Murray ousted by Berdych

By for MurraysWorld.com on
Andy Murray was knocked out of the Madrid Masters after being defeated 7-6(3), 6-4 by world number six Tomas Berdych in the quarter-final stage.

The British number one had his opportunities in the first set, but was unable to take advantage and paid the price, wilting under the pressure of the world number six. However, despite the defeat, Murray will still return to world number two on Monday.

The Scot created a break point opportunity in the very first game, but as in his previous matches he struggled to take advantage, and the Czech was able to hold. Both players were finding much success behind their serve, and the opening six games went routinely.

But in the seventh game, Murray found a way through. A few loose errors from Berdych aided the Brit to a second break point, but the Czech man refused to bow down easily and threw everything at Murray to try and save it. Scampering along the baseline the Brit got everything back, including with a high defensive lob, before finding a stunning forehand pass to seal the break and open up a 4-3 lead.

Berdych’s response was instant. With the aid of a double fault, the world number six opened up a break back point with a couple of sizzling winners. Murray fended it off with an ace, and both players traded blows before Berdych opened a second break point with a stunning lob. And this time the Czech player took full advantage; getting himself on top of the point before hitting a cute drop volley to level the affair.

The match continued to ebb and flow, and another marathon game at 4-4 saw Berdych fend off four more break points. But the world number two-in-waiting couldn’t take advantage, and the Czech edged back in front. This time it was Murray’s turn to respond, and respond he did; a love hold to put the pressure right back on Berdych.

A hold apiece saw the match move towards a tie-break, and it was the sixth seed who looked to take the game by the scruff of its neck. Stepping it up, Berdych reeled off five of the first six points before taking the breaker 7-3, after a Murray backhand floated wide.

The momentum continued to shift back and forth in the second set, as both players traded breaks before Murray had to fend off more break points in the third game. But the Scot reeled off four points in a row to hold, and edged ahead in the second set.

The third seed then carved out yet more break points in the following game, but a couple of trademark drive vollies from Berdych saw off the danger. And a loose game from the Brit in the next service game allowed Berdych to regain his advantage, breaking to love.

By now Berdych was in complete control, and although Murray desperately fought to stick with him, the Czech player was unrelenting and sealed the victory after a Murray forehand drifted wide.

Next up for Murray will be the Rome Masters next week. The Brit lost to Richard Gasquet in the third round there last year.
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I think Andy lacks confidence on break points these days. Having said that, I have yet to see the match. It could very well be that Berdych played very well on to save those break points. He did lose the last two matches to Andy so a revenge was also on the card and the fact that, he can actually beat Andy on this surface without worrying too much.
May 11, 2013, 01:59 AM
By Emma Jean

Berdych will have come into this match with a bit of extra confidence as he has always beaten Andy on clay and will know about the match with Simon.  I know that Andy hates to lose(but so does anyone really).  I still feel that Andy is trying to concentrate on the big ones hoping to gain some Masters on the way.  He has one this year.  Berdych will also be aware of everybody saying that Andy is not comfortable on clay.  In fact, they all will so that cannot help his cause.  I am not surprised that he lost his match.
May 11, 2013, 06:04 AM
By tamila

The report makes me relive the match. Well done! With regard to the BP I would say that partly Andy was given no chance, partly he played a little hastily or inaccurately. In the last two matches his BP conversion was a serious problem, which in the end might have cost him dearly. And although being a reliable TB player, he simply could not repond to Berdych's superpower. I do not know if he made mistakes there letting him dictate the whole TB or if it was just inevitable. Of course I would have loved to see Andy win, yet my expectations beforehand were not too high, so that I am not that shattered.
May 11, 2013, 07:42 AM
By counter_ puncher

Thanks for your report, Luke. I too have yet to view the match and I am not too surprised either by the outcome. Disappointed - yes, but not surprised.

The positive part is that Andy is beginnining to appear less uncomfortable on clay; obviously, Lendl's tutorage is helping.

Incidentally, when the Roma draw is made, does Andy become number 2, at the bottom of the draw or is he still showing as 3, owing to the lack of time between Madrid and Rome?
May 11, 2013, 08:32 AM
By OldScotSupport

Thanks Luke for a very vivid match report.  I came in just as Andy was losing the t-b.  Tbh I was surprised it had even got to a t-b as my expectations were pretty low of this match given Andy had been struggling on clay and hadn't got to bed probably till about 4am.  I didn't watch then as had promised to ring a friend and I feared the inevitable given Andy must have been tired and the momentum was now clearly with Birdy.  But did catch the very end and Petch's post match chat with Marcus and Petch was saying Andy had played his best clay court tennis this season, so that gives me grounds for hope.  From what Petch said it was once again his inability to protect his 2nd serve that really let him down.  That's disappointing as I had thought he was beginning to improve in that area a while ago.
OSS I think he'll be #3 still for Rome as the rankings don't change till Monday morning and presumably the Rome draw is made this weekend - today?  What I'm not clear is whether Fed can regain #2 spot in time for RG as I've not studied the rankings that closely.
May 11, 2013, 08:39 AM
By Ruthie

Andy just does not seem to be able to convert his break points atm - is it the clay - or is it confidence on clay? His usual brilliance is still apparent at times but overall confidence is missing - can't help wondering if it isn't psychological and I'm certain confidence has something to do with it in that he may be unable to recognise his own improvement on clay and feel the other top players will always have the better of him. Wish he could resolve this problem but he hasn't found the answer as yet. Petch seems to think he has played his best clay tennis this year, that he is improving and if anyone should know it is Petch. To endure as an Andy fan, patience is required at all timer required !!!!!
May 11, 2013, 09:49 AM
By janscribe

On the Rome site they have him as #2 and Fed as #3. So I take from that he will be seeded as #2.
Thought he played some quite breath taking shots, if he had won the first set, I think he could have gone on and won, but the mountain of 3 sets after the long and late match the previous night was just too much. On the positive side he can move to Rome and get used to the conditions and let those still playing knock the living daylight out of each other.
I feel he will make good progress in Rome, just hope he has a favourable draw.
May 11, 2013, 09:54 AM
By michelle

With regard to Madrid, is it just me who has noticed how empty the stadiums have been?Vast numbers of empty seats, or have I been watching the wrong matches.
May 11, 2013, 10:04 AM
By Masaka

Nice one Luke. Fair and accurate.  clap

The last few matches on clay take me back to  pre-Lendl days where he often couldn't close out the point on the shots that win the crucial game or match.
I hope he and Lendl can do something to address this. It's important the problem is contained to the clay only and doesnt transfer to the grass.  nervous

There was anenormous improvement from the Simon to the Berdy match and he must take heart from that. Why he has a hang-up with clay I dont know. Sure the spaniards and french have clay in their breast milk and that must lay good foundations, but what about the others,  Federer, Wawinka and Djokovic? How young were they introduced to clay? They all seem to manage okay. confused

Anyone have a take on that?

May 11, 2013, 10:08 AM
By lashurst

Nice one Luke. Fair and accurate.  clap

The last few matches on clay take me back to  pre-Lendl days where he often couldn't close out the point on the shots that win the crucial game or match.
I hope he and Lendl can do something to address this. It's important the problem is contained to the clay only and doesnt transfer to the grass.  nervous

There was anenormous improvement from the Simon to the Berdy match and he must take heart from that. Why he has a hang-up with clay I dont know. Sure the spaniards and french have clay in their breast milk and that must lay good foundations, but what about the others,  Federer, Wawinka and Djokovic? How young were they introduced to clay? They all seem to manage okay. confused

Anyone have a take on that?



Not sure about Djokovic, but Wawrinka and Federer will have almost certainly grown up playing on Clay.
May 11, 2013, 10:16 AM
By ProdigyEng

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Shenzhen Open: 22 - 28 September
How many Grand Slams will Murray win in his career?
1-2
3-5
6-8
9+