You saw that as well huh? He doesn't believe it for a second, it was written all over his face, but he isn't the type to go around saying 'Oh well, I'm a better player now than that arrogant, big-headed git who's only won one tournament all year', is he, even if he might think it right down to his toe-nails. Good on him for the diplomacy though, even if it was a bare-faced lie
As for the match, Youzhny did better than I thought he would, so respect to him for that, but the fact is that it wasn't good enough. It's really as simple as that. To me it just goes to show how brilliant the top players are, they can play below their very best and still get it done, which Andy did today.
Andy just had a dip in concentration, that was all. To make anything more out of it than that is to be overly dramatic. It happens. No one plays 7 best of five set matches without throwing in one dodgy performance, just ask Federer and Nadal, and today was far from that for Andy, very far. He got it done in straight sets. Job done, end of story. His level hasn't dropped at all, he just had a bad 20 minutes or so. He sorted it and won as quickly as possible. That is all that is required.
To my mind the key with Andy is not getting into a tight spot, but how he gets out of it. In the past, in a situation like he was in in that second set, he would have got frustrated and blown up at himself. There was none of that today. He merely had a short go at himself, probably to wake himself up, and then he got on with it, dug deep and dealt with the threat. That is a huge transformation for Andy, not that it has come from nowhere, but it shows it works.
I'm actually glad Andy was tested. It doesn't do any of them any good to have it too easy. If it is too easy you have to wonder whether the ability to fight will be there when and if it is needed. Andy showed today that he can respond to threats, exactly as he did against Robredo for a time, and I have no doubt Andy will respond further down the line.
It makes me laugh when idiots like Simon Reed talk about what Lendl will think. How on earth would he know? You know what Lendl will care about with that match? The fact that Andy won, simple as that. Any glitches can be worked on, and they will be.
Great and honest post TJ. It is exactly how I feel. There is too much panic this year as he is actually doing better this year so far than last. The bit about Simon Reed is so so right. I have often said what do they know about Lendl and his thoughts. He would never let on.