Murray-Cilic QF Rotterdam, a personal view.
When I bought tickets for the four quarter finals for the ABNAMRO WTT already a year ago I didn’t expect Murray to play in Rotterdam. Murray used to train in Miami in this period of the year. And with a first round lost in 2011 he didn’t leave this tournament with good feelings the last time. So when I heard last Friday that Murray got the last wild card I couldn’t believe my luck. I bought a shirt with GB flag (the wrong one, I know, but hadn’t so many time…!) and was ready for watching Murray for the first time live.
Some things are different when you watch matches in real instead of the tv. It’s possible to watch one player to see how he’s moving and anticipating which is very nice and interesting. Also difficult, your eyes wants to follow the ball…. Two other things were different for me. The interaction between Murray and his team (including Kim of course) was more visible. He looked a lot to his team and they react (all together, same moment) with their faces and hands. Nice to see. Murray did groan (in the meaning of breathing with noise) a lot of times with difficult points.
Watching Muray in real looked so normal. I did realize how match the way he playes, moves, stands, pauses, walkes after receiving to the other side is ritual, it looked to familiar to me.
And then the match at itself. Murray didn’t play offensive. When he tried so, he got immediately rewarded. Cilic, former number 9, did play very well. His serve was outstanding and Murray couldn’t return his second serve with power. The audience did encourage Murray a few times, and shouted to him: Comon Andy! The were also willing to support him but there were not so many chances to stand behind him with applause.
Supporting Murray when you don’t live in GB is not obvious. For me there were a few reasons about three years ago. He’s a very complete player; serve, forehand, backhand, slice, topspin, passing shots, drop shots, everything. He also is a man of extremes. He can play very well, but his level varies more than other players, so it seems. It’s intriguing. The way he finds a way out when he’s in trouble is fascinating and beautiful. Magic Murray. The extremes are not only in his tennis but also in his personality; often focused and muttering on court and besides the court friendly, polite, shy, humorous.
And yes, I hoped that I would also see the other Murray also yesterday. That he would find a way to get Cilic in control. The draw was good, so he could continue and practise more. On the other hand. He came to Rotterdam to play matches because he needed them , and he was right, he needs more time. I’m glad I was able to see this match. Next time I’ll try a Scottish shirt
(Pictures en little video in the next tread)