The courts in Rio were incredibly slow, and he had no time to really acclimatise to the courts in Cinci. I wouldn't worry too much just yet.
He had as much time to acclimatise to the courts in Cincy as he would usually have, had he gone deep in Canada. Slow courts don't really explain playing that far back that much. It isn't something that suddenly happened in Rio either. There are always going to be sections of matches where the opponent pushes Andy back, but there have been big chunks of matches where this has happened going back to the clay season, matches where he's flirted with disaster and then clawed himself through on willpower. That's just going to wear him down more than anything else. Then we see him in finals where he hasn't got the legs to attack the very best players over best of five.
Fergus DOES always argue with Andy. Whenever I see him in the chair I know there will be at least one problem during the match. And why is he still around after the USO scandal?
Fergus does it with everyone to be fair, he isn't the best umpire on tour by any means, but he has taken note of a few of Andy's past complaints about giving players a heads up if they are getting close to the time limit before going for a time violation with no warning. Andy argues back about stuff because that is what he does - this year with more different umpires more than before I think, seems like he's had on court 'spats' since March with at least Layhani, Dumusois x2, Ramos, and Murphy. I've said before that I think Andy has an 'umpire issue' this year, going back to the AO final. Like Ruthie, I wish Andy wouldn't let these things get to him, but at the same time I've seen some very bad umpiring this year.
Sorry, this is rather long-winded and doesn't really address the issue, ATL, except that I think over a tournament like the US Open Andy will in fact get his game on track
I do understand what you're saying. My concerns go back quite far this season. If we're concerned about Andy getting burned out, or fatigued, or injured, one of the factors at play there is how he's playing. If he's playing deep behind the baseline, playing long defensive points, then that is going to take its toll.
It isn't that I'm critising Andy for the Cincy final result - I don't care that much about it. He's had a great summer - 7 finals in the last 7 tournaments is a fantastic for Andy. My concern really is if he continues to play long points, that deep, that defensively, then he won't be able to keep up the amazing level of consistency he's displayed of late, and he might get properly injured. That's my concern.
I hope you're not right that Andy has reverted to playing further back as a modus vivendi. Certainly last night the Sky comms explicitly said it was Cilic pushing him back behind the line rather than Andy choosing to be there.
I hope I'm wrong as well Ruthie. After all the work Andy put into improving his court position, I'd hate for him to go backwards.