Fractious Murray outlasts Stepanek

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray is through to the semi-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Master after defeating Radek Stepanek. Despite being far from his best, the Scot eventually prevailed 4-6, 6-2, 6-3.

Stepanek's serve and volley game is thoroughly unconventional in this era of baseline grinders and, for much of the first set, he drove Murray to distraction. The Czech was on fire, anticipating Murray's passing shots with supernatural precision.

Murray has been suffering from illness and, after one exchange was heard to say "I'm tired, I'm sick and I'm playing so bad". Whilst we can speculate on the tiredness and sickness, the bad play was evident in abundance. Routine ground-strokes were shanked, easy volleys missed and second serves thudded into the net.

The unforced errors piled up and by the end of the first set the count stood at 13.

Thankfully the Scot upped his level and ground out the win - but it wasn't pretty.

Next up is the winner of Cilic v Federer.
Add Comment
Name:
Comment
Enter code:
Add
An excellent win for Andy, clearly far from his best, against an opponent playing out of his skin.
Come On Champ.  yay
October 12, 2012, 11:40 AM
By blueberryhill

Don't forget to include those snippets you posted on the thread Whistle


Andy played a bad service game in the 1st set and paid the price. Radek, to be fair, didn't give him a look in and got the tactics spot on. Andy upped his game the 2nd, but Radek's serve began to drop with Andy taking advantage. The 3rd set had the good, the bad and the ugly.
October 12, 2012, 11:45 AM
By Bevc

Wasn't pretty, but our champ found a way to win.  goodjob
October 12, 2012, 11:52 AM
By scotnadian

All part of being an Andy fan. Very Happy

October 12, 2012, 11:54 AM
By Bevc

Just got home and found that Andy managed to win a difficult match despite being under the weather with cold/cough/throat. Given another day to get over it he will I'm sure fight to win Fed, and will I hope and pray he will prevail. Pleased to see Aileen is back, I've missed you.
October 12, 2012, 12:03 PM
By michelle

Playing with our minds again, typical Muzza Surprised
October 12, 2012, 01:10 PM
By ProdigyEng

Well done, Andy Murray. sometimes he plays most brilliantly when he is seriously under pressure. after the second set I really thought he had taken the decisive step. Never had I imagined such fierce opposition from Stepanek, always believed in him deteriorating at one point. But this is champion's style - to show true grit, and of course Stepanek made his mistakes to help it.
October 12, 2012, 01:45 PM
By counter_ puncher

Just got home and found that Andy managed to win a difficult match despite being under the weather with cold/cough/throat. Given another day to get over it he will I'm sure fight to win Fed, and will I hope and pray he will prevail. Pleased to see Aileen is back, I've missed you.
hug  I've missed you all on MW.  Just an unpleasant tummy bug.

Playing with our minds again, typical Muzza Surprised
I've just listened to Andy's post-match interview yesterday and he kept coughing a bit throughout like he had a sore throat.  Hope it's not going to be one of the nastier viruses that he's had in the past.  Still, he found a way to beat an on-form Stepanek, so ugly or not, he won.  The mark of a true champ!
October 12, 2012, 01:51 PM
By Aileen

It looks like Andy is going to be a slight favourite in the betting odds against Federer.
October 12, 2012, 02:14 PM
By laundry

Looks like it's gonna be Fed in semis i think if Andy feeling ok i pick him to win in three sets,but thats only if he's feeling 100%.
October 12, 2012, 02:29 PM
By caroline

So Fed it is.
October 12, 2012, 02:52 PM
By scotnadian

Well done Andy.  As they often say it's the sign of the true champ who can win when so clearly far below his best and not feeling well especially as Stepanek was playing very well for some of the time.  Can't see him really beating smugfed if he's feeling so bad.  Much as I'd love him to beat him it's not a disaster if he doesn't and can get home and look after himself before the last push to WTF.
October 12, 2012, 03:05 PM
By Ruthie

I was surprised to see that Fed could not serve it  out. Yet, he then did it on the next Cilic game. shame, he could not make it more competitive. For tomorrow, I really feel uneasy.
October 12, 2012, 03:09 PM
By counter_ puncher

Yes hard work for Andy but he won and that is all that matters. Like you say Ruthie he was coughing a lot yesterday so hope he is okay. Smugfed again I hope Andy wins or we will have to put up with that vain arrogant man.
October 12, 2012, 03:12 PM
By Littlebuddha

Yes hard work for Andy but he won and that is all that matters. Like you say Ruthie he was coughing a lot yesterday so hope he is okay. Smugfed again I hope Andy wins or we will have to put up with that vain arrogant man.

That vain, arrogant man is on the way out. I can't see him having the stamina for another GS now, particularly given the sort of players he now has to get through, including Mr M. All the signs of the start of the decline are there. Watching it happen is going to be fun. I read somewhere that when you look at who he was competing against when he got the majority of his GS victories it is not such an impressive performance.  he has got far fewer in the Nadal, ND and now Murray era. Mr M ripped the coveted Gold Medal from his grubby little paw, and he could do nothing about it. he will never get one now. Not sure Mr M will pull it off tomorrow, and not that bothered to be honest. My only desire for the rest of the year is for him to defend as many points as possible and put up a decent show in the WTF, and enjoy what he is doing. We want him in good fettle for 2013. Winning here would be nice, but not essential as far as I personally am concerned. The less points he has to defend at the end of the year the better. Next year is going to be his, and I will worry about getting the maximum no of points then, with his push to No 1. I reckon that this year he has done more than enough. Even more so if he is feeling a bit rough. Cut him some slack folks. Let Fed and ND wear themselves out fighting for the number 1 slot. Murray can have it next year.
October 12, 2012, 03:35 PM
By Masaka

The biggest problem for Andy in the first set, at least it seemed to me, was his movement. He was a step or so slow, which is unlike him, and a pretty big indication that he wasn't feeling right. With his movement being off, Andy wasn't timing the ball, and Stepanek was able to exploit that.

However, Andy picked it up in the second, was much more his usual brilliant self. Yes, he had a wobble in the third, but you could hardly expect an experienced player like Stepanek to not put up a fight, but frankly it felt to me like Andy had got it in the bag by then.

Credit to Andy for getting the win when he was clearly not 100%. I've sort of grown used to Andy responding when he is up against it, like the champion that he is, and he did today, which is all that matters.

So it's Fed for the semi's. I suppose there wasn't much doubt about it. I don't recall him ever making such a mess of serving a match out as he did to give Cilic the break back today though. Based on Fed's performances through the week I think Andy has a good chance, I really do. It would help if Andy is feeling a bit better, obviously. Hopefully he'll start tomorrow as he finished today.
October 12, 2012, 03:36 PM
By teejay1

Comments such as "We can speculate on the tiredness and sickness.." are typical of this reporter who claims to be a fan yet takes every opportunity to malign Murray whenever he isn't winning, and indeed when he is winning but not as dramatically as Boogers would like. When people point this out he is defended by others as a true fan who is simply a pessimist. It's possible to be critical without being personal or using terms like "hopeless' or questioning Murray's truthfulness.
October 12, 2012, 05:35 PM
By psu

come and join us psu - we need more members who will stand up against this negative reporting.  Must admit I read match report so quickly that I missed the insinuation about Andy's sickness.
October 12, 2012, 05:37 PM
By Ruthie

This was a very cynical report - not exactly reflective of the match at all.
October 12, 2012, 05:46 PM
By laundry

I rose above the negative reporting, which makes me feel good about myself. innocent

It's disappointing that one of the first things a visitor here would see though, is a headline like that. Andy wasn't fractious, a word that suggests he was irritable throughout the match. He got frustrated briefly, and then got through it, played better and won, end of story.

As someone in the crowd reminded Andy during the match against Cilic at the USO, it's not how you start it's how you finish, and Andy finished well enough today. He got the win.

I must say that although I'd love Andy to do it tomorrow, and I really believe he can, it won't be the end of the world to me if he doesn't. These last few months have been awesome from Andy and anything else this year feels like an abundance of riches. I would so love him to do well at the WTF, because it is in London and also because Andy felt so badly about having to pull out last year, but anything in between now and then doesn't worry me too much. Andy doesn't have to prove to us he is good enough to beat either Federer or Djokovic any more, we already know he is. More to the point, I believe he is starting to believe too, and even they are getting the idea lol.

Personally I'm okay with anything that happens for the rest of the year as long as Andy is fit. Whatever happens now, I have a feeling that 2013 is going to be very exciting.
October 12, 2012, 05:59 PM
By teejay1

add comment | 49 comments