I would like to start this topic to discuss Andy new style. I have rewatched all of Andy's olympic matches (thanks to the BBC) and noticed that Andy became gradually more and more attacking from one round to the next. Of course this started as early as the AO but the transformation is complete at the Olympics.
Baghdatis was a wake up call where Andy slightly passive play in difficult windy condition was exploited by his opponent to win the 1st set against Andy. The major transition being at the SF and Final where Andy was constantly dictating the points whenever he had the opportunity.
What is fascinating is that Andy now bends down low a la Lendl (a difficulty feat for someone 6'3'' tall) and hits much more accurately and with more top spin so much less chance for UEs. His cross court shots are so accurate making it very difficult for his opponents when they approach the net. The topspin means that even when Andy shot is slightly shorter, the ball still travels far to push the opponent back to prevent them from effectively approaching the net.
Andy shots vs Djokovic and Federer were consistently deep to their BH and FH and yet did not go out. This made it a) very difficult for their opponent to be offensive b) pushed them back and made them run side to side tiring them out and took them away from the net. Once Federer legs were taken away from him, it was difficult for him to get into a good position to apply his favourite deadly FHs.
With the deeper BHs and FH, Andy drop shots became very effective when they are dropped to the opposite side and checked side spin to make the ball bounce away from the opponent and minimised the bouncing height.
During the olympic early rounds, Andy FH and BH down the line frequently went into the higher part of the net against weaker opponents, but he adjusted and when came the SF and Final, they were very useful in keeping his opponents from staying in the middle of the court to defend against these DTL attacks, thereby opening themselves to the deadly cross court attacks.
Another thing Andy does very successfully is to hit consecutive deep BHs cross courts, waiting for a short ball back to whip his FH DTL to his opponent FH whilst his opponent is still positioned near to the BH side.
Andy defensive lob is now more effective as it has more height making it difficult for the opponent to put it away first time, and when he gets it back for the third or fourth time, his opponent is likely drawn into making a mistake due to Andy excellent anticipation and speed.
The MD with Laura has given Andy the added bonus of excellent net play. The incredible reflex Andy demonstrated at one point in the final was stunning where Federer fired a lethal BH cross court and Andy volleyed it with split second timing dead to the centre of the court, having instinctively closed in to the net to maximise the chance of success. There was a fantastic shot against Djokovic where Andy hits a deep BH cross court, and quickly glided into the net with an assured volley to Djokovic FH to kill off the point.
Andy mental attitude has grown by leaps and bounds. I love the way Andy faced numerous BPs in the SF and Final and yet never once did he back off. Instead, he either went for the big Aces or well positioned 1st serve and dictating FHs to win the points. Andy matchplay has improved tremendously. Once a rally is in good progress, Andy now looks for the opportunity to unleash the monster DH BH cross court (favourite) or BH DTL (more tricky due to the higher net position). The big whipped FH DTL from the BH position is also very effective when his opponent is tied to their BH as mentioned earlier. Andy now plays with confidence and poise. The crowd at Wimbledon made a huge difference. How much of that support has Andy bottled in his memory for future GS use ?
We can say at last that Andy has become the complete package with no visible weakness. What is exciting is with higher first serve percentage, and more agressive FHs, he will become even more dominant. .
Andy KNOWS that he is the Olympic Champion
which not even the GOAT or Djokovic can lay claim to. Now when Andy walks onto the court, one can sense a relaxed yet steely determination with an aura of a Champion. He is at ease with himself and he knows that the process started with Lendl in Jan is clearly working and winning the GS is now within his grasp rather than the misery and despair he felt at the Wimbledon final.
This bodes well for the upcoming USO where assuming Andy stays fit and healthy, we could see history in the making for Andy !
BBC website for all of Andy's matcheshttp://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/olympics/2012/schedule-results/tennis