Why Murray Suceeds where Federer Struggles?

Discussion in 'General Pro Player Discussion' started by henryshli, Mar 9, 2009.

  1. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    Murray appears to be able to handle Nadal better than Federer in recent times. Why? I interested to hear what people think.

    I'm personally a little puzzled because:

    - Is there any part of Murray's game that is better than Federer's? I personally don't think there is but I'm sure some of you may think differently.

    - Nadal tries harder when he plays Federer? Perhaps but I think Nadal tries hard every match.

    - Is peppering Federer's backhand the only way to beat him? Nadal appears to be the only one who is relentless in doing this.
     
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  2. coloskier

    coloskier Legend

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    The simplest answer would be that Murray is not affected by Nadal's heavy topspin to his backhand because he hits a 2 hander. Added to this is that Murray is even a bigger pusher than Nadal and is a lot more patient than Fed.
     
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  3. Zaragoza

    Zaragoza Banned

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    Murray has a better backhand and a much better defensive game than Federer. Also notice Murray has only beaten Nadal on hardcourts.
     
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  4. abmk

    abmk G.O.A.T.

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    No.

    As of now, better yes, much better no ...
     
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  5. Giggs The Red Devil

    Giggs The Red Devil Rookie

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    Better serve.
     
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  6. Clydey2times

    Clydey2times Hall of Fame

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    He has a much better backhand, moves and defends better (marginally so). Other than that, it's tough to separate them. Federer obviously has a much better forehand. Serves are hard to separate. Murray serves harder, but Federer places his serve better. I'd give the edge to Federer on serve. They both volley well, slice well, have great touch.

    I should add that Murray returns better.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
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  7. Clydey2times

    Clydey2times Hall of Fame

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    Murray almost invariably hits many more winners than Nadal. This is most true when Murray and Nadal play each other. On several occasions Murray has actually more than doubled Nadal's winners: AO 07 and USO 08 are examples of this.

    I certainly wouldn't say Murray is a bigger pusher than Nadal. The stats don't support that statement.
     
    Last edited: Mar 9, 2009
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  8. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    so are we implying that backhand is the key? That seems to be over simplifying the issue since Federer's BH is very good (i think).

    What about tactics? From watching a lot of matches between them I think Federer gives Nadal's forehand a little too much respect.
     
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  9. Clydey2times

    Clydey2times Hall of Fame

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    I don't think it's an oversimplification. Federer's backhand is a definite weakness. Both Murray and Nadal have beaten him repeatedly by peppering his backhand. It generally breaks down eventually.

    It is a massive weakness against Nadal, since he can't generate much power off of Nadal's high bouncing ball. Murray, on the other hand, can generate a lot more power with his double hander when the ball is above his shoulders.
     
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  10. Puma

    Puma Rookie

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    The backhand issue is THE key in this matchup, at least it appears to me. As far as tactics, Fed fails here where I don't think Murray does. Example, last year or even before that Fed had Nadal down late in the match on clay. Fed was up like a set and at maybe 5-2. Fed was hitting the ball wide and cutting off the angles/coming forward a lot and S/V. He made it look really simple. He got broke and it was all over from then on. From the break on, he stayed on the baseline and lost the match. Thus, I think Fed has a real problem with tactics. If Fed stays on the baseline Nadal will beat him. I know this, I believe this and I think every other tennis fan knows this as well as Nadal and his whole camp. The one person who doesn't seem to know this is Fed.
     
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  11. Absolutely not!!
     
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  12. svijk

    svijk Semi-Pro

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    I think more than anything else, it is Return of Serve !!!
    Fed typically give up tons on Break points on the Nadal serve from the Ad-court to his BH. Not converting those breaks leads to more pressure and that usually costs him the match eventually.
     
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  13. tintin

    tintin Professional

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    Murray got crushed when it mattered most,in the finals at the USO:twisted:
    and until Murray wins on something other than hard courts looking at his results he's nothing but a hard court specialist just like James Blake;)
     
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  14. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Interesting thread this. What's an even more interesting question to me as a Murray fan is: what is it about his game that makes him a threat to both Rafa and Roger.
     
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  15. Ocean Drive

    Ocean Drive Hall of Fame

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    Funny one...
     
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  16. Cesc Fabregas

    Cesc Fabregas Legend

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    Well Murray has only ever beaten Rafa on Hardcourts on clay and grass Nadal slaughters Murray.
     
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  17. thor's hammer

    thor's hammer Semi-Pro

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    That says it all.
     
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  18. Shaolin

    Shaolin Hall of Fame

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    Better backhand, its that simple. It neutralizes Nadal's entire gameplan, attacking the ad side with his fh. Makes a big difference.
     
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  19. batz

    batz G.O.A.T.

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    Top 4 Head to head since the start of 2008

    EDIT Oops ten char
     
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  20. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    This is the kind of question that got me thinking in the first place. Murray is a good player no doubt but i don't see any part of his game that explains his sucess. A little bit similar to when Hewitt dominated for a while.
     
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  21. cknobman

    cknobman Legend

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    Its the teeth I say. British teeth never let you down.
     
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  22. doublebreak

    doublebreak Rookie

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    Murray has a very good hands and a great tennis intellect meaning his positioning is impeccable, he's a natural when it comes to anticipating his opponent's move. His movement is very efficient and can look deceptively slow. Also, his ground stroke technique is pretty good in the sense that he doesn't have bad habits that give away easily his intentions to go cross court or dtl (as opposed to someone like Roddick).

    The only "flaw" seems to be that he doesn't have a killer shot although his bh is much better than average. And maybe of course his outbursts which have seemed to lessen. I see Hewitt as a grinder, I wouldn't put Murray in that category, I would just say he is a very smart tennis player and see his movement and anticipation as his weapons.
     
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  23. Marius_Hancu

    Marius_Hancu G.O.A.T.

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    Taller, perhaps more powerful, the ball doesn't come up this high to him (relative-wise). Definitely important.
     
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  24. Dilettante

    Dilettante Hall of Fame

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    Tennis is a matchup sport.

    A can beat B
    B can beat C
    but
    A can't beat C

    That happens very often.
     
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  25. Clydey2times

    Clydey2times Hall of Fame

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    Many consider him to have the best backhand in the game. I don't see how you can't see that as a weapon.
     
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  26. rubberduckies

    rubberduckies Professional

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    That's true, but in this case:

    Fed cannot beat Murray (1-4 since 2008 and 2-5 all time).
    Fed cannot beat Nadal (0-5 since 2008 and 6-13 all time).
    And Murray is only 2-2 (with one of those wins involving an obvious in-match injury - though Murray might easily have won anyway) against Nadal since 2008 and 2-5 all time.

    So:
    A can't beat B
    A can't beat C
    B and C can beat each other

    It used to be that B,C were Fed and Nadal, and A was somebody like Almagro.
    Now B,C are Nadal and Murray, and A is Federer.
     
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  27. OddJack

    OddJack Legend

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    Murray is going to dominate Nadal. Watch this year's Wimbledon and hard courts when they meet. I agree with the patience comment. He can get him running left and right till he come down on his knees. His plan with Roger is obvious. But with Murray he has come up with no effective plan. Murray is happy to go into long rallies with him and wear him down.
    No player has exposed Nadal weaknesses better than Murray.
     
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  28. BorisBeckerFan

    BorisBeckerFan Professional

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    A lot of times you can tell were Fed is going to hit to not because you read it in his motion but because it's the right shot to hit and Fed is going to hit the right shot. So Nadal has already anticipated this, used his speed and is already set up to hit to Fed's backhand. Once Fed figures out a way to break this cycle Nadal hits a winner to Fed's forehand side on a key point to keep Fed honest and then the cycle repeats. It angers me to see Fed being toyed
    with. When I watch Murray Play Nadal I find myself trying to figure out why he selected a certain shot thinking that wasn't the right shot selection but that's the point. It's unexpected. I normally wouldn't think that a 13 Slam
    winner could learn something from someone hasn't won one but in this case
    I would make an exception. To think of Murray as just a pusher or Nadal as just a grinder undercuts one of the greatest talents in tennis and that is
    Inteligence. These are two very smart tennis players.
     
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  29. theChosen

    theChosen Guest

    Murray(and Nadal) are taking fitness seriously. He has a six pack (=5 -10 % body-fat), Fed. s-t-i-l-l has a belly (15 -20 % body fat).
    That equals about 7 kilos of extra weight. f = m*a.
    questions?
     
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  30. S H O W S T O P P E R !

    S H O W S T O P P E R ! Hall of Fame

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    Just because he uses a 2-hander doesn't mean Nadal's topspin doesn't have any effect on Murray. I'd like to see any non-pro try to hit a Nadal forehand with a 2HBH. The spin would make you dizzy.

    Murray is just younger and plays better defense than Federer which works better against Nadal.
     
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  31. tennis-hero

    tennis-hero Banned

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    This

    Even at the french open, Fed in 06-07 had COUNTLESS break points

    he just seems to screw up at returning on the big points, and Nadal doesn't

    we should also factor in, Fed's slow decline in 07- his bigger decline in 08 (partly due to mono) and his uneven start in 09- he's never going to be 2006 Federer again

    Murray beats Rafa, because Rafa's top spin FH lands directly into Murray's amazing BH- i think eventually Murray could possibly beat Rafa anywhere

    what we all agree is that if Roger stays at the baseline, he has 0 chance of beating Rafa

    his BH will eventually breakdown

    if he runs around it to hit the FH, Rafa's crosscourt BH will beat him

    he needs to be able to play dirty but he just cant do it

    his FH is still better than anyone elses and his serve is deadly as ever
     
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  32. tennis-hero

    tennis-hero Banned

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    #32
  33. Beasty54

    Beasty54 Rookie

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    Haha seconded.


    I think Murray seems to me a if he is more hungry than Fed is at the lesser tier tournys, as where Fed is more focused now on just beating history.
     
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  34. tennis_hand

    tennis_hand Hall of Fame

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    1. Murray does not have an obvious weakness that Nadal can exploit. Backhands are strong, forehands are not weak either. Got decent volley skills also.

    2. Murray does not aim to finish the points fast. He has patience and his shots are reliable on long rallies.

    3. Murray can mix up paces very well. He can change paces between shots very quickly. He can hit decent drop shots. This is what Nadal does not like. Fed does not like drop shots. Drop shots are what baseliners do not like, because they have to run forward rather than left and right.

    4. Murray got the stamina to grind it out for all day long. He is young and has nothing to lose.
     
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  35. Dilettante

    Dilettante Hall of Fame

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    "Dial A for Almagro"

    As long as Nadal seems to have the Federer's number in a definitive way, I'm curious about Murray getting Nadal's number (outside clay) and how will that evolve. On HC, Murray can be much more of a Nemesis for Nadal than Djokovic.

    Also, Murray is developing as a player in Nadal's era, that's an advantage because he can adjust better to Nadal's game than Federer could do now IMO.

    Simply non-possible for a non-pro. I think many people around here don't realize how difficult to manage seems to be Nadal's FH.
     
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  36. roysid

    roysid Professional

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    A fit Murray or even Djokovic would have defeated a tired Nadal at the AO final. That's the matchup part.

    As for Murray, he along with Verdasco are now the biggest threats to Nadal on hardcourts. But still I believe they can't beat a top form Nadal.

    Remember,
    Nadal smoked Murray at last year's Wimbledon, then at Canada. At US Open, Murray turned the table.

    Australian Open saw Nadal at his best but not Murray. At Rotterdam, Nadal was not 100%.

    So let's wait for the next big match between them provided both are 100%.
     
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  37. matchmaker

    matchmaker Hall of Fame

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    Great analysis and at the same time it also points out all the weaknesses of Fed's game: weak backhand (against Nadal), rushed tactics, non resilience against changing paces, lack of stamina.

    One thing remains to be seen: mental toughness. I guess Murray being so young and his trophy cupboard rather empty he is very eager to win the matchups against the big two. Roger then again seems to have a huge mental block against Nadal, who, must it be reminded, is one of the toughest mental competitors ever.
     
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  38. devila

    devila Banned

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    In other words, Federer overachieved in his life with his nothing-special-lack of-ball height-change on both wings. He hates higher serve tosses coming at him and he can't hit high overheads. If you run fast, there's no anticipation from him. He IS NOT OLD and OVERFAT. He only weighs 177 pounds, so it's no excuse. It's convenient to call the heavier, taller players "people who are unable to disguise backhands".
     
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  39. carlos djackal

    carlos djackal Professional

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    its more in the mental game dept that fed needs to improve against nadal......
     
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  40. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    so Fed must be the luckiest tennis player in the history of tennis IYO? Winning 13 slams with "nothing-special-lack of-ball height-change on both wings".
     
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  41. caulcano

    caulcano Hall of Fame

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    Murray has a BH that can handle Nadal's topspin more effectively (maybe true on clay as well). Secondly, Murray's serve is more consistent than Federer's as of late.

    That does not mean we'll see more Murray V Nadal finals, as Murray's consistency in the Grand Slams is still suspect.
     
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  42. LurkingGod

    LurkingGod Rookie

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    Did some people suggest Fed should learn something from Murray?? Fed won GSs 13 times VS. 0 from Murray. Fed CAN beat Nadal without the assistance from watching Murray's game. He could've done so in many matches that he's lost. Fed HAS the game to beat Nadal, he just has to win the big point when it counts.
     
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  43. Nadal_Freak

    Nadal_Freak Banned

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    Yeah it's not a good example. Murray has a two-handed backhand and the best one in the game. Fed will never be able to have that shot. The idea of learning from him is impossible.
     
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  44. byealmeens

    byealmeens Semi-Pro

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    Murray can attack Nadal in more ways than Federer. Murray can hurt Rafa with his BH both cross-court and DTL, he can flatten out the forehand, he has an fantastic return of serve, an excellent drop-shot, and overall, he has better variety (can SV, change pace, etc.). I also agree that Murray is clearly more patient than Roger, but I feel that it's a bit easier for him as he handles Nadal's spin better. Some of this is due to the 2HBH, but mostly, it's due to the ability to attack from that wing. Even when Roger is hitting his BH well, he is rarely doing enough damage with it to win the point. As a result, Rafa simply waits for the eventual error. Against Murray, Rafa can no longer do that. I don't think this is because "Fed's BH will eventually breakdown", but rather that Roger's inability to hurt Rafa from that wing allows Rafa to pick on that side. As patient as Murray is, Roger will need to be more patient at times, and construct points differently to produce the same effect.

    I also disagree that Murray is similar to Hewitt in playing style. I agree that both are smart players that construct points well, but I think Murray has many more dimensions to his game. He also has a lot more firepower than Hewitt, and despite what's being stated here, I do feel his BH and his first serve are weapons.
     
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  45. henryshli

    henryshli Semi-Pro

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    Hopefully they will meet each other at the quaters at Indian Wells. That is if Murray doesn't get beat by Tsonga and Federer doesn't slip up against the big Cro!
     
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