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Second Part of the Year

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marathonarthur
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #75 on: July 23, 2014, 08:46 AM »
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I don't understand that either MA.  Unfortunately fitness has long been a bit of an obsession with him because he seems to firmly believe that only by being super-fit  is he going to win matches, and I remember Federer saying once that being 100% match fit was more important than being 100% physically fit.  Of course it makes sense that players have to be as near to 100% as possible, but I could see where he was coming from.  Tennis, to me, should not be about who can outlast who in big matches - and I find the interminable Nadal/Djokovic slog-outs quite boring - but about which player can win using his own skills and tactics to his best advantage to do so, along with the burning desire to win and to treat every match like it's a final, so in that sense this is where the mental strength counts more than the physical.

I was very impressed with what Chris had to say, and also about how he learnt to cope with the increasing nervousness he felt the nearer to victory he got because he was so desperate to win.  In fact I was hoping that perhaps Andy might have watched it had he been in the UK, because he has all the necessary skills and tactics but needs to use his skills more often rather than having to rely on finding the tactics to dig himself out of trouble.  For one thing he's very good at the net, yet still hovers near the baseline rather than go up the court, because he's depending on his fast forward sprints to get to shots, and it doesn't always succeed either.  I seem to recall one of his early round Wimbledon matches (which one though I can't remember because my memory is feeling the effects of the ageing process!) where he was caught out several times by a just over the net drop shot which, of course, his opponent kept playing as Andy still kept hogging the back of the court.  I'm rather hoping that Amelie might get it across to him the value of going up to the net and trying to keep points as short as possible, which I think Andy did before he started seriously going down the extreme fitness road.  Not only could he have a better chance of winning the point but he'd save energy as well by cutting down on the number of long rallies.  Also it seems to me that he needs to dictate play much more consistently and not let opponents, particularly the big hitters, push him further and further behind the baseline.

Sorry to stirred things up a bit here. Aileen I always end up agreeing with most of what you say.

A lot of competitors amongst us I think will understand my view.  The comment here attributed to Federer is spot-on. Whether bulked up as others suggest, or 100% physically fit, is not the most significant thing for success. It will always be the mind. I think that was obvious from that Chris Hoy programme.  I never became a top international runner but did some unlikely very good performances when "in the zone mentally" rather than when at my fittest. It is hard to explain but there are moments when you believe that you can do things and then days when it just does not happen. The boundaries of expectation will change with greater levels of success. Success there is the key factor.

The top runners or tennis players are the ones that keep winning and have an attitude that they do not expect to lose. When Novak and Rafa arrive on court opponents generally already look beaten. The others including Andy are all considered beatable.  Andy still infuriates me by respecting the opposition too much. He should, after studying their play and working out a strategy, aim to go out to  impose and destroy his opponent mentally rather than play a good game. He seems to like the good feeling of playing well too much and as you say does not take opportunities for quick points often enough. He also does not attack the known weaknesses of others enough. Your last sentence echoes some of my thinking. Against a Federer or a Dimitrov type of player you need to play the ball very long tight to the baseline so there is no time for the larger back swing and the height for a crunching pass shot which are their easy winners. Novak did this at Wimbledon and it was significant, in my opinion, to him winning through. Andy's coach should be picking this up!

Lendl, I suspect, made a difference because he has an attitude that to win you need to be ruthless and focused. His "hit the ball hard at a net opponent" mantra sums that up. All about imposing on the other player not necessarily enjoying the rallies. Same applies in all sport.

Enjoying the sport to me is winning. Sadly at my age I cannot do it now without having much lower objectives and "targets" to achieve at my own level. We hear a lot about how competitive Andy is and now we need to see him apply that to his advantage.

Still feel that he should do a very full Asian Swing with intent to win every match he plays as if it was as important as a Slam. Expecting to win every time needs to be his mindset. the other players need to feel it too. Maybe just as well that I am not his coach - he would get pressure from me!!!!  His team are just too nice?
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michelle
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #76 on: July 23, 2014, 08:53 AM »
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Sorry do not agree that Andy doesn't try to win every match let alone goes into a tournament not trying to win the whole thing. We know he is ultra competative and since he was knee high to a grasshopper hated to lose. He, I stress hates to lose therefore no way does he not give a 100% every time.
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marathonarthur
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #77 on: July 23, 2014, 09:19 AM »
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Sorry do not agree that Andy doesn't try to win every match let alone goes into a tournament not trying to win the whole thing. We know he is ultra competative and since he was knee high to a grasshopper hated to lose. He, I stress hates to lose therefore no way does he not give a 100% every time.

Michelle I can agree with that but it is not enough to be the best.

Giving 100% with the wrong tactics or focus is just no use. that is not the point. He will lose some matches unless he has the right strategy, mindset and confidence that he will be the winner every time he plays. Remember opponents are busy working out how to beat him too! It is clear that he still needs some guidance from a competent coach on how that is achieved. 
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Aileen
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #78 on: July 23, 2014, 10:09 AM »
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Sorry do not agree that Andy doesn't try to win every match let alone goes into a tournament not trying to win the whole thing. We know he is ultra competative and since he was knee high to a grasshopper hated to lose. He, I stress hates to lose therefore no way does he not give a 100% every time.
Michelle - I watched Sir Chris Hoy's documentary "How to win Gold" again last night, and I rarely watch a programme twice, but his was so interesting that it was well worth another watch,  and I suggest you have a look at it on BBC iPlayer if you missed it (and Andy appears in it too), because it backs up everything marathonarthur says, in particular it's what's going on the mind that is more vital to winning than being 100% physically fit.  In fact I think it should be made required viewing for every serious-minded competitor in whatever sport  they participate and at whatever level.

Incidentally there is a parallel between Sir Chris and Andy.  Chris won his first World Championship at the age of 26, but failed to defend his title the following year, the reason being that he'd allowed himself to get distracted by his own thoughts before the race, so turned in what was a poor performance by his standards and only managed to come in 4th.  So think Murray/Wimbledon.  What Hoy then did was to seek help from a psychiatrist who, putting it a bit crudely, sorted his head out, and how the psychiatrist went about it was very interesting.  In fact had Andy been in the UK I would like to think he would have watched the programme.
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benniebone
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #79 on: July 23, 2014, 10:27 AM »
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This is a fascinating debate which I've read very carefully. All I can add is comment on Marathon Arthur's remark that "his team is too nice"   Absolutely the've been with him too long Changes need to be made which might produce results
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Aileen
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #80 on: July 23, 2014, 10:46 AM »
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This is a fascinating debate which I've read very carefully. All I can add is comment on Marathon Arthur's remark that "his team is too nice"   Absolutely the've been with him too long Changes need to be made which might produce results
I really can't see that happening any time soon, if ever.  I think Sir Chris might agree though because his arse got kicked, something which had the effect of spurring him on even further.  I'm not sure how Andy would react though, although to my mind if anyone could do it it would have been Lendl, and maybe he did in his own way.  Andy did speak about how much he helped him mentally, but I don't know if the documentary was made before or after they split.  Whatever, it made me wish that Lendl was still with him, although it still remains to be seen what the Mauresmo affect might be, given that at Wimbledon Andy said that she had helped him improve his attitude even in that short space of time.  However changes don't take place overnight, so the next few weeks could be very revealing.
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clementine
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #81 on: July 23, 2014, 10:54 AM »
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One of the most interesting comments from Andy after the Dimitrov loss was how disappointed he was in not making it way more difficult for his up-and-coming opponent to seize his moment of glory.  Andy has had more than his fair share of being thwarted at key moments in his career and his preposterous talent at the very highest level was for too long agonisingly held at bay by stellar performances from his elite opponents.  The degree of difficulty they somehow managed to impose on Andy was missing during that quarter-final. 

It goes without saying that fitness and training are vital to Andy's physicality and sense of well-being, necessary for his confidence that he can go toe to toe with every player, in all conditions, for however long it takes.  But ultimately it comes down to Andy's innate belief in himself not only to win but to find a formula to suppress his opponent's exuberance, rein him in and silence him.

As a multi-slam winner and Olympic champ Andy is big-time game, but he was a ravenous hunter for long enough to remember just how tough it was to taste his sweetest successes.  Hopefully the second part of the year will see Andy turning the tables and using his considerable experience to make his opponents' life hell. 




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marathonarthur
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #82 on: July 23, 2014, 01:56 PM »
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This is a fascinating debate which I've read very carefully. All I can add is comment on Marathon Arthur's remark that "his team is too nice"   Absolutely the've been with him too long Changes need to be made which might produce results

My final comment perhaps!

Being too nice is not a problem. I just want to see all Andy's talent and attitude well channelled so he keeps winning lots of slams and eventually become world no. 1.   I think Lendl helped a lot for him to win his two slams but strangely I think that the Olympic Gold was more down to Andy and his "I will prove them wrong side of his temperament" after losing at Wimbledon not long before. He was so fired up because it was another home event again so I think he just wanted it far more. That is the attitude he needs to have when playing any top twenty player  in any ATP event.   "I will win" needs to be on show but not as arrogantly as a certain RF! Once that is established he will. He is to good not to.

Some suggested some guidance from Jimmy Connors which seemed a good option that never materialised. Amelie has no history of making things happen bar coaching Bartoli to win a slam. That was in a totally different scenario. I am happy with the fitness side and Danny being a good hitting partner/advisor on the court but they need to add someone to do the final touches on strategy and match performance. I know that comment will cause howls of disagreement.  So be it.

When I competed reputation gained you a lot of places in a race especially if you could be ruthless too. Those are the two elements that in my opinion need attention this autumn ready for him to win the AO.
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marathonarthur
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #83 on: July 23, 2014, 01:58 PM »
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oops just read that -----   should read      He is too good not to.
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matchpoint
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #84 on: July 23, 2014, 02:43 PM »
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A good discussion on here and I so agree with the points on strategy and match performance.

But I do wonder though whether Andy's competitive spirit lies more in playing the game and using his skills to try to outwit his opponents - than in the "get my foot on his neck and keep it there" mentality.

If so, I suspect you're right that so far only Lendl seems to have managed to give him that steely edge. Of course the back injury hasn't helped.

And time moves on. Like many on here, I too hope he can/should achieve much more. But Andy has ownership of his own game. He seems pretty keen to have Mauresmo's input, so let's see where it goes from here.
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Apollo
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #85 on: July 23, 2014, 08:54 PM »
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This is all very interesting.  Andy is a very loyal person, so getting another team is probably unlikely, but they were there when he won his 2 slams and when he won gold and silver.  But then so was Lendl. 
I would think seeing that Andy loves boxing, that he would see the killer instinct in these boxers and use it in his playing.  Don't get me wrong, I think Andy tries his best and comes through on the majority of his matches, but like playing Rafa, Djokovic, and some others who give him a hard time, he has to make them afraid of him.

I would like his second serve to become a weapon.

I would like Andy to play good tennis for the rest of the year.

I also would like Andy to play well and win the Asian Swing.
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benniebone
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #86 on: July 24, 2014, 08:31 AM »
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This is all very interesting.  Andy is a very loyal person, so getting another team is probably unlikely, but they were there when he won his 2 slams and when he won gold and silver.  But then so was Lendl. 
I would think seeing that Andy loves boxing, that he would see the killer instinct in these boxers and use it in his playing.  Don't get me wrong, I think Andy tries his best and comes through on the majority of his matches, but like playing Rafa, Djokovic, and some others who give him a hard time, he has to make them afraid of him.

I would like his second serve to become a weapon.

I would like Andy to play good tennis for the rest of the year.

I also would like Andy to play well and win the Asian Swing.



Totally agree   We must never give up hope
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althusser
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #87 on: July 24, 2014, 06:42 PM »
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My final comment perhaps!

Some suggested some guidance from Jimmy Connors which seemed a good option that never materialised. Amelie has no history of making things happen bar coaching Bartoli to win a slam.

So, Amelie has no history of making things happen. Other of course than winning two slams herself, and then last year helping a slamless outsider win the  biggest prize in tennis!

What has Connors done as a coach? - did nothing with Roddick and then sacked by Sharapova after a week. It does demonstrate how women's achivements are regularly downplayed relative to men.

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Aileen
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #88 on: July 25, 2014, 01:37 AM »
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A good discussion on here and I so agree with the points on strategy and match performance.

But I do wonder though whether Andy's competitive spirit lies more in playing the game and using his skills to try to outwit his opponents - than in the "get my foot on his neck and keep it there" mentality.

If so, I suspect you're right that so far only Lendl seems to have managed to give him that steely edge. Of course the back injury hasn't helped.

And time moves on. Like many on here, I too hope he can/should achieve much more. But Andy has ownership of his own game. He seems pretty keen to have Mauresmo's input, so let's see where it goes from here.
I've always felt that Andy's idea of competitiveness lies in using his skills to outwit opponents, and I think that that's reflected in the keen interest he takes in watching boxing.  If anyone watched "How to win Gold", then remember the chess match which Sir Chris played against Lennox Lewis?  Lennox completely outwitted Chris (who I don't think was too happy about it although he tried not to show it!) showing the strategic cunning that took him to the top of his sport, and I remember Andy saying that this was one of the main things that attracted him to boxing because, like boxers, tennis players have to think quickly and decisively about what tactic they're going to use next whilst  trying to second-guess their opponent's next move, and this entirely on their own because once out there there's no coach or team member to tell them what to do, and I think it was Boris Becker who said that a tennis court during a match was the loneliest place to be.

We'll never know how much more Lendl could have given to Andy, but I have a sneaking suspicion - and it is just that, a sort of gut feeling if you like - that one of the main reasons Lendl split with Andy was because he realised he couldn't take him much further having given him the psychological boost he needed to take that one little step to the top of the ladder and attain his then goal of winning his first Slam, followed by his other goal, Wimbledon.

As you rightly say, Andy has ownership of his own game.  He knows what he needs and what he wants to achieve, and so presumably he felt Mauresmo fitted the bill provided that she in turn fitted in with the rest of his team - and, incidentally, I don't believe the story that he just sprung the news on them.  It's still early days though, so it'll be interesting to see how things pan out over the next few weeks.
[ Last edit by Aileen July 25, 2014, 01:42 AM ] IP Logged
marathonarthur
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Re: Second Part of the Year « Reply #89 on: July 25, 2014, 09:06 AM »
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So, Amelie has no history of making things happen. Other of course than winning two slams herself, and then last year helping a slamless outsider win the  biggest prize in tennis!

What has Connors done as a coach? - did nothing with Roddick and then sacked by Sharapova after a week. It does demonstrate how women's achivements are regularly downplayed relative to men.



I will respond just to say that Andy has two slams already, like AM, but Conners won eight and was a dominant players in the sport. I want Andy to be at the top where he belongs. He may have gained something more from Jimmy C. It was only a suggestion made in the press. Please remember that Lendl had done nothing as a coach either before Andy. So Conners did not help Roddick or Sharapova. Sometimes the partnerships fail. That is not relevant as he may have been able to help Andy. I am not certain of it either.

However Andy sees AM as a good member for his team so we have to hope that it works well for him.


As you rightly say, Andy has ownership of his own game.  He knows what he needs and what he wants to achieve, and so presumably he felt Mauresmo fitted the bill provided that she in turn fitted in with the rest of his team - and, incidentally, I don't believe the story that he just sprung the news on them.  It's still early days though, so it'll be interesting to see how things pan out over the next few weeks.


Aileen, your last post is excellent. I read the forum for your wise and well written posts. As you say the next few weeks will be interesting. A pity that I will miss a lot of it.
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