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Murray falls at final hurdle again

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I know I'm paranoid. But am I paranoid enough?

Murray falls at final hurdle again « on: January 30, 2011, 11:34 AM »
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A rampant Novak Djokovic today comprehensively outplayed Andy Murray in the final of the Australian Open, the Serb running out a convincing 6-4 6-2 6-3 winner.

Murray and Djokovic first faced off as 12-year-olds in the South of France nearly a dozen years ago. The young Scot won that encounter 6-0 6-1. But, from the early exchanges on Rod Laver Arena, it was clear that Murray was unlikely to have it so easy in Melbourne.

In a brutal first set of punch and counterpunch, Djokovic had the edge, with resilient defence and a more reliable first serve that enabled him to dictate the rallies. But, with Murray also holding with relative comfort, a tiebreak looked inevitable.

However, at 4-5, the Serb had the better of an epic, 38-stroke rally to make it 30-40 and, when Murray drifted a forehand an inch or two long, the set fell to the Serbian. It was the beginning of a major shift in momentum.

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Djokovic’s groundshots, searing pace and reading of the play were crushing his friend and practice partner and, after the Serb broke to go 2-0 up in the second set, it was clear that the British number one needed a change of game plan.

It was not forthcoming and Djokovic was allowed to continue his merciless domination, with some purposeless midcourt rallying from Murray plus supreme athleticism and ball-striking from the Serb propelling him to a 5-0 lead.

At this point, Murray fans might have been hoping the Scot could take the opportunity to experiment and relax. He didn't, but did at least achieve a stay of execution to hold for 1-5. And, when the number five seed broke for 2-5, the glimmer of light became a lightly flickering flame.

But the Serb had been fitter, faster and better throughout the set, returning Murray’s best efforts with interest way beyond the bank base rate and well inside the baseline. It was enough to close out the set at 6-2.

Although Murray broke immediately at the start of the third, the Serb’s wheels continued to turn relentlessly and there was little sign of a change in tactics by the Scot, when more aggressive groundshots and some forays into the forecourt might at least have given Djokovic something to think about.

Throughout the first and second sets, the pair had been like bookends, pegging each other back. Unfortunately, it was Murray who fell off the shelf the more regularly, and that was again the case when Djokovic broke back immediately.

At 1-2, Murray struggled to hold, and some wild shots painted an ugly mental picture. A rare trademark backhand down the line reminded fans of how little Djokovic had allowed Murray to execute down that wing.

Some bullet returns from the human backboard secured the break, and the look of resignation on the Scot’s face was painful to see. Although Murray broke again to make it 2-3, his cry of ‘C’mon!’ had a hollow ring to it.

Murray held for 3-3 but, when Djokovic continued his staggering 70% first-serve percentage that he’d maintained throughout the fortnight, the pressure once again switched to Murray.

Serving at 3-4 with new balls, Murray capitulated in the face of the Serb’s defensive masterclass, one among many of Murray's drives that should have ripped into the backstop coming back as an inch-perfect lob.

At 5-3, the relentless Serb worked his way to match point and, as Murray dumped yet another tame backhand into the base of the net, Djokovic raised his arms in celebration of his second grand-slam triumph.

On the face of it, Murray was comprehensively outplayed from the word go by Djokovic’s mesmeric brilliance. However, the Scot must surely realise that he needs to bring out his outstanding offensive gifts from the locker room if he is to capture his first slam. Seldom has there been a top player who reins in his talent so tightly on the big occasion.

Murray, who's now lost all three of his major finals, will turn 24 just before the French Open kicks off in May. Among multiple slam winners, only Ivan Lendl, who was second best in his first four finals, has opened his account at that age. Right now, Murray’s hardy band of fervent supporters would gladly take just the one victory in one of the world’s great amphitheatres.

When a British man last won a major, World War 2 was just a distant rumble of gunfire, people risked cholera when they went to the swimming baths, and ladies removed their hats at 6pm.

As Djokovic paraded the Challenge Cup around The Rod Laver Arena, that 75-year wait was beginning to feel like the lifetime that it is.
[ Last edit by Mark January 31, 2011, 01:39 AM ] IP Logged
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #1 on: January 30, 2011, 12:02 PM »
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Brilliant display by Novak.  I have to believe he didn't allow Murray into the match, otherwise why oh why didn't AM mix it up a bit.  Did he volley at all ?  And hardly a sign of the dreaded/dreadful drop shot.  Surely it would have been worth a try to do something different after so many games being played and lost from the base line.  Well, here we go again hoping that one day he will break the duck.  Perhaps he's saving it all for Wimbledon.  Just hope he doesn't allow this defeat to affect him for too long.  He needs words of encouragement from somebody who's been there, experienced defeat, but eventually enjoyed victory.
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #2 on: January 30, 2011, 12:04 PM »
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With hindsight I suppose Novak beating Fed so easily should have warned us but Andy did not follow through on the breaks he won and was disappointing particularly his serve. He seemed to have less focus than he should for a GSF and was despairing and raging away like an eejit. maybe a good coach can help. We are going to hit the bottle here  now bigstyle and hope the pain is numbed quick.
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Lorna-M
Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #3 on: January 30, 2011, 12:04 PM »
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Congratulations on another slam final!  You're right there Andy!  Keep the faith, keep believing!  (And please stoooop being so hard on yourself, I'm sure you must be your own worst critic.) Lorna x
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hannah5272
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #4 on: January 30, 2011, 12:09 PM »
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Glad to hear that Andy is feeling "happier" than last year's defeat.. but somehow I feel worse about it.

I am sure the display from Nole certainly stop Andy from playing his game, yet that's not even close to Andy's best at all..

Gutted... just gutted..
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #5 on: January 30, 2011, 12:22 PM »
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Ni
Brilliant display by Novak.  I have to believe he didn't allow Murray into the match, otherwise why oh why didn't AM mix it up a bit.  Did he volley at all ?  And hardly a sign of the dreaded/dreadful drop shot.  Surely it would have been worth a try to do something different after so many games being played and lost from the base line.  Well, here we go again hoping that one day he will break the duck.  Perhaps he's saving it all for Wimbledon.  Just hope he doesn't allow this defeat to affect him for too long.  He needs words of encouragement from somebody who's been there, experienced defeat, but eventually enjoyed victory.
Nice to hear such supportive comments from an English fan - some are trashing Andy on BBC 606- "useless bottler"etc.
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blueberryhill
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #6 on: January 30, 2011, 12:32 PM »
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oooh, Andy looked exhausted and far too passive yet again, waiting for Nole to make mistakes. We stopped watching half way through the second set, outcome obvious. I wont stop watching Andy because I love the way he usually plays but Oh Andy, get a coach, get a psychologist, get SOMEONE! Where was the passion the intensity, the magic when you needed it? Could it possibly be, he doesn't want it? Frown
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David
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #7 on: January 30, 2011, 12:37 PM »
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Andy take heart!

There's still plenty of time for him!

'Fred Stolle lost in a record five Grand Slam finals before finally winning one. Herbert Lawford, Jaroslav Drobny and Ivan Lendl lost in four Grand Slam finals before they won one. Ken McGregor, Neale Fraser, Andre Agassi and Goran Ivanisevic had all lost in three Grand Slam finals before they won one. Ivan Lendl was the man that lost in most Grand Slam finals'

http://grandslamtennis.freeukisp.co.uk/stats4.htm
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #8 on: January 30, 2011, 12:38 PM »
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Congratulations on another slam final!  You're right there Andy!  Keep the faith, keep believing!  (And please stoooop being so hard on yourself, I'm sure you must be your own worst critic.) Lorna x
I couldn't agree more with everything you said, Lorna, we are obviously on the same wavelength! The fact that NO British player has won a Grand Slam in over 70 years must surely have a negative effect also on a player (more so when you're from a wee (but GREAT!)rnation like Scotland!) But Andy has GOT to keep the belief that he IS good enough to compete and beat ALL the top players, it's just a question of WHEN and definitely NOT IF!!
Well done, Andy, on keeping it together at the presentation....I was proud of you! Plenty more chances for you, I'm convinced!
Please NO more negative remarks form the rest of you.....Andy DID reach the final, after all, after two gruelling matches with Dolgo and Ferrer and ONE less day to prepare than his oponent today!
I HAVE the belief so, like Lorna, get behind Andy and show that you all have too!!
Best of Luck, Andy, for the rest of the year, I'll be cheering you on!
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #9 on: January 30, 2011, 12:51 PM »
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Gutless performance really. Showed no real emotion on court and had no game plan at all. Nine consecutive sets now lost in GS final play, which I believe is a record.

It'll be interesting to see where he goes from here. My money is on him "doing a Safina" and vanishing from sight.
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blueberryhill
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #10 on: January 30, 2011, 01:09 PM »
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Come off it Boogers, he's far more talented than Safina for a start! All he needs is a shrink and a coach, in that order. Wink
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #11 on: January 30, 2011, 01:11 PM »
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Psychological Tennis what is your take on the final?
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #12 on: January 30, 2011, 01:14 PM »
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Gutless performance really. Showed no real emotion on court and had no game plan at all. Nine consecutive sets now lost in GS final play, which I believe is a record.

It'll be interesting to see where he goes from here. My money is on him "doing a Safina" and vanishing from sight.
I take it you're NOT a REAL fan of Andy Murray then??!!
 All TRUE supporters will, I know, get right behind him, at this moment, and definitely NOT turn their backs on him, just because he lost, in his third Gand Slam final, to undoubtedly the BEST player in the world right now!
Also, you obviously DON'T know Andy Murray very well if you think he is just going to "vanish from sight"! What nonsense!!
Andy, this message is for you......as Boris Becker rightly said....you must take the positives out of the fact that you have played a really great tournament, having prepared correctly, to reach the final..... only to fall at the last hurdle! Magnificent stuff from the boy from Dunblane!
C'mon, Andy!
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #13 on: January 30, 2011, 01:35 PM »
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Gutless performance really. Showed no real emotion on court and had no game plan at all. Nine consecutive sets now lost in GS final play, which I believe is a record.

It'll be interesting to see where he goes from here. My money is on him "doing a Safina" and vanishing from sight.
Get lost.
Andy will not disappear, IT WAS NOT A GUTLESS.
Go on Andy you will win a GS. Nole played out of his skin. Agassi, Lendel, did not win until they had lost 3 finals and more.
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Re: Murray falls at final hurdle again « Reply #14 on: January 30, 2011, 01:41 PM »
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This is pretty typical of a lot of so called fans on this site.They are very much fair weather friends.Thank goodness for the die hards who believe he will do it.
And he will.
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