Murray shot down by The Missile

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Lose your serve to The Maple Leaf Missile and you can kiss goodbye to the set. When you have only three sets to play with, that can prove fatal. Although Murray engineered two match points, a service break in the very first game set the tone for a 6-3 6-7(5) 7-6(4) defeat to Milos Raonic in this Japan Open semi-final.

Murray had taken apart the young Canadian on his way to the US Open title last month. On that occasion, he’d been millpond calm. But last night in Tokyo, Murray was as frazzled as a working mum asked to prepare tea while solving a Rubik’s Cube.

The puzzle seemed beyond him. A racket died an ugly death. Murray A screamed at Murray B. Murray B misplaced his A game. Perhaps it was off around the city, taking one of the rickshaw rides that have kept Raonic amused this week.

There was nothing amusing in the way the Scot surrendered his first service game to love, shanking a backhand wildly into the crowd. After that, with Raonic consistently serving scuds, the opening set was a formality.

Murray again faced break points in the second set, with the sixth seed adding a steady supply of groundshot winners to his arsenal. But the US Open champion dug in to seal a tense tiebreak 7-5 with a backhand that fizzed onto Raonic’s shoelaces.

The top seed seemed to have the match in his hands when he opened up a 3-1 lead in the third, but Raonic, who served 13 aces, broke back in game seven and saved a match point at 5-6, 30-40 with a gutsy smash.

The Canadian then double-faulted to gift Murray a second match point, but the Scot failed to capitalise and Raonic took two points on Murray’s serve in the deciding tiebreak, as his booming serve saw him over the finish line.

“He started the match well and I was slow to get off the mark," Murray said later. "He played well behind his first serve. That made it tough for me. There was always going to be a bit of residue from the last few months.”
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I didn't see him break a racket. I'd thought he managed to stop short of that.
October 06, 2012, 09:25 AM
By adb..OH

Disappointing. Andy particularly in set 3 resorted to cursing and swearing out loud and to verbally attacking his support team. I thought these mannerisms were of the past, but what a time to regress.

Thus ended his 8 succesfull tie-breaks and 10 matches in a row.

Shame as his poor attitude could have a negative effect on his chasing his Shanghai title defence.
October 06, 2012, 09:32 AM
By OldScotSupport

Disappointing. Andy particularly in set 3 resorted to cursing and swearing out loud and to verbally attacking his support team. I thought these mannerisms were of the past, but what a time to regress.

Thus ended his 8 succesfull tie-breaks and 10 matches in a row.

Shame as his poor attitude could have a negative effect on his chasing his Shanghai title defence.
Give the lad a break. I just think he is physically and mentally exhausted at te moment. I think his back is also giving him grief. He hasn't looked comfortable in either of the two matches we have seen. I know from my own experience that when I am tired and in pain I get very fractious, and can throw tantrums that would be the envy of your average toddler. I am lot older than Mr M and do have even less excuse. He is really improving in that area, but inevitably he is going to lapse sometimes. That's just him.
October 06, 2012, 09:54 AM
By Masaka

OSS I'd have thought it was his tiredness and back problem -which may help explain the negative attitude - that could have a negative effect on the Shanghai title.
It is of course disappointing but I see Andy  has said that last few months were going to catch up on him at some point and he sounds like he was perhaps fairly philosophical about the loss.  
While of course it would be perfect if he could defend his titles on the Asian Swing, I'd sacrifice them for what he's achieved this summer.  Even if he dips now, he has that GS title and gold medal and I'm quite sure, back permitting, he'll 'regroup' ok for the new season and I think it's a smart move to concentrate on US hard courts rather than fly back and forth across the world prior to them, which is what is being reported today.
And just read Masaka  clap
October 06, 2012, 09:55 AM
By Ruthie

Excellent report Nigel - as always. Didn't see the first set = woke up half way through the second and watched an inspired and very determined Raonic lose a second set tie break and then win the third. Andy was playing extremely well too and trying not to let his obvious frustration get in the way of many winning points. Pity he lost the advantage he had of a break of serve against his opponent in the third set and a pity he played two poor shots which gave Raonic the match. He can't win them all you know and when he berates like that it is himself he is berating not anyone else. He will be all the more determined to do well in Shanghai, which could include a match against Fed I believe.
October 06, 2012, 09:56 AM
By janscribe

Give the lad a break. I just think he is physically and mentally exhausted at te moment. I think his back is also giving him grief. He hasn't looked comfortable in either of the two matches we have seen. I know from my own experience that when I am tired and in pain I get very fractious, and can throw tantrums that would be the envy of your average toddler. I am lot older than Mr M and do have even less excuse. He is really improving in that area, but inevitably he is going to lapse sometimes. That's just him.
Well said Masaka - us two girls at least agree with your point of view!
October 06, 2012, 09:59 AM
By janscribe

Frown
October 06, 2012, 10:18 AM
By ProdigyEng

He's still got the big titles that matter: USO - the slam he always wanted. Olympics Gold to deny Federer the Golden Career Slam. Losing in an ATP500 I can live with. More time to prepare for Shanghai.

Don't forget he doesn't have any points to defend at WTF.
October 06, 2012, 10:24 AM
By syc23

The loss is annoying but I will feel a lot happier if he has less points to defend at this time of year. Look how few Nadal has, and how he has benefitted from that. I imagine that Lendl will be being far more ruthless over his schedule now, and manipulating it to ensure the best possible outcomes for both of  their new goals,  ie the number one ranking and more GS's.  It will be much better to have his points spread out over the year, so he can be selective about what tournaments he takes part in, and can take time off if he needs to. I hate to make the point but he is not quite as young as he was, and its a tough game. If he wants to keep going for another 5 or 6 years, he needs to maintain the machine properly. He is currently changing his methodology from "a GS or bust" to "more GS's and push for the No 1 ranking". Once he gets that we would want him to keep it for a while.
October 06, 2012, 10:40 AM
By Masaka

He was 4-1 up in the final set and lost it - can't believe it. I hope it doesn't knock his emerging self belief. I saw him break the racket - these tennis players have got to stop doing that. These rackets cost hundreds of pounds and it shows real contempt for their suppliers and a shocking arrogance ie I'm so rich I can destroy a tennis racket worth hundreds of pounds in a temper tantrum. Very disappointing. Canadian did play well though. 
October 06, 2012, 11:10 AM
By MT

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