Murray goes from geriatric to ballistic

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Nursing a back injury that rendered him virtually immobile in the early stages, Andy Murray today completed an unlikely turnaround to defeat Finland's Jarrko Nieminen 1-6, 6-4 6-1 6-2 in the second round of the French Open.

In the first set, Murray looked about as mobile as a garden gnome. But the stubborn Scot did at least treat his fans to a glittering array of cable-wristed groundshot winners on which no opponent could have laid a racket.

With his back in spasm, Murray called on the trainer three times and inevitably lost an excruciating first set that was as painful for his fans to watch as it was for the Scot to play.

Nieminen did well to hold his focus but, for Murray's admirers, this was like watching a slow-motion train crash. With Wimbledon, the Olympic Games and the US Open looming large on the horizon, fans wondered if the Scot's injury could turn the most sparkling summer of his life into a disheartening washout.

But early in the second set, the British number one began to show some signs of loosening up sufficiently to make a fist of it. While his movement wasn't completely fluid, it was at least less treacle-like and enough to take the set from 2-4 down.

The fourth seed took that form into set three, his shot selection benefiting from the legacy of his gung-ho mentality during the opening set. The Scot opened up a 3-0 lead that he defended until he killed off the set, at which point he was shifting like a gazelle across an African plain.

When Murray fired a scorching forehand to wrap up the third set, it seemed his transformation from the orthopaedic to the ballistic was complete. But if Murray was geriatric, the Finn was psychiatric. Throughout the entire French farce, Nieminen looked like a man in a straitjacket with a fly on his face.

The Finn's anguish continued into set four. An early break for Murray killed off any resistance from the left-hander, whose shots repeatedly found the wrong Parisian arrondissement.

As Murray's scorching array of shots bought him a cheap double break, and the Finn's unforced errors pushed 50, the crowd were left to wonder if they'd witnessed a miracle or just another piece of theatre in the repertory that seems part and parcel of the Scot's career.

Murray will take his place in round three against Santiago Giraldo, and spectators will feel that the Scot undoubtedly won a battle here. However, when the adrenalin wears off, the Brit might ponder whether his fortunes in the war – this iconic tennis season and beyond – have been dramatically impaired.
Spot on with some brilliant analogies yes I especially like the description of Nieminen lol

A lucky win in many ways as Nieminen fell apart and Murray was able to improve enough to put in a good game.
Lets see what comes out of Andy's camp later today.
May 31, 2012, 12:53 PM
By Hazybear

Excellent write up. Thank you.
Some brilliant play too, though Niemenam undoubtedly helped a lot.
Plucky fight back or stupid stubborness? Take your pick.
Do hope those people on MW who claimed Andy did not have a back problem, are now prepared to eat a huge public portion of humble pie.
May 31, 2012, 01:10 PM
By blueberryhill

A miracle.  The next 48 hours will be kill or cure.
May 31, 2012, 01:21 PM
By FCR

Nigel I just love your match reports - this one was a classic as was the match though not in the conventional sense of the term.  While I think Andy was mad to continue I can't help but admire his sheer guts and refusal to give up.  If anyone EVER again calls him a wimp or words to that effect I will personally come round and stick a tennis ball in their mouth  w00t
But I think his team has to think hard now about whether it makes sense for Andy to try to continue.  I guess alot will depend on how the back feels tomorrow morning.  But regardless I can't see the sense of continuing.  Even if he somehow staggers through the next round I don't see how he could get past Ferrer in the QF and lord knows what further damage he could do if he plays on.
May 31, 2012, 01:32 PM
By Ruthie

Murray buried Giraldo in the dirt this year in Barcelona, so I'm thinking he might be wanting to turn up for that one.

I can only assume that he's trying to minimise the damage to his ranking points at this event. He might then be planning on grabbing treatment in between tournaments where he can, and then taking a few months off after the USO.
May 31, 2012, 01:59 PM
By Grabcopy

Great report Nigel, still can't make up my mind whether Andy was gutsy or stupid, probably a bit of both.  I just hope he hasn't done further damage which will affect his chances at Wimbledon, etc.  nervous
May 31, 2012, 02:40 PM
By Iris

Dear Nigel.. thanks for the great report.
However...is there anyway you could retract your April Fool, please?
May 31, 2012, 02:58 PM
By scotnadian

Straight jacket with fly on nose, LOL!

Seriously though - am worried about Murray. Don't want him to be injured going forward, want him healed up well!!
May 31, 2012, 02:59 PM
By janetx

I hope he pulls out, he has proved he is made of strong stuff, has the balls & guts to win but with pain there is no gain!!
May 31, 2012, 03:00 PM
By Murray Magic

Neil Harman has tweeted that the AM said the back spasm he had today is not the same as his back injury.
May 31, 2012, 03:27 PM
By michelle

Neil Harman has tweeted that the AM said the back spasm he had today is not the same as his back injury.
The black comedy continues.  I don't think anyone can make sense of what's going on and the respective match commentators were completely baffled.  Perhaps it's now time that Andy made public just exactly what the main problem is with his back before he loses any more credibility.  It could well be that the back spasm was caused by him trying not to aggravate the original problem, and if that's the case he should pull out now and hopefully be fit for Queens and Wimbledon.  I don't see what can be gained by punishing his body further on the red dirt. 
May 31, 2012, 04:12 PM
By Aileen

What Andy says post match (click onto "interviews" at bottom of picture) :-

http://www.rolandgarros.com/en_FR/multimedia/index.html
May 31, 2012, 04:35 PM
By scotnadian

Another slam, another Murray 'injury' drama. I can't recall the last grand slam in which Murray did not claim to be suffering from some injury, or putting on a dying swan act and saying he might not continue in the tournament. Virginia Wade quite rightly described Murray as a 'drama queen' today, and clearly finds Murray's play acting pretty pathetic.

Does anyone seriously think that there would have been any of this nonsense had Murray made a better start to the match? Murray's psychological frailty stems from the pressure he feels because he has not won a slam. It's like every slam he feels the need to engineer some way to take the pressure and expectation off himself.
May 31, 2012, 04:44 PM
By fuzzyballs

 Here's the BBC report which also says that Andy says this is different from the original injury and that he's been advised playing through a muscle spasm won't do any longer term damage.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/18273765

Aileen @4.12 I don't know what you mean by losing more credibility -in what way has Andy lost credibility? He may have been stupid to play through injury but you can't but admire his guts.  I'm wondering whether he is thinking back to last year's RG where he got to SF carrying an injury and he's said recently that was character forming or something.  Perhaps he truly believes he can do it again unlikely as it may seem to us, especially if this was a different back problem.

And fb can you just go and put a sock in it.  Who cares what V Wade says.  He was clearly in real pain. And if you've never suffered back pain you have no idea how debilitating it can be. I once nearly threw up I was in so much pain with my back.   
May 31, 2012, 04:48 PM
By Ruthie

Another slam, another Murray 'injury' drama. I can't recall the last grand slam in which Murray did not claim to be suffering from some injury, or putting on a dying swan act and saying he might not continue in the tournament. Virginia Wade quite rightly described Murray as a 'drama queen' today, and clearly finds Murray's play acting pretty pathetic.

Does anyone seriously think that there would have been any of this nonsense had Murray made a better start to the match? Murray's psychological frailty stems from the pressure he feels because he has not won a slam. It's like every slam he feels the need to engineer some way to take the pressure and expectation off himself.

No **** Sigmund Freud.
No Andy has a back problem & that is why he lost the first set to Jarkko so badly, you've got it the wrong way around.
May 31, 2012, 04:50 PM
By theycanbillme

Oh and FB I wonder about your psychological frailty that you find it necessary to post such vindictive messages based on no evidence whatsoever.
May 31, 2012, 04:55 PM
By Ruthie

Another slam, another Murray 'injury' drama. I can't recall the last grand slam in which Murray did not claim to be suffering from some injury, or putting on a dying swan act and saying he might not continue in the tournament. Virginia Wade quite rightly described Murray as a 'drama queen' today, and clearly finds Murray's play acting pretty pathetic.

Does anyone seriously think that there would have been any of this nonsense had Murray made a better start to the match? Murray's psychological frailty stems from the pressure he feels because he has not won a slam. It's like every slam he feels the need to engineer some way to take the pressure and expectation off himself.
confused duh yuk lame Evil or Very Mad whack Guy with axe vomit
May 31, 2012, 04:55 PM
By michelle

Nice one michelle
May 31, 2012, 04:56 PM
By Ruthie

Here's the BBC report which also says that Andy says this is different from the original injury and that he's been advised playing through a muscle spasm won't do any longer term damage.
http://www.bbc.co.uk/sport/0/tennis/18273765

Aileen @4.12 I don't know what you mean by losing more credibility -in what way has Andy lost credibility? He may have been stupid to play through injury but you can't but admire his guts.  I'm wondering whether he is thinking back to last year's RG where he got to SF carrying an injury and he's said recently that was character forming or something.  Perhaps he truly believes he can do it again unlikely as it may seem to us, especially if this was a different back problem.

And fb can you just go and put a sock in it.  Who cares what V Wade says.  He was clearly in real pain. And if you've never suffered back pain you have no idea how debilitating it can be. I once nearly threw up I was in so much pain with my back.   
Thanks for that link.  At least it does sound encouraging.

When I talked about credibility, I was referring to the fact that, sadly, some of the media and even the commentators were beginning to question the validity of this back injury.  But now we know the real situation, hopefully they'll back off.

No sh*t Sigmund Freud.
No Andy has a back problem & that is why he lost the first set to Jarkko so badly, you've got it the wrong way around.
IGNORE FUZZYBALLS.  He crawls out from under his stone during Slams, unfortunately. Rolling Eyes
May 31, 2012, 05:06 PM
By Aileen

Brilliant report Nigel! You always manage to raise a smile too!  Very Happy
May 31, 2012, 05:23 PM
By Caz

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