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Poll
Question: Who will win?
Murray in 2 - 4 (12.1%)
Murray in 3 - 17 (51.5%)
Berdych in 2 - 9 (27.3%)
Berdych in 3 - 0 (0%)
Berdych runs away screaming because he confuses Murray with Djokovic. - 3 (9.1%)
Total Voters: 33

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Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych

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Emma Jean
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #735 on: May 11, 2013, 01:15 AM »
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Ah but EJ, Andy has won a major, so people want everything right now or else!

I know people won't agree with me but at least you will be able to agree that every thing has its time, so no matter how much we want it, it's not going to happen all at once. Andy's onlhy a human being and he needs time to process things. He needs time to build his case on clay and I don't think with both Rafa and Nole around, he feels super confident. That's why it's very important to build confidence first slowly but steadily. It wasn't a bad loss today at all. Andy, in fact, played very well despite the loss.
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Emma Jean
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #736 on: May 11, 2013, 01:20 AM »
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Well, in any case, I hold silver lining responsible for this loss. Given the stat person she is, she still went and made the mistake in her initial post and said, Berdych led Andy 3-0 on clay because now he does. Coincidence? I don't think so.

Okay, I kid.
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Hamish McHamish
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #737 on: May 11, 2013, 01:30 AM »
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I think ghostbuster has made some very good points here. I am also a little troubled by Murray's recent lack of success on the red dirt as has rightly been pointed out he does possess all the attributes to be a great clay courter. I think what we all need to consider though is that for Andy clay is annually at best a 4 tournament entity. Murray is arguably the best hard court player on the tour yet if we based his ability on the post AO swing of '10 and '11 or his USO record in '09 and '10 then I'm sure similar inquisitions would be made. I'm certainly not gonna give up hope just yet...
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Emma Jean
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #738 on: May 11, 2013, 01:35 AM »
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Andy's biggest problem is not his 2nd serve but his focus. He plays the first match very well and then it goes all bonkers from that point  on as if he's had all fun already. He just can't concentrate for two hours even if you gag him. And it's not something in Lendl's hand but his very own. I was very, very frustrated with him against Simon's match and very mad too. I knew he wanted to win then what the hell was that about in the 1st set? Just too poor for my taste when he's supposed to take it to next level. There's a reason why everyone starts so well against him in the first set, because he's set a trend to start slow and others fancy on it. This really needs to be addressed.
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tamila
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #739 on: May 11, 2013, 05:39 AM »
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These comments are all very interesting but perhaps we should remember that Lendl, the great player he was, was no good on grass and admits it.  We may never know why just as we may never know why Andy has problems on clay. One of the reasons could be that it asggravates his knee problem.  As a sportswoman myself I know what it is like mentally to overcome a fear of making an old injury worse.  His knee problem did not show up until he played on clay in Spain if my memory serves me correctly. To have reached the QF is very good in my book especially when he was playing someone like Berdych.  If Berdych is so good why is he not number 2.  Personally I did not expect him to get to a tie-break.  In some ways it avoids him being beaten by Wawrinka again which I was a bit anxious about.  It would be great if Wawrinka was to beat Nadal as that would mean that the other three had been put out by players further down the rankings than Andy.
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Masaka
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #740 on: May 11, 2013, 07:01 AM »
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How long is it going to take for this improvement?

He's been a pro for 8+ years now.

I don't think that how long he has been a pro is relevant. For whatever reason, be it physical, mental or something related to his congenital knee problem - non of us know, he can't manage clay courts. It's all very well saying that there is no reason why he can't or he he has managed better In the past, the fact remains he really struggles on this surface. I am sure that it frustrates him as much as us. For the sake of 4 tournaments in the year it just doesn't seem worth the hassle. I wonder if that's why he has only played the mandatory clay tournaments this year. why waste energy on it. doubt it is going to change now. People have their limitations. We all need to accept it.
To put it in perspective there is absolutely no reason Simon couldn't have beaten Murray in that match, yet he didn't, ditto Ferrer against Nadal, or for that matter Berdych against Djokovic. Berdych can beat Federer, Murray and anyone else on the tour if he is on the right surface or in the right mindset. Pit him against Djokovic and it all goes to sh*t.

Clay is Murray's bogie man. There are worst ones to have.
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Ruthie
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #741 on: May 11, 2013, 08:54 AM »
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didn't see the match but tbh I'd feared Birdy might blow Andy away completely given Andy's late night and the fact he hasn't found his game on the red stuff.  I do wonder if he hadn't had the late night match the previous night whether he might have been able to take more chances or even turn it round after losing the t-b, but no point in speculating and as someone has pointed out he has only himself to blame for it going quite so late the previous night (though even a two-setter would have finished pretty late).  I take comfort from the fact that Petch said he was playing much better on the clay than previously this season.   So with 7 hours match time under his belt, and hopefully a decent run in Rome , here's hoping that he can at least emulate his 2011 run at RG.  I don't realistically hope for more than that.
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benniebone
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #742 on: May 11, 2013, 09:08 AM »
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So Andy's defeat is disappointing but its not a serious problem. He did well in the first set and then sensibly let the second go. He keeps his ranking at 2 and can now prepare for RG Here I think he has to get to the quarters to cover his points Then he comes to grass which is his favourite surface and clay can be forgotten for another year.
 Things could be much worse
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #743 on: May 11, 2013, 09:42 AM »
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Another frustrating night here on planet Murray!!

Pretty much a 50/50 game, where Andy had his chances and didn't take them.  TBH, I'm not sure he was quite himself, and hasn't been throughout the tournament.  Whenever he put his foot down on the gas, the engine spluttered a little.  Is he a little out of sorts perhaps?  He seemed a tad lethargic to me, maybe he's a little bit unwell or something.

Or maybe it's just clay, and a little bit of lack of self-confidence.  At this level, that's enough to make the difference I guess.

Anyway, onwards and upwards Andy!
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Ruthie
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #744 on: May 11, 2013, 09:46 AM »
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Can't say mp as didn't watch the match but he was certainly extremely lethargic on thursday against Simon until he just about pulled himself out of it.  He'd said he'd been ill after his MC training block so I suppose it's just possible there are lingering after effects.  But last night surely it would have been the after effect of only getting to bed at around 4am?  In fact Petch said he came out looking really bright and up for it but after losing the t-b and perhaps knowing he could have won first set, he didn't have the reserve energy to take it to 3 sets?
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teejay1
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #745 on: May 11, 2013, 09:56 AM »
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I know people won't agree with me but at least you will be able to agree that every thing has its time, so no matter how much we want it, it's not going to happen all at once. Andy's onlhy a human being and he needs time to process things. He needs time to build his case on clay and I don't think with both Rafa and Nole around, he feels super confident. That's why it's very important to build confidence first slowly but steadily. It wasn't a bad loss today at all. Andy, in fact, played very well despite the loss.

Exactly, and I was being sarcastic before, frustrated with people who demand everything instantly. Andy played well yesterday. He did have chances. Sure, he could have grasped a few of the chances and got hold of the match, but there we are. I'd rather see Andy lose by playing well than see him lose and essentially not show up. He lost on his own terms really, so I'm all right with it.

Like Ruthie, I did fear Andy being blown away last night. Berdych has done that to him before on the clay. It wasn't like that at all. Andy played some great stuff at times and was better than in MC, much better. I do think he looks more comfortable on the clay than last year and he is moving better. It's a start.

I can fully understand why people want him to get better in the clay. It would clearly make his life easier if he didn't have a part of the year where he performs less well than on hard and grass. However, people getting frustrated with an entirely expected loss seems defeatist to me, as is the idea that Andy will never sort it out on the clay. Never is a long time.

At this point I don't see any reason why Andy shouldn't have a decent Rome (does he have much to defend?) and then I hope for a respectable RG. Personally I think anything beyond the quarters in RG would be good. Semi's would be fantastic.
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mickeypops
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #746 on: May 11, 2013, 10:02 AM »
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I'm beginning to wonder if Andy's schedule after the AO hasn't been too light.  Apart from Miami, he hasn't gone particularly deep into any tournament, and he hasn't played in that many.

I know it must be a fine balance between tournemants, trainng and resting, but Andy seems to have had a couple of periods of two, three weeks off since January.

Is it just me?  Does anyone have any facts compared with, say. previous years?
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teejay1
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #747 on: May 11, 2013, 10:20 AM »
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I'm beginning to wonder if Andy's schedule after the AO hasn't been too light.  Apart from Miami, he hasn't gone particularly deep into any tournament, and he hasn't played in that many.

I know it must be a fine balance between tournemants, trainng and resting, but Andy seems to have had a couple of periods of two, three weeks off since January.

Is it just me?  Does anyone have any facts compared with, say. previous years?

It's only been Dubai, Rotterdam and Barcelona that he didn't play if I recall right. I don't think there would be anywhere else he'd have been expected to play to be honest. I personally don't see much point in playing a lot of 250's for the heck of it.

Andy took six weeks out ofter the AO, for training. That meant he missed Dubai and Rotterdam. He went out early in MC of course, and then never planned to play Barcelona. However, after six weeks out he did get to the quarters in Indian Wells, his best performance there for two years, and he won Miami. Now he's reached the quarters in Madrid. It's not too bad. He's lost four matches all year.
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #748 on: May 11, 2013, 10:30 AM »
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Good analysis TeeJay.  I guess I'm forgetting how poor the post-AO season has bee in recent years, and so this year's performance is actually up there with his best. 
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*Sparkle*
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Re: Madrid QF: [3] Murray vs. [6] Berdych « Reply #749 on: May 11, 2013, 10:33 AM »
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I wasn't questioning what he's practicing for. I was questioning why the same people saying it's good match practice are also the same ones saying "pft, clay, let's just move on" or saying "hey we know he's not so good on clay so don't worry about it". By saying he's getting good match practice they're acting as if he is, in fact, preparing for a run at the title, while also basically saying he's crap.
It's not contradictory to say "good match practice" whilst knowing he's not good on the surface.  It's because we know he's not good on the surface, or at least isn't a natural on the surface that he benefits from match practice.   The consensus is that he has got better during the course of this tournament, just not quite enough to win last night.   It's still perfectly reasonable to want Andy to get better on the surface, whilst being realistic enough to know that we cannot expect miracles, so keep things in context when he does lose.

The reality is that Andy has no choice but to play on clay.  If there were rival grass tournaments, he'd probably be there picking up loads of points and we'd all be much happier.  Unfortunately, that's not how the tour works, so we all just have to make the most of it.  Andy should rightly try his best to improve, and we need to accept that victories are harder to achieve at this time of year.

I'm a firm believer of things evening out over the course of the year, so it's not an excuse as such, but I do think that if Andy were tired, it could be the difference on those big points.  Tomas won fair and square IMO, but Andy did play better than in the previous round and it's worth acknowledging.   Don't think the Berdych fans weren't  nervous and shouting at their tvs that he should be winning much more easily than he did against someone who is "useless" on clay.  Don't think they weren't coming out with plenty of rude words when Andy broke back in the second set or when he had his many break-points.

We can speculate until the cows come home about why Andy struggles on clay.  He may have good insight, but he'll keep that quiet until he retires.  Much is made of him spending that time in Spain on the clay as a teenager, but it is also the time when his knee problem manifested itself.  He would have been experiencing pain for quite a while before they worked out it was a serious problem and he needed to take a break.  If that was the case, he was "learning" to play on clay at a time when he was experiencing pain, and may have instinctively and sub-consciously tried to protect his knee by not moving in the correct way.  Being such a natural talent, and with a rounded game, he was probably able to get away with that.   If that was happening before and after he was laid up, he could have learned the bad habits instead of the good ones.  Unlearning bad habits to learn good ones takes longer than just learning good ones.

I also think that Andy is paying the price now for having risen up the rankings so fast that never spent long in the lesser clay tournaments refining his technique.  He went from playing against talented, but not spectacular, students at the academy that he could beat on his own terms, to playing against the very best in the world in a short space of time.  Just playing Masters and always getting a bye to the second round means he's generally got one match to find his feet before things get tough, but even that first match is against someone who has had more match practice and could be a clay court specialist who has played a run of clay tournaments.

I expect it to be a source of debate each year whether or not Andy should play some smaller clay tournaments, or if he's better off staying fresh.  Both approaches come with risks, and personally, I think Andy has plenty to achieve on the grass and hard-courts, so I'd prefer him to maintain his focus there.  He should aim to make the most of his clay season, but it shouldn't be his main focus.
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