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Andy articles from the Times

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Emma Jean
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #75 on: January 18, 2012, 03:14 PM »
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On the hottest day of 2012 in Melbourne, Andy Murray looked agitated at times, which is his wont. He ended the day in the second round of the Australian Open which it what it is all about. A 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-2 victory over the teenage American Ryan Harrison was hard graft but he prevailed, as he should.

In the player’s box for the first time at a grand slam tournament was Ivan Lendl, who had to run the gamut of Murray on days like these - initial nerves, a steadying of the ship, staggering defence and occasional flashes of attacking gusto. Also, there were tweaks, twinges, verbal indiscretions and complaints. Welcome to the Murray world Mr Lendl.

Tomorrow, he will play the Frenchman Edouard Roger-Vasselin, who took a very different route to this stage, when Xavier Malisse, his Belgian opponent, withdrew after one tie-break set with pains in his serving arm.

After the defeats of five British players without so much as a set between them on the opening day of the tournament, there were a few raised eyebrows when Murray forfeited the first to Harrison, the world No 77. To be fair, the 19-year-old from Louisiana was quicker to every ball, sharper in movement and taking the ball on the rise. Murray played a really sloppy service game at 2-2, with a couple of double faults and a backhand scoop that landed long which gave Harrison a look-in. He lost his next service game too to compound the troubles.

Some of the rallies were hugely punishing; a 41-stroke marathon in the tenth game went to Harrison when Murray’s backhand slice landed long. Those are the moments when the better player usually prevails but the American was on song.

In his opening seven service games, Murray did not win the first point, which is asking for trouble. He knew he could not afford to slip in the early stages of the second set, not in 35 degree heat on the Hisense Arena where there is so little protection from the sun’s rays. In the fourth game, he produced his finest running backhand pass of the match and the scene was set for the break that he so desperately wanted.

But Harrison was not going away. He was more often than not Murray’s equal from the back of the court, he showed great delicacy at the net and was desperately keen to see if he could push his opponent all the way. An early break in the third set ought to have soothed everyone’s nerves but there was the occasional twist and twinge and the cold-eyed stare at his box. It did seem, though, that he was counting to ten, keeping his thoughts more to himself, and exuding more self-control than might have been the case before Lendl came on the scene.

He might have become very agitated had Harrison been able to make more of a break point in the second game of the fourth set when he was just wide with a crosscourt forehand after another probing, dynamic back court rally. Losing that was a crushing blow and Murray was not unduly troubled to see out his victory.

“I know what it was like to be in his shoes,” he said of Harrison. “You are young, you go for your shots, there is no pressure. I was nervous at the start but played well enough to win.

LOL @ the first one. Ain't that the truth but I am sure Lendl is well aware of these situations. That's why he is here.

As to the 2nd one, nice to see Andy recognizing his own self there. He very much knew what he was getting into. This will come handy in the future as he will have to face similar situations over and over again.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #76 on: January 20, 2012, 03:00 PM »
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As a kid at home in Paris, Michael Llodra would mimic his favourite player, Stefan Edberg, the great Swedish champion who celebrated his 46th birthday yesterday while not looking a day over 21 — an indication that serve-and-volley tennis is exceedingly good for your health. Llodra’s cousin would play the part of Ivan Lendl and, guess what, Lendl always seemed to win.
Tomorrow, probably making his 2012 debut on Rod Laver Arena — where he has been beaten in the past two finals — Andy Murray will be shadowed for his third grand-slam match by Lendl, his coach, as he seeks to reach the last 32 of the Australian Open.
Llodra, 31, is playing singles here for the twelfth time. The second round was as far as he had ventured before and he feels that most people think “Murray will destroy me”.
A bit, one supposes, like his cousin’s Lendl used to crush his Edberg. If the two players conform to type, and Llodra employs his usual net-rushing tactics, his words will carry a prophetic tone. There is little Murray likes more than playing the matador tease to a single-minded bull.
It might be a decent tactic for a short while, but to expect Llodra to sustain such an effort over five sets against Murray is beyond the realms of schoolboy fantasy.
“I met him [Lendl] for the first time last year in Adelaide when we were at a senior event,” the Frenchman said. “He said he had never seen me in the flesh before but that I had an interesting game. I am sure he has now been analysing me scientifically.
“I just hope that whatever Lendl brings to Andy happens a little later and not right now.”
As was apparent when the draw was made, if Murray is to get to the top of the hill this time round, he will have to take out half the French contingent to get there.
Llodra follows on from Edouard Roger-Vasselin, stylishly defeated 6-1, 6-4, 6-4 yesterday, with the likes of Gaël Monfils, Julien Benneteau — the runner-up in Sydney last weekend — and Jo-Wilfried Tsonga all inhabiting the Briton’s section.
British writers had eyes only for Murray yesterday, especially after Jamie, his older brother, was beaten in the opening round of the doubles with Paul Hanley, his Australian partner. The focus on the No 4 seed will only intensify, but he is well used to such a forensic following. Since Lendl has been sitting in his corner — starting in Brisbane the weekend before last — the Scot’s outbursts to his team have dried to a trickle, his first serve has been landing with additional regularity — although the second is still eminently attackable — and he actually looks as if he is enjoying the process, which is half the battle.
Lendl never did smile much on the court, but a love of outwitting opponents was always a driving force for him and few players appreciate the sharps and clefs of the tennis score more than Murray.
Llodra’s mantra is that he has only one way to play; his next opponent has several. And Murray’s mind is spot-on, which is an encouraging sign. “It’s not that I feel necessarily more relaxed on court, just more in control of things,” he said. “That’s where you need to be focusing most of your energy and not letting things distract you. When it’s not going well, like against [Ryan] Harrison [in the first round], I am able to try and work it out.
“Towards the end of the first set then, I knew how to play against him. Which was good, because in the past I may have got annoyed and let the first set go, then it would be halfway through the second until I found the right way to play against him.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #77 on: January 20, 2012, 03:26 PM »
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Nice reading Craig.

Just a little suggestion though, when you copy+paste, could you please put some line shifts in to break up the text. Easier to read that way Smile
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #78 on: January 20, 2012, 03:30 PM »
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Nice reading Craig.

Just a little suggestion though, when you copy+paste, could you please put some line shifts in to break up the text. Easier to read that way Smile

You're right. MY EYES  shocking shocking shocking
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #79 on: January 20, 2012, 03:31 PM »
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I read in an interview in the evening standard that Novak thinks that Andy could win a couple of slams over the next few years. A bit patronising although in a nice way.
So clearly their friendship is based on Andy being the underling of the relationship. I really hope Andy can take this AO away from Novak even if he doesn't go on to win it, and really get started in the slams. Tennis needs him to, as Nadal just doesn't have what it takes to stop the Djoker anymore it seems.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #80 on: January 20, 2012, 03:45 PM »
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Count Rafa out at your peril! He definitely plays himself into slams. He's not looking so dusty so far, though he has had an "easy" draw.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #81 on: January 20, 2012, 03:56 PM »
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They've all had easy draws bar Andy, but that may prove not such a bad thing if he can keep the matches short. But If Rafa gets to the final as he should given his too easy draw and Novak is there, he's going down. And there is no reason to think otherwise  flush
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #82 on: January 20, 2012, 03:56 PM »
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I read in an interview in the evening standard that Novak thinks that Andy could win a couple of slams over the next few years. A bit patronising although in a nice way.
So clearly their friendship is based on Andy being the underling of the relationship. I really hope Andy can take this AO away from Novak even if he doesn't go on to win it, and really get started in the slams. Tennis needs him to, as Nadal just doesn't have what it takes to stop the Djoker anymore it seems.

I heard both Nole and Andy were very friendly before the Aussie open last year until Andy decided to have another mental breakdown in GS Final then both were very distant.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #83 on: January 20, 2012, 04:06 PM »
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I'm biased but I think Andy is the better player, maybe it's just in the things I think are better however, certainly Novak is the more solid out of the two. But then Rafa is more solid than Andy as well & it's not doing him too many favours. He can't possibly blame Novak for his own failings and really the joker has paved the way for him or at least shown what is possible. I doubt it's true anyway & if they are becoming more distant it's probably because things are becoming more serious full stop.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #84 on: January 20, 2012, 04:14 PM »
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If Andy was so solid like Novak maybe we would not get those moments of unique genius that made me a Murray fan in the first place.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #85 on: January 20, 2012, 04:20 PM »
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True Rafa Roger and now Novak have all aspired to be well run and precise machines and have succeeded in that aim. Still it would definitely help if Andy could get a bit more solid in some areas without getting too clinical.
It's what brings them in after all. Slams that is.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #86 on: January 20, 2012, 04:24 PM »
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I'm biased but I think Andy is the better player, maybe it's just in the things I think are better however, certainly Novak is the more solid out of the two. But then Rafa is more solid than Andy as well & it's not doing him too many favours. He can't possibly blame Novak for his own failings and really the joker has paved the way for him or at least shown what is possible. I doubt it's true anyway & if they are becoming more distant it's probably because things are becoming more serious full stop.
Them not to be too cosy friends (bosom buddies) would help I think to make a person more aggressive. Like you see boxers do with a "Face-off". We know Andy looks to boxing for comparison and David Haye as model in some respects.
IMO, it would be easier to get in the right mental state to take out the opponent.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #87 on: January 20, 2012, 07:31 PM »
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Andy has a much more varied game and has better serve Rolling Eyes and is a natural at the net whereas Novak isn't.  However,  Novak is so solid in clutch moments. Also his forehand is a huge weapon. Can we also nick his confidence cloak? He really does go on court with incredible self belief.
However, Iashurst I think Andy has had far too much respect for Rog/Raf but fortunately thinks of Novak as his equal. Which he is.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #88 on: January 20, 2012, 07:51 PM »
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The forehand side of the other 3 is noticeably better therefore Andy cant compete with them forever from behind the baseline. Fortunately he doesn't have to.
There's many more options at his disposal. I think Novak has reason to be nervous about Andy if they meet, I doubt he will be as confident against Andy as he would Rafa. It's not a final Andy, will really go for it and he
will have a good chance to win.
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Re: Andy articles from the Times « Reply #89 on: January 20, 2012, 08:11 PM »
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theycanbillme, I disagree. I think at the moment Novak thinks he can beat anyone. He will not be nervous of playing Andy. He destroyed Andy here last year, remember?
However, I don't believe he can have another year like the last one. Neither Rog nor Rafa managed two years on the trot, so it will be interesting to see how he copes when he does lose some.
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