serve n volley compared to pure baseline play. Baseline play is easily and average of 3x-5x longer points. Plus stopping and stopping (especially on a hard court) going full speed vs close to neutral/still is much much harder on the joints.
     
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  5. Mainad

    Mainad G.O.A.T.

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    Obviously, me saying "s--" or whatever is bad and it's wrong, and it's something I want to try to stop doing. But it isn't as bad as some of the stuff that the foreign players come out with. I wouldn't want to name any names, but some of what they say is absolutely ghastly. It's just that all of the umpires speak English.

    Nailed it spot on. I'm not trying to excuse Murray's bad language but I do think he gets unfairly singled out for it on here just because he happens to be an English speaker and most tennis officials can understand English whereas they often fail to pick up on what the non-Anglophones are saying!

    I think there should always be someone present who speaks the language of each player to fairly report any bad language being used whether its in English or not! Officials are right to pick up and censure the English speakers but foreign players who curse and swear just as badly in their own language shouldn't be allowed to get away with it. The system has to be fair and equal on everybody!
     
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  6. pvaudio

    pvaudio Legend

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    I agree, there is no way with even reasonable logic that you could argue s&v being more physical than baseline grinding. The Agassi example is not quite right, as Agassi is probably the greatest counter-puncher there is. He didn't sprint for every single shot, slide on hard courts and scrape his knees to get everything. He manipulated the ball in a way still not seen yet again to put it where the opponent had to decide whether or not they wanted to concede the point. Some of his early 2000s matchups with Federer and even Hewitt were absolutely absurd.
     
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  7. Homeboy Hotel

    Homeboy Hotel Hall of Fame

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    Interesting insight by Murray, as always.

    Always known he travels to Miami in December to work hard on the core physical side of things, but interesting to hear in this interview he's looking for ways to shorten the points.

    Don't blame him. If he can shorten the points, he can extend his career.
     
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  8. TheRed

    TheRed Professional

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    I've never heard of anyone calling Agassi a counter-puncher. He was a very agressive baseliner early in his career and less agressive later on but he was never a counterpuncher. I happen to think one of the reasons he lasted so long is that he ran a lot less than his opponents because he took the ball so early. Of course, taking sabbaticals from training and being in such good shape later in his career helped as well.

    I happen to think Murray was really trying to say it's harder to stay on top as a serve and volleyer. The first thing that goes as one gets older is your explosiveness. Endurance and strength can be maintained with training. For S & V'ers, explosiveness is one of the keys to success. That's the issue.
     
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  9. Romismak

    Romismak Rookie

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    Agree that english-speakers are here in disadvantage, but about your point there should be someone to understand language of player who is playing i hope you are joking - do you have any idea how many USD, EUR whatever it would cost to have present on matches someone who will just be there to report to umpire how many times did that guy said something he wasn´t allowed to and so on - i mean yes spanish, french speakers - it might happen to have someone just paid to be there to sit every match and listen and report, but can you honestly imagine at some 250s in Latin America where will play someone form balkan - small language how difficult it would be to found someone honestly to be there and reporting - i mean it can´t be just anybody, probably someon ewith licence from ATP or whatever - someone neutral here and so on - really impossible to do this even on grand slams where you have tens of languages
     
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  10. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    Good, he finally admits he is a terrible swear monkey but he is going to have to do better than that before I stop slandering him on these boards.
     
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  11. The Bawss

    The Bawss Banned

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    The Anglophones are lucky enough to have tennis be played in their language. The least they (Murray) can give back is show common decency on court and not shout and swear and curse every time he takes to the court.
     
    Last edited: Dec 4, 2012
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  12. axel89

    axel89 Banned

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    Your god federer also curses see uso 2009
     
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  13. smoledman

    smoledman Legend

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    The angry Scot can't help cursing, its in his blood.
     
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  14. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    There's something in that. We do have a bit of a habit of using swear words as punctuation.
     
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  15. Crisstti

    Crisstti Legend

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    That is a very interesting interview. He seems to have pretty clears ideas and objectives. Good.

    Very interesting. Would be material for a whole new thread.

    Very interesting as well.

    Lol, I wonder if he's thinking Novak and what Clarky's said many times he's shouted on a tennis court.

    It's true it doesn't seem fair. Maybe there should be fines afterwards.
     
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  16. sureshs

    sureshs Bionic Poster

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    Look at Taylor Dent too.
     
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  17. Sabratha

    Sabratha G.O.A.T.

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    I liked reading that interview, I hope his 2013 is another year filled with positives. Thank you, Batz, for sharing this.
     
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  18. kishnabe

    kishnabe G.O.A.T.

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    A good interview...especially liked his opinions on today game being less hurtful and foreign cursing.
     
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