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Murray staggers past Lopez

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Murray staggers past Lopez « on: September 01, 2012, 11:34 PM »
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Andy Murray progressed to the fourth round of the US Open with an epic 7-6, 7-6, 4-6, 7-6 victory over Feliciano Lopez. At two sets and a break up the Scot looked on course for a reasonably straightforward victory before an alarming drop in form allowed Lopez back into the match.

The Spaniard is a man known for his striking similarity to a catalogue model. He is also known for his devastating leftie serve, and this weapon posed Murray some serious problems all match.  In a service dominated first set, break points were few and far between. Murray's first opportunity came at 5-4* when Lopez, perhaps feeling some scoreboard pressure, gifted the Scot three set points. Some clutch play from the Spaniard averted the danger before the roles were reversed in the very next game. Facing two break points on his own serve, Murray found some big strokes of his own to close out the game.

The subsequent tiebreak was an equally tight affair but the Scot did just enough to sneak through.

Murray's momentum continued unabated into the second set as he broke Lopez immediately. Unfortunately the Scot has recently made a habit of squandering breaks, and a truly dire game at 3-2 leveled the scores.

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As the set meandered towards another tiebreak, drama struck. Lopez, convinced that a Murray serve was out, was denied the opportunity to challenge. The reason? The umpire believed he'd attempted to play the point. Replays showed the Spaniard was right to feel aggrieved. This was significant, not because of the challenge itself  - it ultimately would have proved fruitless - but the controversy steeled Lopez, and turned the crowd in his favour. This was like watching Samuel L. Jackson in ‘The Negotiator’ - a man suffering from injustice is a dangerous man.

The tie-break was an excellent display from the thirtieth seed. Murray didn’t really put a foot wrong, but Lopez was exemplary in his shotmaking and his service delivery, inspired by his frustrations at umpire Jake Garner. It was testimony to Murray’s new found resilience and mental calm that he repelled his red-hot opponent to edge into a two set lead. You had to feel for Feliciano Lopez ; he had played some of his best tennis and yet still could not claim a set.

Thoughts now began to wander towards the Scot's possible opponents in the fourth round. Lopez looked a beaten man - one who had played as well as he could, but had still come up short. Thirty minutes later, and beyond all expectations, it was suddenly the Scot who looked battered and bruised.

The third set started promisingly with Murray grabbing an immediate break of serve. Unfortunately the Scot yet again repeated his latest party trick and chucked in a sack full of errors to surrender the advantage. Lopez, who by now looked like he'd rather be standing in the shower shampooing his lustrous locks than standing in the blazing New York heat, returned the favor. A trademark Murray winner brought up two break points before the Spaniard tamely double faulted.

At 4-2 up and serving for a 5-2 lead, Murray looked home and hosed. Tennis is a funny old game though - and Lopez conjured up an incredible run of three straight games to capture the set.

The Scot now looked to be in serious physical trouble. The energetic and ubiquitous Murray of the first two and a half sets was replaced by a forlorn and fatigued shadow. Still, Murray hates nothing more than to lose and tapped hidden reserves to find a way to drag the fourth set into a tiebreak. A magical cross court passing shot brought up match point, before a dismal Lopez dropshot dropped into the net.

A fitting end, then, to a match that was by turns magical, bizarre and outright unpleasant to watch. Murray was not forthcoming with details about his physical problems, so fans of the Scot will have to hope that his exertions today haven't damaged his US Open hopes too badly.

Murray will have a day to recover from whatever ailed him today before meeting Milos Raonic or James Blake on Monday.
[ Last edit by TheMadHatter September 02, 2012, 12:20 AM ] IP Logged
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #1 on: September 01, 2012, 11:55 PM »
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Good read, Phil.  Lopez gave Andy quite a work out.  So happy that Andy made it through.   Boxing
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #2 on: September 02, 2012, 12:11 AM »
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Nice summing up of the match, went through the full range of emotions watching it all unfold. Thought both players played well and produced many magical moments along the way, Andy's will to win not for the first time pulled him through. Only slight criticism was that I thought he could have played low to Lopez's backhand a lot more, particularly with slice as he's never comfortable there. Looks like Raonic next, maybe it's a good job Andy got some 'tie-break' practise in, I've a feeling there might be one or two more in the next match!
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madabouttheboy
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #3 on: September 02, 2012, 12:17 AM »
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My husband has a theory that Andy has got used to the crowd cheering him on and certainly when he was 2 sets and 2 love up and then  ref's dubious
 decision went against Lopez the crowd started cheering for him and continued it for the rest of the match. Certainly I've noticed when the interviewer brings up the Olympics and the crowd react Andy always looks up gratefully at them. It never bothered him before Wimbledon and the Olympics and the slump did seem to start then.
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #4 on: September 02, 2012, 12:57 AM »
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An accurate report. You sum it up beautifully for us, 'magical, bizarre and outright unpleasant to watch.' It was all of those.
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Hazybear
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #5 on: September 02, 2012, 01:53 AM »
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Great report Phil Smile a proper nailbiter in the end
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Aileen
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #6 on: September 02, 2012, 02:02 AM »
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An accurate report. You sum it up beautifully for us, 'magical, bizarre and outright unpleasant to watch.' It was all of those.
Definitely.  I missed the first set and lost my one and only livestream halfway through the 4th - agony piled on agony - so Phil's report is very helpful.

I don't really think there's much wrong with Andy physically, even if the thought of the earlier back problem still lurks in my mind, although his movement was fine against Dodig.  Let's face it, Andy's basically a ginger-headed, fair-skinned Scot, so it's hardly surprising he finds playing in temps pushing 100F+ difficult, and the humidity won't help either.  As he said himself he missed out on his usual acclimatisation period in Miami this year.  I believe the comms said people were actually leaving the match because they couldn't sit in the heat, so I'd truly like to see how some of his detractors would have coped in the same conditions.

Also Andy mysteriously lost a set he should probably have won.  Well, as Phil says "tennis is a funny old game", and he isn't the first top player to do so in a Slam, and won't be the last, but the fact is that he got it back together mentally pretty quickly, and that 4th set TB spoke volumes.  In addition there were none of the signs of frustration we could have expected from Andy in the past, or at least there weren't in the two and half sets I did manage to see.  These facts in themselves are a major improvement.

I thought Andy looked and sounded remarkably unfazed during his on-court interview, which is more than can be said for his stressed, washed-out fans!  I think he'll be up for Raonic come Monday.
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #7 on: September 02, 2012, 02:14 AM »
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Look it's a concern I mean Murray was what 4-2 up in the 3rd set then all of a sudden he's in a dogfight v Lopez! Raonic will fancy his chances in the last 16 that's for sure.
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IonaRed
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #8 on: September 02, 2012, 02:55 AM »
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Definitely.  I missed the first set and lost my one and only livestream halfway through the 4th - agony piled on agony - so Phil's report is very helpful.

I don't really think there's much wrong with Andy physically, even if the thought of the earlier back problem still lurks in my mind, although his movement was fine against Dodig.  Let's face it, Andy's basically a ginger-headed, fair-skinned Scot, so it's hardly surprising he finds playing in temps pushing 100F+ difficult, and the humidity won't help either.  As he said himself he missed out on his usual acclimatisation period in Miami this year.  I believe the comms said people were actually leaving the match because they couldn't sit in the heat, so I'd truly like to see how some of his detractors would have coped in the same conditions.

Also Andy mysteriously lost a set he should probably have won.  Well, as Phil says "tennis is a funny old game", and he isn't the first top player to do so in a Slam, and won't be the last, but the fact is that he got it back together mentally pretty quickly, and that 4th set TB spoke volumes.  In addition there were none of the signs of frustration we could have expected from Andy in the past, or at least there weren't in the two and half sets I did manage to see.  These facts in themselves are a major improvement.

I thought Andy looked and sounded remarkably unfazed during his on-court interview, which is more than can be said for his stressed, washed-out fans!  I think he'll be up for Raonic come Monday.

Andy's hair looks brown to me and what is with this 'ginger' description of anything that slightly resembles red hair? I'm not getting at you but it riles me. I have red hair and I would flip if anyone called my hair ginger. I know some redheads don't mind the term but I hate it and it certainly doesn't describe my colour. Sorry, rant over.
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Aileen
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #9 on: September 02, 2012, 02:56 AM »
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Look it's a concern I mean Murray was what 4-2 up in the 3rd set then all of a sudden he's in a dogfight v Lopez! Raonic will fancy his chances in the last 16 that's for sure.
Now let me guess which player it is that you support ... Think  Anyway thank you for throwing in such an encouraging comment on your way past.  Bye! Smile
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Aileen
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #10 on: September 02, 2012, 03:08 AM »
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Andy's hair looks brown to me and what is with this 'ginger' description of anything that slightly resembles red hair? I'm not getting at you but it riles me. I have red hair and I would flip if anyone called my hair ginger. I know some redheads don't mind the term but I hate it and it certainly doesn't describe my colour. Sorry, rant over.
My apologies - no offence intended because I actually find that colour of hair attractive.  Yes Andy's hair has got quite brown, but that wasn't the case when he was a child, which is why I used the word "basically", and there are still obvious signs of "reddishness" in it, although perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it "auburn" now.





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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #11 on: September 02, 2012, 03:19 AM »
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My apologies - no offence intended because I actually find that colour of hair attractive.  Yes Andy's hair has got quite brown, but that wasn't the case when he was a child, which is why I used the word "basically", and there are still obvious signs of "reddishness" in it, although perhaps it would be more appropriate to call it "auburn" now.






Sorry, I sound quite petty. "reddish", "auburn"...  I just think 'ginger' is perhaps what you would call a very specific colour of red hair. I just don't like all redheads described as 'ginger'. I'm ranting again. As I said some redheads don't seem to mind but I'm obviously rather touchy..lol. BTW I didn't think you were trying to cause offence.

Anyway, back to Andy.

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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #12 on: September 02, 2012, 03:23 AM »
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Look it's a concern I mean Murray was what 4-2 up in the 3rd set then all of a sudden he's in a dogfight v Lopez! Raonic will fancy his chances in the last 16 that's for sure.

A dogfight in 4 sets, yes.  Hello Judge/AK/Fedtard wave
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Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #13 on: September 02, 2012, 03:27 AM »
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The beeb appear to have changed their 'labours into 4th round headline' Think

 "I was struggling a bit physically and that made it challenging," said the world number four, seeded third in the absence of Rafael Nadal.

"I was up two sets and a break and should have done better there, but I played well in the tie-breaks and that was the difference.

"He played some really good stuff and served well when he was down. He was able to dictate a lot, win free points and play well at the net.

"It's the last major event of the year and you want to push through anything physically. I will be out here in the next match giving 100%."

I wonder how the Lopez fans will be feeling when they see the stats below Think


* brief stats.JPG (16.82 KB, 342x351 - viewed 329 times.)
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peRFection
Re: Murray staggers past Lopez « Reply #14 on: September 02, 2012, 03:35 AM »
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A dogfight in 4 sets, yes.  Hello Judge/AK/Fedtard wave

Look Murray did well you know he came through! Obviously it was a dog fight he lost more point than he won and he was broken more times than he broke!

If Fish wins tonight then you would expect his match v Roger to be a night match! Which means Murray to have to face the force of Raonic's serve in the blistering heat!

I am sure Murray will turn in a plucky performance and then who knows :-)
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