Wall Street Journal Calls Murray a Pusher

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
#2
Counter attacking player yes, pusher no (silly US slang term used hyperbolically by people who lack a decent vocabulary).

Murray hits quite a lot of great winners, especially off his backhand and his first serve is bigger than most.

Is his style too defensive or counter attacking to win a slam? Possibly, it's a fine line. But that's a very long way from being a 'pusher'.

Silly article title probably not written by the author, not the first time a newspaper has done that, especially one owned by Murdoch (*spit).

Re Stefanki, was he actually ignorant enough to call Murray a pusher? because it's not in any of the quoted text.
 
#4
Re Stefanki, was he actually ignorant enough to call Murray a pusher? because it's not in any of the quoted text.
I doubt it.

The article also calls Bjorn Borg a pusher. The guy ruled grass and carpet courts for most of his career, the two fastest surfaces imaginable. He was very aggressive (but in the same heavy topspin, lots of margin fashion that Nadal is aggressive today).
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
#6
LOL @ Bjorn Borg being a pusher.. I mean they may have a case with Murray, but come on.
Who's 'they'? (who actually called Murray a 'pusher' in the article?).

In general, people say stupid things, a lot. I hear Nadal called a 'pusher', Borg too, Murray, whomever.

Personally I find counter attacking players like Murray and Nadal some of the best to watch, same goes for counter attacking football teams like Manchester United when they had Schmeichel in goal (he used to be brilliant at throwing the ball quickly out of his box and setting off an attack).

The idea you should attack all the time is juvenile machismo.
 
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jrod

Hall of Fame
#7
Actually, a pretty decent piece of writing considering the source. A number of valid points made by many even if the characterization of Murray's playing style isn't all that flattering.

In all seriousness, given the depth and breadth of Murray's game it seems to me the best way for him to surprise his opponents is to hit the snot out of the ball more often. According to this article that appears to be the last thing they are expecting from him....
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
#9
Actually, a pretty decent piece of writing considering the source. A number of valid points made by many even if the characterization of Murray's playing style isn't all that flattering.

In all seriousness, given the depth and breadth of Murray's game it seems to me the best way for him to surprise his opponents is to hit the snot out of the ball more often. According to this article that appears to be the last thing they are expecting from him....
I honestly think he does hit the ball hard and deep but only when there is a decent opportunity, that's one major reason he has been so good over the past few years.

His weak points are arguably not taking enough risks (not going for enough winners even when he has created a space) and his nerves have a let him down a few times (AO final, classic example, started to find his feet in the third set but it was too late). Also his forehand is probably not as good as his backhand and his second serve can be a liability sometimes, at best it's just functional and does the job, it rarely does any damage.

When he gets his game right and is in the right state of mind he can beat anyone, and has proved this numerous times. He just needs to get the balance right for the big occasions. Hopefully he'll do that at some point, he is still only 22.
 

rocket

Hall of Fame
#10
Personally I find counter attacking players like Murray and Nadal some of the best to watch, same goes for counter attacking football teams like Manchester United when they had Schmeichel in goal (he used to be brilliant at throwing the ball quickly out of his box and setting off an attack).
yes, counter-attack, not just put the ball back in play.
 
#11
Who's 'they'? (who actually called Murray a 'pusher' in the article?).

In general, people say stupid things, a lot. I hear Nadal called a 'pusher', Borg too, Murray, whomever.

Personally I find counter attacking players like Murray and Nadal some of the best to watch, same goes for counter attacking football teams like Manchester United when they had Schmeichel in goal (he used to be brilliant at throwing the ball quickly out of his box and setting off an attack).

The idea you should attack all the time is juvenile machismo.
:| If they're calling BJORN BORG a pusher, I think the obvious implication is that Murray is one too. And anyone who gives the pusher label to Nadal is obviously clueless.. he may not hit a ton of winners, but when given the opportunity to strike, he'll run opponents around the court.

Murray does not do this. He'll hit a possibly tricky shot and hopes his opponent makes an unforced error or a sitter. He can certainly play very effective offensive tennis, but he seems to reserve this for counterpunchers like Nadal. He tries to play the Nadal style against Federer, hitting a ton of topspin to Fed's backhand...but those shots get dismissed with authority unless you want hit HARD with top spin. And Nadal is capable of producing more spin anyway.
 
#14
"...Mr. Federer told reporters after narrowly beating Mr. Murray 6-3, 6-4, 7-6 for the Austrailian Open title earlier this year."

I LOL'd at that word choice. If you call a straight set win, "narrow," what would you call a 4 or 5 setter?

As for Borg being a pusher, that is certainly derogatory and misleading, but if you define pusher as, "a player who refrains from trying to hit winning shots and is content to return the ball with partial strength in hopes of getting the opponent to make unforced errors," as said by the article, then that is not a bad description of Borg's game.

It's really just word choice, "pusher" at the pro level really does not apply the way it does to a junior player. Perhaps if a player did not have any real offensive weapons, then that player might be more suited to be called a pusher. But guys like Borg and Murray, certainly have offensive weapons.
 
#15
ROFL! An article about tennis players from WSJ is about as credible as an article about 'mental strength & fighting spirit' by Andy Roddick!

Not that I disagree with the conclusion but yet! :)
Wait, what??? Roddick is known for his fighting spirit and immense effort he gives on the court. He himself said that one thing he's never failed to do is "try hard."
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
#16
:| If they're calling BJORN BORG a pusher, I think the obvious implication is that Murray is one too. And anyone who gives the pusher label to Nadal is obviously clueless.. he may not hit a ton of winners, but when given the opportunity to strike, he'll run opponents around the court.

Murray does not do this. He'll hit a possibly tricky shot and hopes his opponent makes an unforced error or a sitter. He can certainly play very effective offensive tennis, but he seems to reserve this for counterpunchers like Nadal. He tries to play the Nadal style against Federer, hitting a ton of topspin to Fed's backhand...but those shots get dismissed with authority unless you want hit HARD with top spin. And Nadal is capable of producing more spin anyway.
'If they're calling BJORN BORG a pusher'

Again, who are they? (who actually called Murray a 'pusher' on the record, provide quotes from the article).
 
#18
perfect! thanks the extracts. Murray plays his best brand of tennis vs Nadal. he did it again at the AO this year. now he just needs to apply it across the board.
I see where you're coming from but Murray would probably argue that he adapts his style depending on who is at the other side of the net, and that if he was to play the same way against everyone then he'd be easier to beat.

I'm not saying he's right - just predicting what his position would be.
 

Xenakis

Hall of Fame
#19
Quote from the article...

'In a sport crammed with superpowerful players who boast 140-mile-per hour serves and backhands with brutal slice'

Crammed with players who boast 140mph serves? really? How many players in the top 20 regularly hit serves that fast? (Murray is normally 130+ anyway, one of the fastest in the top 10).

And a 'brutal slice'? wtf. Actually Murray has an excellent slice backhand as it goes, slicing isn't exactly a measure of a hard hitter now is it? On the contrary, while it's a shot a pro should have in their 'locker' at a rec level the bh slice is often an excuse for a proper drive backhand, it's an easy shot to play by comparison.

Stupid.

To answer my own rhetorical question to KAndersonFan, who are 'they'?

Well, no one. Not one source in the article calls Murray or Borg a pusher, not one. The only people who use the term are Gimmlestop and Seles who (rightly) say Murray isn't a pusher.

It's a bulls*** article, poorly written, misleading and obviously constructed by someone who knows very little about tennis (e.g. 'brutal slice')
 
#22
I think the use of inverted commas in the headline is indicative of what the author's view.
Or maybe quotes like these:
But the pusher approach, wimpy as it may sound, is exactly what the 22-year-old Mr. Murray says propelled him to No. 2 in August 2009.
Of course, there have been some pusher standouts. The legendary Bjorn Borg was a pusher who once told Mr. Bollettieri at his academy that his philosophy was simply trying "to get one more ball over the net than my opponent." American Michael Chang reached No. 2 in 1996; Brad Gilbert, who spent five years among the ATP's top 10 and coached Mr. Murray from 2006 to 2007, was also notorious for upsetting opponents by destroying their rhythm with his defensive—if not always dazzling—tactics.
The hell can you call Bjorn Borg a pusher without implying that Murray isn't one???
 

rocket

Hall of Fame
#23
I see where you're coming from but Murray would probably argue that he adapts his style depending on who is at the other side of the net, and that if he was to play the same way against everyone then he'd be easier to beat.

I'm not saying he's right - just predicting what his position would be.
Murray stepped into the court more in the 3rd set vs Fed. almost got him. if he did that from the 1st ball, who knows...

Murray "thought" he could push Fed into making unforced errors. he thought wrong, twice.
 

vandre

Hall of Fame
#27
ROFL! An article about tennis players from WSJ is about as credible as an article about 'mental strength & fighting spirit' by Andy Roddick!

Not that I disagree with the conclusion but yet! :)
this. what makes the wall street journal think it can write any kind of credible article evaluating the game of an atp pro?

and was there absolutely nothing else going on in the financial world that they had the space to run this thing???
 
#29
Well written article.

She is not calling him a pusher on her own, but bringing in some expert opinions from outside. Murray is a pusher for the most part, sometimes , specially against the pirate who probably irritates him with his bullying acts on the court, he gets fired up against Nadal and beat the crap out of him.

Stefanki is a big mouth tho. He is willing to talk anyone down to bring up his boy.
 
#30
Andy Roddick- I don't mind losing 8 finals to him, after losing the U.S. Open final to Federer. This is why Andy Roddick remains a one-slam wonder!

Fighting spirit is to Andy Roddick what fidelity is to Eldrick Woods! LOL!

Wait, what??? Roddick is known for his fighting spirit and immense effort he gives on the court. He himself said that one thing he's never failed to do is "try hard."
 
#31
That's exactly what I was getting at, Andre!

this. what makes the wall street journal think it can write any kind of credible article evaluating the game of an atp pro?

and was there absolutely nothing else going on in the financial world that they had the space to run this thing???
 

jrod

Hall of Fame
#32
I honestly think he does hit the ball hard and deep but only when there is a decent opportunity, that's one major reason he has been so good over the past few years.
oh, I agree he can thump the ball....no disputing that.

His weak points are arguably not taking enough risks (not going for enough winners even when he has created a space) ....
This is precisely the point I was trying to make. He is extremely good at setting up the point, but he seems either reluctant or doesn't recognize the opportunities that well where he has created enough leverage to take on more risk.

Honestly, I can sympathize with him, even at my lowly level. I often will create some leverage and then fail to capitalize. At my age of 53 you would think finishing off the point as quickly as possible would be the primary objective, but more often than not I find myself losing points I probably could have won by not being aggressive enough at the right times.
 
#33
As for Borg being a pusher, that is certainly derogatory and misleading, but if you define pusher as, "a player who refrains from trying to hit winning shots and is content to return the ball with partial strength in hopes of getting the opponent to make unforced errors," as said by the article, then that is not a bad description of Borg's game.
Borg serve & volleyed most of the time at Wimbledon. That really doesn't sound like how Murray plays at all.
 
#34
Counter attacking player yes, pusher no (silly US slang term used hyperbolically by people who lack a decent vocabulary).

Murray hits quite a lot of great winners, especially off his backhand and his first serve is bigger than most.

Is his style too defensive or counter attacking to win a slam? Possibly, it's a fine line. But that's a very long way from being a 'pusher'.

Silly article title probably not written by the author, not the first time a newspaper has done that, especially one owned by Murdoch (*spit).

Re Stefanki, was he actually ignorant enough to call Murray a pusher? because it's not in any of the quoted text.
At no newspaper do the reporters decide the headlines for their stories. That's the job of the copy editor, whose choice is then approved by the news editor
 
#38
Sometimes I wonder if 'pusher' is a word coined more out of frustration than anything else , I for one don't think the ones who play at the highest level can be classified into any one such group .
 
#39
I would not call him a pusher. But, the debate about his game style is worthwhile. The question isn't whether he can be a great player -- he already is. He's made Slam finals, won Masters, beat the top players.

The question is whether he can win Slams, and his game style, at times (certainly not all the time), does seem to hold him back. I actually think his game style is fine for most of the match. It's just that in some big matches on some key points, or even just key times within a point, he really needs to play a bit more aggressively, as not to let his opponent get a hold of the point. Yeah, you can frustrate Berdych and Tsonga into errors, but by the time you get to Fed or the other very top guys, you can't rely on them missing as much, and you can't allow them to take control of those key points because they can consistently finish those points off. It's a problem too when he meets a player (like Berdych or Tsonga) who would often be too inconsistent to deal with Murray, but happens to be "on" and therefore the winner/error ratio is better than usual and Murray may get beat.

But, I'm sure he's smart enought to deal with his physical game, and, as I said, I only think minor modifications at certain times are needed. The real issue right now is his head. I hope he gets himself together for the rest of the year.
 
#41
They also called Chris Evert a pusher and Evert was perhaps the hardest hitter in Women's tennis at the time.

To call Borg a pusher is ridiculous since he hit hard off both sides and served and volleyed. Pancho Gonzalez, while commentating on one of Borg's matches called Borg the hardest hitter he had ever seen.

Murray is a natural counterpuncher and he wins a lot of tournaments. He's been in the finals of two majors so to write he doesn't have it in him to win a major doesn't make sense to me.
 
#43
I wouldn't have so much a problem with Murray if he wasn't such a crybaby all the time. He acts like a spoiled child. If he could just learn some class it might earn him a bit more respect.

He should drop the arrogant posturing, shut his trap, and play the game.
 
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