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US Open 2015 R4: Andy Murray vs Kevin Anderson

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On Saturday night Andy recorded his 59th win of 2015, equalling his total wins from the whole of 2014, and moved into the second week of the US Open. After tricky matches in the first and second rounds and dealing with the onset of a head cold, Andy was in need of a convincing, dominant, win and he delivered that against the Brazilian Thomaz Bellucci.

In the fourth round Andy takes on Kevin Anderson, who is enjoying a good run of form having won the ATP 250 tournament in Winston-Salem. After the first three rounds Anderson leads the tournament ace statistics, serving 69 to Andy's 45.

Meanwhile Andy's returning has been stronger than it might appear, with him situated inside the top five of the players still in the draw on both first and second serve return points won - interestingly Djokovic and Federer are not in the tournament top 20 on these statistics.

While Andy has returned well enough to create 52 break points across three matches but has only won 19 of those meaning he has converted 32.5% overall: that is 13.5% less than Andy's average across the surfaces in 2015, and 11.5% less on hard courts alone.

With Anderson serving as well as he is - 67% average first serve percentage and 85% of first serve points won - it goes without saying that Andy's return game needs to be 'on' and he needs to ensure that break point opportunities are not wasted.

The pair last met on the centre court in the final of the ATP 500 tournament at London's Queen's Club. That day Andy had completed his rain delayed semi-final before going on to defeat Anderson in a masterclass of variety and returning. Going into that match much had been made about Anderson's excellent serving all week, but Andy dismantled the tall South African's second serve and left him flailing all over the court.

That was all on a court which is perhaps tailor made for Andy. The fourth round match between Andy and Anderson will take place on what is perhaps the Scotsman's most hated court in the world. The lack of run back being principal amongst his issues with the court, particularly when it comes to returning big serves. But other problems are lack of width around the court, the furnace like conditions and the fact that one corner is slightly sunk. Little wonder the court is set to be demolished.

Knowing his dislike of the court, and remembering all the previous nightmare matches that have taken place on this court, Andy's matches on Armstrong can often be nervy affairs for his fans. Reports are that the court is playing faster than in previous years. Then there is the fact that the temperature is due to be in the 30s and humidity much lower than it was in the first week. This should help both men on serve, but will make returning tougher, and it could be that in these conditions and on this court it may take Andy some time to get a read on the Anderson serve. While he's doing that he'll need to ensure he doesn't leave his second serve vulnerable to attack from Anderson's forehand.

The match is scheduled to be the third match on Armstrong, at approximately 2.30pm local time, 7.30pm BST. The weather is forcast to be clear, with highs of 32 degrees Celsius, and a south westerly breeze of 4mph with gusts of up to 7mph.

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deb
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Thank you atl, I'm hoping it's not a nervy match though !!! I'm still thinking Andy in 3  cmon yeah
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I may be wrong but I think the deal for British TV is that Sky get first pick for live matches as our main broadcaster and then Eurosport can show whatever they aren't showing live. This is why they can then show highlights of Andy matches next day and don't have live coverage of semis or finals.
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Thanks for the info Westie (sorry I hit 'delete' instead of 'edit' doh)

I understand that what there is of the roof on LA helps to cut down on the wind gusting, so that shouldn't be a problem.  Andy should do it but not in straight sets, and I predict 4.
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Thanks for the info Westie (sorry I hit 'delete' instead of 'edit' doh)

I understand that what there is of the roof on LA helps to cut down on the wind gusting, so that shouldn't be a problem.  Andy should do it but not in straight sets, and I predict 4.

Aileen, it is the roof structure on Ashe that has stopped the wind, don't think there is anything roof like on Armstrong. Not worried really about the wind - for understandable reasons Andy sounded a little wistful when he was talking about the wind reduction on Ashe, said something like 'I quite like the wind'.

One thing I did notice was that Armstrong seemed very noisy - the sound coming from the trainline at the end of the site seems to have been amplified somehow.
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Aileen, it is the roof structure on Ashe that has stopped the wind, don't think there is anything roof like on Armstrong. Not worried really about the wind - for understandable reasons Andy sounded a little wistful when he was talking about the wind reduction on Ashe, said something like 'I quite like the wind'.

One thing I did notice was that Armstrong seemed very noisy - the sound coming from the trainline at the end of the site seems to have been amplified somehow.
Thanks ATL.  I just realised my mistake about the roof after I logged off and came back on to correct my post! 
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I'm so glad last night was good for Andy. I was at a wedding in Canada and there was no wifi, and my phone couldn't pick up the live update. Finally a friend from the states called to let me know Andy had won.
Boy another tough match for Andy, Kevin Anderson is not easy to play. Stay focused and fight Andy and come out the winner.
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Least favourite court but I guess they had to put him on there at some time Think

cmonandy



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Thank you atl, I'm hoping it's not a nervy match though !!! I'm still thinking Andy in 3  cmon yeah
Not a nervy match deb when he's playing on his most hated court against an in-form servebot?  Pigs might fly!  Whistle   I'm prepared for a very tense evening.  It was inevitable though that it would be on Armstrong given that the two other matches involve Americans (and also it was v unlikely he'd get away with no matches on it).  Can anyone remember when Andy has played a straightforward easy match on Armstrong?  I can't but then I don't have the memory that many MW members have.  But looking on the bright side my main memory is of the year he won when I think they had to switch to Armstrong at the last minute because the farewell to Roddick match overran.   Not sure who he was playing - Cilic?  Anyway I remember it was a nightmare to begin with but then look what happened    yay
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Glad to see you are in "Pollyanna" mood Ruthie.
Am expecting  nervous one myself due to court and conditions.
Once again thanks to the two stars  of MW!
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Come pn!urraysworld. Positive vibes to Andy
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Thanks for the background info ATL - interesting stuff.

On one point you said:

".....Meanwhile Andy's returning has been stronger than it might appear, with him situated inside the top five of the players still in the draw on both first and second serve return points won - interestingly Djokovic and Federer are not in the tournament top 20 on these statistics."

Is this actually meaningful in that D & F both had much shorter matches and shorter rallies?
(If it is meaningful is good or bad given number of BPs Andy led slip?)




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Thevalley is it points or in fact proportion?   If the former, then I agree it doesn't mean anything and can't see the point of producing such stats.  If proportion then amazing that the joker, usually described as the best returner in the game, isn't even in the top 20.
I've just noticed that Andy will be practising with Halep on Armstrong.  I guess it's  the only way he could get on there before play starts.  A pity Jo couldn't get a slot on Ashe as it's going to be difficult for her playing on it for the first time.
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Regarding the return points won - it is the number of points won over the number of matches played. So I would say that yes time on court may play a part, but it is also clear to see that Andy is returning well enough to create a lot of break points, but his first serve return is letting him down on BPs. That's been a problem for a little while now actually.

Players frequently dig out a big serve to save a BP,  but that doesn't explain the whole problem with Andy's BP conversion at the USO this year.

The event stats tables can be a little misleading during the early rounds because they frequently have players in them who lost early on. For example Borna Coric leads the break point conversion table with 100% converted. But that was one BP in one set in one match. So when looking at the tables I tend to draw a line through those who are out and only look at those who are still in.

After four matches Djokovic now appears in the top 10 players for points won returning first and second serves. So it will be interesting to see where they all stand after all the R4 matches are played.
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thanks for the clarification atl.   Let's hope Andy can get his 1st serve return back to where it used to be.   I think we've seen this in the past though ie when he's focusing on improving a weakness a strength can deteriorate for a period.  But it usually balances out ok in the end.  And it may be he's still not got the balance quite right between offence and defence on ros.
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