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Murray finds a way past Ferrer

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Murray finds a way past Ferrer « on: January 28, 2011, 12:47 PM »
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In a gruelling and intense Australian Open semi-final, Andy Murray finally found a way to put away a dogged David Ferrer 4-6 7-6 6-1 7-6 to reach his third grand slam final today.

Adidas might have dressed Murray as a goalie but, in the opening stages, there were few hints of the ragged defending that was to follow. Indeed, by the seventh game of the first set, Murray's heavier groundshots were starting to tell and he secured the break at 3-3 with some delicious width and admirable depth.

However, at 4-3, Murray's good work was undone by some scintillating all-court play from the 7th-ranked Spaniard that ended with a deft backhand volley to knot the scores at 4-4.

That seventh game had begun a passage of play from the Scot that created the illusion of aggressive tennis. True, Murray's groundshots were peppering the line. Unfortunately, it was the service line.

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As the rallies lengthened, the smile on the face of Novak Djokovic, safely into the final and tucking into his popcorn back at the hotel, must have widened.

Some horribly passive play from the number five seed and some smart net-rushing from Ferrer resulted in the Spaniard's second break of serve and an ugly 'Del Boy' face from Murray. Sometimes, High Definition can be just too well-defined.

At 4-5, Murray's first serve went missing, and more submissive play, punctuated bizarrely by a running forehand pass that brought the house down, ended with the Scot drifting a backhand wide to concede the first set.

Although he broke immediately at the start of the second set, Murray was getting sucked into the Spaniard's supreme backcourt game, honed so well on the dirt courts of Valencia, and Ferrer broke straight back.

True, Britain's number one was driving the ball, but completely failing to penetrate the Spaniard's defences.

Time and again during the second set, the Scot dug his way out of deep trouble with lights-out serving and some ghostly forays to the net. Sadly, he was also peppering his game with technique-free forehands and feeble backhands that kept the ballkids busy around the net.

For his part, Ferrer, who's no one's idea of a big server, was connecting with some telling deliveries that constantly put Murray on the back foot. This, coupled with the ferocious speed of the Spaniard, brought about a set point at 4-5.

As Murray tried to draw blood by attacking his fist with his racket, Nadal's conqueror seemed to scent it, but the Scot kicked away from the shark's teeth with a meaty first delivery. Murray later admitted he'd been completely unaware that he was set point down.

At 5-5, Murray found a drop shot and some probing backhands to take the Spaniard's serve. The banner waving in the crowd said 'Murraculous', but in truth the only miracle was how much Ferrer's game had dropped at such a vital stage.

At 5-6, Murray threw in a masterclass in subdued passivity, eventually conceding his serve with a backhand that drifted agonisingly wide.

The tiebreak proved pivotal. With the Spaniard somehow managing to be even more inert than Murray, the Scot raced to a 6-0 lead and took the breaker 7-2 with a handy wide backhand.

Back at the hotel, Djokovic beamed widely, called room service and ordered up his third helping of popcorn.

Fortunately for Murray, his tennis in the third set was less lightweight and sugary. Finally pulling the sword from the stone, he showed his fans what can happen when he unleashes the full range of his mercurial ability.

Driving the ball through the court, getting a read on the Ferrer serve and spreading the play wide bought the Scot a 6-1 set in double-quick time. But if fans back home thought this signalled a charge for the finish line, they were to be disappointed.

The fourth set began well, with Murray breaking immediately and stretching the Spaniard all over the court. Seemingly, the hairline crack that separated the two players early in the match had become a chasm.

But not for nothing is Ferrer known as The Terrier. An epic game at 2-0 proved the catalyst for a spectacular rearguard action that tested the boundaries of human resolve.

Amidst the gloom of this wholehearted Spanish resistance, though, Murray found some sparks of genius that enabled him to stay with Ferrer, notably a scorching forehand down the line on the 19th stroke of yet another gruelling rally to tie the scores at 3-3.

Ferrer, whose deft volleys showed that he's much more than a mere dirtballer, produced a superbly crafted example at 4-4 30-30, a stroke that was followed by a horrible choked forehand from Murray to concede the game.

As this match of salty sweat and meaty grunts ground on into the tiebreak, Djokovic will have yawned, spread himself more widely across his Egyptian cotton sheets and ordered a double helping of cheesecake.

For the Murray fans suffering back home, the breaker was as mercifully decisive as the earlier one, with Murray taking a 6-1 lead. With the Spaniard resembling a bull speared once too often, a neat half volley from the Scot delivered the coup de grace after three hours and 45 minutes of punishing tennis.

Having dispatched David, Murray will hope the Goliath who awaits in Sunday's final will have consumed far too much popcorn for his own good. Meanwhile, his fans will be praying for a less edgy, error-strewn performance as he once again attempts to become Britain's first male grand-slam winner since Fred Perry in 1936.


Breaking down Murray's win (1 video)
[ Last edit by Mark January 28, 2011, 04:24 PM ] IP Logged
Hazybear
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #1 on: January 28, 2011, 12:50 PM »
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Good title, gives Ferrer all the right respect for the way he played yes Andy was still awful that first set especially, and admitted it too. However, again he showed that he can dig deep to finish out a match...just wish he wouldn't play like that and get in that situation in the first place lol

However, onwards and upwards to Sunday yay
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #2 on: January 28, 2011, 12:53 PM »
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Perfect warm up for Djokovic in every way.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #3 on: January 28, 2011, 01:19 PM »
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Djokovic will be pleased, but I think Murray can turn up at 90% condition.

Perhaps it may force him to play aggressively.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #4 on: January 28, 2011, 01:25 PM »
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Oh, and remember the grief Andy got for playing Hopman Cup, when Soderling overtook him?

Well, both finalists played there, and Andy has reached two finals after playing there, must be doing something right.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #5 on: January 28, 2011, 01:27 PM »
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Good title, gives Ferrer all the right respect for the way he played yes Andy was still awful that first set especially, and admitted it too. However, again he showed that he can dig deep to finish out a match...just wish he wouldn't play like that and get in that situation in the first place lol

However, onwards and upwards to Sunday yay

At least our man won. Andy can not afford to play against Djokovic the way he did in the first set.

Incidentally, From the start of the tournament, I have predicted a Murray / Djokovic final.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #6 on: January 28, 2011, 01:29 PM »
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Strange performance from Andy. I'm convinced now that he struggles at the later stages of slams when he thinks he's the favourite.

I suspect the cold conditions were problematic as well. With the balls moving slower and not penetrating to court as much, more effort would be required to hit winners. Combine this with playing someone who is one of the best retrievers out there and you can see why Andy hit so many unforced errors.

All credit to him for finding a way to win. I'm not at all sure what to expect on Sunday.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #7 on: January 28, 2011, 01:29 PM »
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I'm just relieved that Andy found a way to win in the end. yay
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #8 on: January 28, 2011, 01:30 PM »
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I hope Murray gets respect for that performance, he managed to turn it around from nowhere. Saving that set point was a miracle given he admitted he forgot the score! I know people have reasons for saying Djokovic deserves this slam, but at least he has won a slam, Andy hasn't and it would be unjust for him not to get what he really deserves to justify at least some of his talent as a player. Djokovic will go in as favourite though and Andy will be tired. Roll on Sunday though!
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #9 on: January 28, 2011, 01:33 PM »
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uurrgh......this is going to make me ill i swear
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #10 on: January 28, 2011, 01:38 PM »
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I'm drained.  I was trembling during the second set.  I just hope Andy wins on Sunday and at last ends the 75-year British drought.  The expectation is so great, I don't think my nerves can take much more.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #11 on: January 28, 2011, 01:39 PM »
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Ferrer played like a guy that had won 10 matches in a row.  He was like a brick wall for the first two sets and Andy did really well and was a little lucky to win the second set.  After that he finally realised he had to come into the net more and try and step into the court and it was so much easier from then on.  But it was one nervous morning I can tell you!!!

The final will be a different thing all together.  Djokovic is the clear favourite but Andy can win for sure.  He was hobbling at the end though, but he has the right team around him to make him recover as best as possible.  Amazing effort really.  I think some of the commentators take it for granted how hard it is to win at that level.  British tennis hasn't had anyone as good as Andy before, we need to get behind him.  Everything he achieves is a bonus.

Was interesting to see Caroline in his box at the back....fair play to him if he is tapping some of that!
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #12 on: January 28, 2011, 01:41 PM »
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Strange performance from Andy. I'm convinced now that he struggles at the later stages of slams when he thinks he's the favourite.

I suspect the cold conditions were problematic as well. With the balls moving slower and not penetrating to court as much, more effort would be required to hit winners. Combine this with playing someone who is one of the best retrievers out there and you can see why Andy hit so many unforced errors.

All credit to him for finding a way to win. I'm not at all sure what to expect on Sunday.
They say the court conditions will be warmer on Sunday.....better for Andy!
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #13 on: January 28, 2011, 01:49 PM »
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I would rather Andy struggled and won, than be like Federer and struggle and lose.  One guy is homeward bound and the other has a chance of a slam.

I think you read too much into it.  Anyone who has watched tennis over the last 20 years knows players have won slams without playing amazing tennis, struggled like crazy in the semi-final and romped it in the final.  We over analyse Andy too much in this country.  Let's enjoy more and stress less!

Anyone who expects Andy to play amazing in every match and romp home in a slam is living in a fantasy land.  It is incredibly hard.  It is little wonder Rafa often looks quite ordinary outside of slams, it is because it takes so much out of you, and the level you have to peak at is so hard to maintain.

Hope Andy is resting up.  The warmer weather will indeed be a help, but it will take an amazing effort to win here.
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Re: Murray finds a way past Ferrer « Reply #14 on: January 28, 2011, 01:52 PM »
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My blood pressure is going down now.  What a match. Must say Ferrer fought very hard and was in the semi on merit.  Andy was lucky in the tie breaks.  I hope he keeps his concentration up in the final.
He will have to keep a high level of play if he is going to beat Nole.  If Andy plays well I think he will win
but he will have to play at his very best.  C'MON ANDY YOU CAN DO IT.
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