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Andy style evolution

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blueberryhill
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #15 on: August 16, 2012, 07:22 AM »
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Really interesting analysis Philip. I agree, Andy's game has been slowly, subtley, changing since Lendl's arrival. The changes to the forehand were painful to watch, remember when he was hitting most of them long, but now the pain was certainly worth it.
Also, when I watch him now he's much more aggressive, coming forwards when b4 he'd hover behind the baseline.
He's much better at the net than Rafa or Nole, just needs the confidence to use those superb hands and quick reflexes.
That sliced back hand as well, some of those I just gasped at how low they stayed and how they spun far out into the tram lines. Magic.
Let's Go Andy. Let's Go.
 yay yay
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lashurst
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #16 on: August 16, 2012, 09:23 AM »
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Very interesting to read your detailed analysis and the way you look at and break down Andys game and recent progress.

I think one of the most significant factors I have obsereved (this year) is in the way Andy copes better with his mistakes and has stopped the negative behaviour since Lendl hit the scence. It stopped abruptly and has given almost immediate, positive results.  The things hes been working on with Lendl are now paying dividends. What confidence he has now in his stride!
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Katie
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Andy Murray - US Open and Wimbledon champion! :)

Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #17 on: August 16, 2012, 09:28 AM »
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Very interesting analysis Philip. Andy is so good to watch when he's playing like this. A few years ago he'd play aggressively against Rafa but not so much against the other players. Now it's really good to see him trying to dictate play against lower ranked players too. This can only help him when it comes to the big matches against the top players.

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Alis
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #18 on: August 16, 2012, 10:13 AM »
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Thank you for your excellent analysis, Philip.  It's a really exciting time to be an Andy fan!
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teejay1
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #19 on: August 16, 2012, 12:25 PM »
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Hi Philip and all,

Thank you for this indepth analysis. It is fascinating to pick Andy's game apart and really see what he has done, the areas he has improved what he already has, and those he has added.

The thing that stands out a mile for me this year is the way Andy has dealt with adversity. I think Andy will always be a player who instinctively hates to make mistakes, but I think he has grasped that he has to accept (to a point) that it will happen sometimes, but it is how you deal with it that is the key. It really does feel to me as if the Andy who raved at himself (it was always at himself, even when it was aimed at the team to my mind) when he made errors and then allowed it to bother him for points, a game, even two sometimes, is gone. Andy now moves on, gets a grip, gathers himself much more quickly, to start again. I still feel that the defining moment with this was that loss to Nadal at Wimbledon last year. He missed a forehand and got annoyed, fine, but then he made another mistake and you could sense that he had mentally gone. I can't help wondering if after that match he realised that he had to change something, because to my mind it did start to slowly change after that, until we've reached this point, where he now seems to just dig in when he makes errors, focuses more, and often pulls out a big serve. During the Olympic semi and final his response to break points was amazing, and so composed.

I don't think there has ever been much doubt about Andy's intelligence as a player. He knows the court, he anticipates opponents so well. However, now he isn't wasting time and energy getting down on himself, I really think he is thinking more clearly. It's as if his mind has freed his game up, and it is marvellous to see.

The other thing I did mean to say is that when I watched the Olympic final again the thing that struck me was Andy's beautiful footwork. It was exquisite.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #20 on: August 16, 2012, 04:05 PM »
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I think that part of Andy’s recent transformation was heightened by the fact that it was an Olympic event which was playing in his own hometown on the very ground he loves to play. So unless it’s consistent we can’t still predict anything permanent, though I really get the feeling that it is. If Andy stays at the top of his feelings and stays highly motivated, then he’ll be able to generate that level on a more consistent basis I believe. USO is now his real testament.

This actually used to be Agassi’s strategy. Stay in the middle of the court and dictate the points from there and make his opponents run from side to side and that would always tire them out eventually. In the process, he would also take them out of their position as well, so that didn’t allow them to come up with offensive shots and they’d only be in a position to defend themselves eventually running out of options. This, however, didn’t work against a superior player like Sampras. Sampras was devastatingly good at the net and once you realize that, it’s impossible to hit through him. That’s why players from today don’t approach the net at all unless they are forced to, because this always means finishing the points rather early and it’s very risky unless you are excellent at it. Baseline game is much safer as it allows you to stay in the rally even if you are in the most defensive position or at least it gives you a sense that you are not in immediate danger of losing the point. This is never the case with a true S&V game and it is probably the most dangerous game in tennis.

This is also probably the reason why Johnny Mac wants to see a player like Andy to dominate the sports, because he’s so natural at the net and has incredible soft hands. This is also why JM was a bigger fan of Federer than Nadal or Djokovic. Not that they aren’t good at the net but they wouldn’t dare until they are very sure of the point, but by no means are they natural at the net.

Andy now has a quite few things going on in his favour and also, he has a game that offers more variety than anyone else on tour, but he still needs to master all his shots in order to make them permanent and go to that level where everything will comer truly naturally to him including that raw power. He won’t be perfect because no one is but he’ll be very close to it.
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Ruthie
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #21 on: August 16, 2012, 10:36 PM »
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Only just discovered this thread and really enjoyed your analysis Philip.   clap
Of course the fact his game has evolved in this way makes it all the more disappointing when we have a bad day like today.  But it's an important reminder that today is surely just a blip in what has been such a significant evolution in his game.  I've so often heard comms saying he must learn to play more aggressively against lesser players so it's 2nd nature when it comes to the really big matches and I think this is now the case.  Just didn't happen for him today.
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Philip
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #22 on: August 16, 2012, 10:42 PM »
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Thanks Ruthie.  I was busy at work and the exercise on the treadmill and preparing supper so didn't have time to watch today.  I think it must be a combination of factors : fatigue, lack of sleep, windy condition, going back into his shell when things didn't go well, etc...

In a way, it is good we have this performance here. It is a stark reminder to Andy that unless he fully embraces the new offensive baseline ethos, going back to the old reactive way can result in a shock loss.  He won't forget this message in a hurry and it will spur him on even more at the USO to perform well there when his body and mind will be at a more optimum level.
[ Last edit by Philip August 17, 2012, 08:59 PM ] IP Logged
scotnadian
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #23 on: August 16, 2012, 11:08 PM »
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Philip, thanks for the thread. Very good.
However, you must watch the match if you can. I look forward to your comments on it thereafter.
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #24 on: August 16, 2012, 11:36 PM »
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It is great to have watched Andy play through all these years and to appreciate what a talent we have, he has been knocking at the door on many occasions for the elusive maiden slam, but this Olympic victory will now surely put any doubt away in his mind that he can win the big one. Federer was playing for a gold medal, one of the many titles he hasn't got his hands on, and being 31 now I think Federer knows that is one he will never lay claim to. So Andy can draw enormous confidence from that and the belief going into the U.S Open will be at the highest it's ever been alongside the hopes of a Nation.

Murrays evolution as a tennis player over the past 2 years has enabled him to compete at the highest level and it is solely down to him playing a lot more aggressively and taking it to his opponent. Everyone knows he is great defensively but now by backing himself up with great shot selection, greater avg shot speed and playing closer to the baseline it is reaping reward.

I for one cannot wait to see what Andy could produce, and oh wouldn't it be so sweet to happen for him at his favourite grand slam, flushing meadows on Arthur Ashe stadium... I will keep dreaming for now!
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blueberryhill
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #25 on: August 17, 2012, 07:38 AM »
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Tryz, not really so. Andy has been No4 for more than 2 years. His primarily defensive game got him that far. It's breaking the old glass ceiling that's been so difficult and hence the need to tighten up the game and play more offensively.
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Ruthie
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #26 on: August 17, 2012, 08:31 AM »
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Thanks Ruthie.  I was busy at work and the exercise on the treadmill and preparing supper so didn't have time to watch today.  I think it must be a combination of factors : fatigue, lack of sleep, windy condition, going back into his shell when things didn't go well, etc...

In a way, it is good we have this performance here. It is a stark reminder to Andy that unless he fully embraces the new offensive baseline ethos, going back to the old reactive way can result in a shock loss.  He won't forget this message in a hurry and it will spur him on even more at the USO to perform well there when his body and mind will be at more optimum level.
Good point Philip and better that he gets such a message now rather than in NY.  I'm sure Lendl will be analysing what went wrong yesterday.  Petch said he felt Andy didn't have a plan B for an off day and perhaps that's what he needs to think about -how to win when he's not feeling good.  But then perhaps he had decided, given how he was feeling, it was better just to accept he's not up to winning this tournament and cut his losses in preparation for USO.  Someone suggested this in effect on the other thread I think.  And that would help explain why his team was so flat also and didn't seem that bothered when things were going wrong as again someone has pointed out.
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TheMadHatter
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #27 on: August 17, 2012, 01:01 PM »
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It's so typical after all this he goes and plays like he did yesterday.
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Sabine
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #28 on: August 17, 2012, 01:38 PM »
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It's so typical after all this he goes and plays like he did yesterday.

I have no choice but to agree with you...
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teejay1
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Re: Andy style evolution « Reply #29 on: August 17, 2012, 01:57 PM »
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And that would help explain why his team was so flat also and didn't seem that bothered when things were going wrong as again someone has pointed out.

Hi Ruthie and all,

I've mentioned a couple of times how flat Andy's team were. I swear Danny was asleep at one point. It just seemed like an off day all around. I do wonder if they knew something wasn't quite right, maybe Andy didn't seem as up for it as usual. Only they would know. I just wish my cheering Andy on and reminding him of that beautiful gold medal had helped. I must learn that talking to the TV doesn't work, and makes me seem strange lol.

I suppose I should say this on the other thread, but to be truthful I'm not sure Andy can win. Before anyone throws things at me, what I mean is he can't win in the eyes critics, and even some of his fans.

What happened yesterday would not be a concern had Andy won Toronto. If he'd pulled a win there off on the back of the Olympics we would have all been jubilant.

Had he done the same at Cincy we would have all been beside ourselves, practically giving him the USO trophy before he'd stepped foot in New York. It would, in our eyes, been something akin to the Second Coming.

However, I would estimate that it would have taken all of about five minutes for someone to worry that maybe Andy would go in to New York a bit overcooked, a bit tired, and maybe an early round disaster was possible. From jubilance and excitement, the mood would turn black in an instant, and mass hysteria would have broken out - at least with those given to mass hysteria. Personally I think it requires too much energy.

I really do think that with Lendl beside him Andy has shifted his focus to the majors, and big situations like the Olympics. Frankly, as long as he does well enough, he can go back to winning Masters when he is too old to be effective in the majors as far as I'm concerned. Don't get me wrong, I'd like him to do well in both, but with the best will in the world a player is not remembered for how many Masters they've won. They are remembered for the majors.

I personally want to see Andy take the place I feel he deserves in the history of the sport, or rather the place his talent deserves, as one of the greats, but I guess he will only do that in some eyes if he wins a major - or five. He is good enough to do that and has time. However, if the thing he has to sacrifice to do that is a few Masters tournaments, then so what?
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