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Murray out as Spanish bull sees red

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Grabcopy
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Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « on: September 11, 2011, 02:24 AM »
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On a day when Andy Murray's game stuttered, faltered and failed to find a focus until way too late, the Spanish bull that is Rafael Nadal fixed his sights on Murray's red shirt and charged.

The Scot had his moments but, in truth, the outcome of this US Open semi-final was never in doubt, as Nadal ran out a convincing 6-4 6-2 3-6 6-2 winner.

Murray began the match on Arthur Ashe by relentlessly targeting the Nadal backhand. However, thanks to Uncle Toni's anti-genetic childhood experiment, the Nadal backhand is actually a second forehand. The Scot felt its full force, in an Armada of searing Spanish groundshots and sweet touches around the net.

The first set began with Murray holding back on the aggressive play that had brought him a victory at this stage of the tournament in 2008 against the Spaniard.

But, in truth, the surface is slower this year, and the slick Arthur Ashe court of three years ago was far more suited to the proactive play required to deal with the defending champion and world number two.

Read more (522 words)
Early on, Murray hung on to his opening service games by his fingernails, while the Spaniard was holding with aplomb. Nadal injected searing pace into the rallies, corkscrewing 100mph groundshots into oblivion, while the Scot flirted with disaster until he was eventually broken at 3-3.

Throughout the opening stages, Nadal was quicker, brighter, sharper, defter, bigger and deeper. He also had the immeasurable advantage of not persecuting himself with a steady stream of self-directed Scottish invective.

With Self A disagreeing violently and audibly with Self B, Murray conceded the first set 6-4.

As set two opened, Murray, who'd complained of legs 'as hard as bricks', looked as tired as a nappy salesman at a convention of bedwetters. Aiming for the tiny parcel of real estate known as Nadal's backhand, the world number four found his cautious play regularly punished by the blistering pace of the Spaniard's groundshots.

Nadal was pulverising the ball in a way that suggested a deep-seated hatred of green fuzz, and it was no surprise when the Scot was broken at 2-2. At this stage, Murray's running commentary in his dour Scottish brogue made Mark Petchey and Peter Fleming's words on Sky Sports completely redundant.

As Nadal ran away with the second set, with a series of laser forehands, the most optimistic of Murray fans reminded themselves that the human body can do amazing things if willed by the mind. Unfortunately, Murray's mind was saying 'Take a vacation. Tiran Island is great for snorkelling this time of year'.

The third set provided some respite for those who felt that Murray's inner critic not only had his pencil out but was relentlessly jabbing it into his left eye. The Scot broke for 2-0 with some positive body language, but the Spaniard struck back for 2-2 with some colossal down-the-line forehands.

With Nadal serving at 3-4, a piledriving forehand and a breathtaking backhand crosscourt gave Murray a vital break, and he sealed the set with a precision drop shot and some no-holds-barred groundshots.

But it was not to be, and, as the defending champion brutalised his way to the fourth set, you felt he should have been Russian. The perfect product of some Iron Curtain experiment to create a tennis monster, Nadal simply wouldn't lie down.

Murray has firmly established himself as a member of the 'Big Four', an exclusive club that will have garnered 30 grand slam titles by Monday night. Sadly, his contribution to that total is nil.

While it remains so, critics will say his membership is not fully paid up, that he remains the group's d'Artagnan, forever hanging on to the coat-tails of the Three Musketeers who continue to steal the game's major prizes.

It now seems obvious that only a 180-degree switch in Murray's strength-sappingly negative mentality can reverse his fortunes on the game's major stages.

'All for one and one for all' was the motto of the Musketeers. Unfortunately, in tennis, the name of the game is every man for himself. Murray must do whatever is required to ensure his legacy isn't that of the greatest player in history never to win a slam.
[ Last edit by Grabcopy September 11, 2011, 04:57 PM ] IP Logged
Sir Panda
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #1 on: September 11, 2011, 02:26 AM »
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I must admit I thought it was in doubt at 1-1 in the fourth set. Nadal looked lost for a brief spell.

Once again, we speak retrospectively on near misses and chances squandered in a Nadal-Murray match. It can't be just a coincidence.
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #2 on: September 11, 2011, 02:47 AM »
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Gutted. I hope Andy keeps working hard and hopefully it'll happen soon. Novak had turned things around this year and has shown Andy that it could be done. Novak has the belief that he can be the best and Andy needs to have the same belief.
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #3 on: September 11, 2011, 03:32 AM »
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Really quite deflated about this. It seemed Andy had a great shot at the USO as the big 3 seemed vulnerable recently but true to form they have peaked at the right time. Have given myself a talking to and reminded myself how grateful I am to Andy for renewing my interest in tennis and for being a great player. Following his career is never boring except for the tweets about fantasy football. It is all worth it even if he never gets a slam. I hope he does though. Would like nadal to win now.
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Aileen
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #4 on: September 11, 2011, 04:51 AM »
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Excellent report, Nigel.  Love that bit "As set two opened, Murray ... looked as tired as a nappy salesman at a convention of bedwetters." lol

What wasn't funny though was Murray's attitude.  The match was barely halfway through the 1st set when the all too familiar gurning and chuntering started.  So much for his boast that he'd trained so that he would peak at the USO because, sadly, this peak quickly turned into a trough of despond in this match, saved only by a more spirited 3rd set and some signs of a fight early in the 4th.

Murray is undoubtedly the author of his own downfall on these big occasions.  The game necessary to win a Slam is almost there, but the mind is not.  I've said it before and will say it again - he needs a coach who will knock his childish behaviour on the head and instil some much-needed discipline into him.

Also he has to get his self-belief back before he becomes totally demoralised by all these losses.  Again a coach could help, but again I repeat the well-worn mantra that he badly needs to consult a sports psychologist in order to get the mental side of his game sorted out.

I believe that until these issues are resolved a Slam will continue to elude him - and what a waste of great potential that is going to be.

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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #5 on: September 11, 2011, 06:05 AM »
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Gtreat report Nigel.....as usual! I didn't see the match last night......and d'you know what?.......I'm glad!
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #6 on: September 11, 2011, 07:25 AM »
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Stopped watching when Andy had gr8 chances to convert break points in the second set and put an easy forehand in the net. When he started he seemed sluggish and lacklustre to me.
I dunno, does he want it too much, does he want it too little confused
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #7 on: September 11, 2011, 08:13 AM »
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Stopped watching at end of 2nd set and kicking myself for not putting on record so missed the 3rd but hope they might show it on the highlights.  For some reason I don't feel so despondent about this loss.  It's what I predicted in the poll - 3-1 to Rafa.  What is disappointing is that the new Andy went awol and let Mr Tragic take over.  So while I was right pissed off with all the negativity on MW and gave up on it, like Aileen I'm back on the broken record of Andy's need for someone to help him sort out the mental side of his game.  It would be such a tragedy if he were always the also ran in the GSs when he has the talent and skill to beat them all.
Does anyone know how far Andy will have closed the points gap with smugFed?
oh and bbh I certainly don't think he wants it too little.  But being realistic what were the chances of him beating Rafa on top form having played 3.5 hours in hot sun the previous day?  If his legs really did feel like bricks you could say he did pretty well to extend Rafa to 4, especially if the surface now favours Rafa.
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #8 on: September 11, 2011, 08:15 AM »
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Went to bed half way into the second set because I couldn't stand to see Andy being beaten again - not only by Nadal but by himself. I really do believe his time will come - he is just too good not to win a Major but he has to get his head sorted out - perhaps a permanent coach would help him to do that or maybe he does need a sports physchologist.  I just hope this loss doesn't have the same effect as the loss at the AO - that he can put it behind him and move on quickly.  Perhaps the Davis Cup will help him to do that.  I really hope that Nadal wins the final - if Djokovic wins he will be unbearable!
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #9 on: September 11, 2011, 08:19 AM »
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A

Just been on BBC website and to my surprise the stats show Andy had more winners than Rafa.  And I hadn't realised the match took that long. So Andy did at least put up a real fight.  I know that might be clutching at straws but also it sounds as though Andy himself knows what he did wrong from this.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/14863601.stm

And absolutely agree Alis that I so want Rafa to win now.   
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #10 on: September 11, 2011, 08:57 AM »
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A

Just been on BBC website and to my surprise the stats show Andy had more winners than Rafa.  And I hadn't realised the match took that long. So Andy did at least put up a real fight.  I know that might be clutching at straws but also it sounds as though Andy himself knows what he did wrong from this.
http://news.bbc.co.uk/sport1/hi/tennis/14863601.stm

And absolutely agree Alis that I so want Rafa to win now.   
Andy played some amazing tennis at times in that match. It will be interesting to hear what he has to say about it. Nadal was relentlessly good but did Andy lose because he did not believe he could win? Why is he so hard on himself? I am so disappointed as I thought he would keep going with the positive attitude and game he showed earlier in the tournament. I really thought he could do it. Boris Becker would be a great coach, he seems to admire Andy's game and knows how to win.
Depressed today. 
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #11 on: September 11, 2011, 09:05 AM »
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I can't stop crying. I wanted Andy to win this one so badly Frown
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #12 on: September 11, 2011, 09:16 AM »
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I can't stop crying. I wanted Andy to win this one so badly Frown
Me to.
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #13 on: September 11, 2011, 09:40 AM »
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Great game from Andy, with some stunning shots. Nadal was just too ruthless, a lot of shots Andy made nobody would get back but Nadal did, he is just too good he was not No.1 for nothing. I'm proud of Andy getting to the semis after such tough scheduling.
Behind Andy always!
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Re: Murray out as Spanish bull sees red « Reply #14 on: September 11, 2011, 09:46 AM »
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Having woken up to the news that again Our Andy looses in the semi finals i am dissappointed for Andy. I too could not bear to watch the match after he lost the second set, and so went to bed thinking it would be all over in three, but alas to my suprise our Andy managed to take a set off Rafa. But by then regardless of this mini oasis, from the match write up and various comments posted here, it seems, this reprieve for Andy was not a turning point.

I'm not going to sit here and dissect his every shot and look for reasons as why he lost, Andy knows that at the highest level of the game if he truly wants to be part of the grandslam club, then he has to seriously work on his mental side. How he chooses to do this, is up to him, but its evident to me this is the next step he must take. A  previous post here by "MT" where he starts it off by stating:

"Andy played some amazing tennis at times in that match............. Nadal was relentlessly good"

sums up the match for me when looking at the mental aspects of it. While it seems according to match reports, posts and such like that Andy again seemed to be doing battle with himself aswell as with Rafa, whilst Rafa according to reports played with a clear clarity of purpose. What now for Andy, well might i suggest he takes a well earned break, regroups and perhaps looks inwardly and honestly at himself and those he surrounds himself with. He does not need to go away and work harder, how much harder can a person work, there has to come a point when you either admit to yourself that your best is just not good enough, even when you gave it 110% consistently or that you will change tact and try another approach other than continually striving for phyisical perfection.

On a more positive note, we would all do well to remember that Andy is only the seventh man in the open era to reach every single grandslam semi final in the same calendar year. Well done Andy, and all the best of luck for the future, i sincerely hope that one day your dreams for yourself are realised.  hug
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