An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

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An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Tue 14 Oct 2014, 11:15 am

First topic message reminder :

As this year enters its final few months it has been surely Andy's worst season since he became a real contender in the sport. Only one title and that was only an ATP250 and alarming losses in alarming circumstances has seen Andy slip out of the top ten in the world and facing an uphill battle to reach London for the World Finals at the end of the season. His inconsistency and low confidence is a concern and I am left to muse that Andy may never recover former glories of slam wins so find myself assessing where he now stands in the list of tennis greats.

Well he has won two slams, an Olympic Gold medal and do believe he is one of only ten men in the Open Era to have reached each slam semi-finals at least twice. He has won 30 career title (two of which are slams) and that puts him alongside the likes of Lleyton Hewitt (30 titles 2 slams) and Goran Ivanisevic (31 titles 1 slam).

If this is the beginning of the end then at least Andy can hold claim to breaking the male British slam singles hoodoo and become the best player this country has produced since Fred Perry. You can't help but feel he has under-achieved but would put that down to mental flaws and if he had directed his strengths into more positive areas more could have been achieved.

I do hope I am proven wrong by the way but I don't like the signs.


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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 4:23 pm

summertimeblues does the same apply then when Federer is labelled best of all-time by commentators, or Nadal as greatest clay-courter or Novak as great returner for example?
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Danny_1982 on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 4:48 pm

SB - I am never 'itching' to use an ex pros opinion to back up my own. I said when I first used them that I don't like using them, but the claims about Andy were being treated with such distain by some that it felt appropriate.

I don't think I am being naive, and I don't think I need to consider anything before commenting. A lot of forum bods think they know better than ex pros, myself included at times. The fact that Mac is exaggerating as he's a salesman suites your argument on Murray, of course. I'm sure that's just a coincidence. Wink

I am only playing though. You are fully entitled to your view of course, and I respect it. My advice would be to not offer condescending advice though... Lol. Sorry, I sound a bit stroppy but I am genuinely kidding. We just disagree and there's no problem with that. Hug

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 5:01 pm

Like I said it would be totally wrong to accuse every commentator, ex-pro or pundit of mere embellishment of facts in a bid to bum up the event or be biased. Some will but some will offer a genuine opinion. Now those that credit Andy with a great return whether it is from a biased viewpoint would still be accurate. The Bleacher Report has Murray in the top two so you see even views people may think is pure bias can still be correct.


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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 5:27 pm

An Oxymoron in life:

"Murray holds serve comfortably yet again"
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Tennisfan on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 5:51 pm

Congratulations to Andy for winning his 30th tournament title. clap

Nothing to do with hype, or media bias, or ex-pro's opinions. Just a fact.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by summerblues on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 6:42 pm

As I said I do not want to drag this further so just a couple of responses that I think I owe you:

CC: not quite sure what you are asking. If someone in the media says Fed is the best I am not going to use it as an argument in his favor for exactly the same reasons as apply to Andy.

Danny: apologies if I sounded condescending. Obviously I disagree quite strongly with the way you guys see it but presumably it all looks symmetric from your end. Happy to agree to disagree.


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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 7:03 pm

Well if you leave out commentators/pundits/ ex-pro remarks then fair enough but facts don't lie do they? Stats have Murray high up (very high) in list of great returners so that backs up what commentators or pundits say so you see they are not all on a mission to bum up Murray or any player but offering a valid opinion.

Thanks for the response anyway and I feel we should return this thread to matters of whether Andy's epitaph is already written.
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 7:50 pm

Josiah Maiestas wrote:An Oxymoron in life:

"Murray holds serve comfortably yet again"


Alternatively;-

"Murray failed to break serve throughout the match"

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Danny_1982 on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 7:56 pm

SB - OK

With Andy, you could put together a highlight reel of today's match that would convince you he's as good as he's ever been. But you could also do one that would make you think he's outside the world top 40.

And it's all around the serve. As he screamed at his corner an event the other week "you've destroyed my serve. Destroyed it!" Is he referring to his surgery? Training methods? Technical changes? God knows, but he's whilst he hits the odd bomb he is backing his serve up worse than he has in years.

But then after all the inconsistency of today's performance, he finds a way with grit mixed with some great play. And now I'm starting to think that with a couple of decent tournies, winning a few matches at the 02, a rest and then an intense training block in Miami... Perhaps he could be a contender in Melbourne.

Damn you, hope!

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 7:56 pm

Murray has a right to be classed in the Top 5, simply because there are a lot of stats to back this up and he has a very good hand eye co-ordination, meaning he reacts to the ball slightly better than most of his peers

Let's be honest is serve is one of the worst of any player to win 30 or more titles - so something special has to make up for that, in order to have several Masters and a couple of slams

I've watched the game since the 70's and think that only Agassi and Connors were obviously better. Significantly, these two would never be in a discussion about best servers either!!

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 8:00 pm

This is all good stuff, a great debate and all very respectful. Heres a question. If Murray doesnt win slams again but still picks up some masters and stays in top ten, would that still be considered a success?

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 8:03 pm

Danny_1982 wrote:SB - OK

With Andy, you could put together a highlight reel of today's match that would convince you he's as good as he's ever been. But you could also do one that would make you think he's outside the world top 40.

And it's all around the serve. As he screamed at his corner an event the other week "you've destroyed my serve. Destroyed it!" Is he referring to his surgery? Training methods? Technical changes? God knows, but he's whilst he hits the odd bomb he is backing his serve up worse than he has in years.

But then after all the inconsistency of today's performance, he finds a way with grit mixed with some great play. And now I'm starting to think that with a couple of decent tournies, winning a few matches at the 02, a rest and then an intense training block in Miami... Perhaps he could be a contender in Melbourne.

Damn you, hope!


Agreed. But I think the actual serve is better than it's been in a while and presuming his coaching team are insisting on the change, they need to keep on at him

Andy's serve was terrible even in his first slam win. Christ knows how many breaks him and Nole had!! I've maintained for years, that his game is based on how well he's returning, if it's good he's got the 'feel' and this gives him the mental boost and then everything else improves around it. Rarely does he win a match without breaking at least three times - others often rely on a tie break. He often gets a break and doesn't win, i.e. it's rare he doesn't break serve in a match. Hence having a spell of consistent serving has always been just a bonus

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 8:08 pm

temporary21 wrote:This is all good stuff, a great debate and all very respectful. Heres a question. If Murray doesnt win slams again but still picks up some masters and stays in top ten, would that still be considered a success?

For me, he could retire now and it's a success. I only get annoyed with him, when he tamely loses (i.e. Dimi at Wimbledon)

I've no idea what else he will do. The last few weeks have been interesting, becasue he's more of less proved himself to the best of the rest.

This has been a great opportunity for the next era to spank his backside, show him he's not only behind the Top 3 but them as well

He seems to have relished the challenge and in doing so has got some of his mental toughness back (I've often wondered why he didn't play more of the lesser tournies, particularly on Clay)

Plus he still has the game - so who knows

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by temporary21 on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 8:10 pm

I would agree that Murrays game hinges a lot on the return. He gets broken a lot more than the elites, and as such has to break more to compensate. When his serve is on, he can look like running people over with ease as a result. Feds the opposite, he only needs one break a set because hes a master of keeping his serve in check, but hes not the serial breaker the others are

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by summerblues on Sun 19 Oct 2014, 11:43 pm

temporary21 wrote:This is all good stuff, a great debate and all very respectful. Heres a question. If Murray doesnt win slams again but still picks up some masters and stays in top ten, would that still be considered a success?
I think his overall career will have been quite successful regardless of what he does from here.  He won two slams, including Wimbledon, and a host of other tournaments, and has been ranked consistently high for a number of years.

If you are specifically asking in terms of the portion of his career from now on, I imagine he would be unhappy if that is all he does.  I would expect from where he is he will want to win slams or get to #1.  If he does neither of those, he will view this portion of his career as adding little to his resume.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by It Was Only A Djoke on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 5:01 am

banbrotam wrote:
Danny_1982 wrote:SB - OK

With Andy, you could put together a highlight reel of today's match that would convince you he's as good as he's ever been. But you could also do one that would make you think he's outside the world top 40.

And it's all around the serve. As he screamed at his corner an event the other week "you've destroyed my serve. Destroyed it!" Is he referring to his surgery? Training methods? Technical changes? God knows, but he's whilst he hits the odd bomb he is backing his serve up worse than he has in years.

But then after all the inconsistency of today's performance, he finds a way with grit mixed with some great play. And now I'm starting to think that with a couple of decent tournies, winning a few matches at the 02, a rest and then an intense training block in Miami... Perhaps he could be a contender in Melbourne.

Damn you, hope!


Agreed. But I think the actual serve is better than it's been in a while and presuming his coaching team are insisting on the change, they need to keep on at him

Andy's serve was terrible even in his first slam win. Christ knows how many breaks him and Nole had!! I've maintained for years, that his game is based on how well he's returning, if it's good he's got the 'feel' and this gives him the mental boost and then everything else improves around it. Rarely does he win a match without breaking at least three times - others often rely on a tie break. He often gets a break and doesn't win, i.e. it's rare he doesn't break serve in a match. Hence having a spell of consistent serving has always been just a bonus

Absolutely agree. His serve is all or bust, and his second serve is a middle-of-the-box monster,.

Addressing the earlier question, his career would hardly be called a failure after winning Wimbledon, especially, but his talent demands at least 2 more slams imo; this is especially the case as Federer is past his best and Nadal is busy messing around with the random excuse generator. As such, his main competition will be the Djoker and the up-and-comers, namely Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov and Cilic, realistically. Now, out of those, I feel he will cope well with Raonic, Dimitrov and maybe Cilic, due to his ability to neutralize their serves, and athelticism forcing them to over hit, though Nishikori and Djokovic are both devastating against the second serve, and have the capacity to control the points often enough over 5 sets to cause great problems to Murray.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 10:38 am

Novak's a problem, becasue he's another who reacts well to having his serve broke. Both these players almost take it as a given they'll lose serve at some time when they play each other

Great to see Nisikori getting the respect he deserved!! I got laughed at a couple of years ago when I said I thought he'd be the best or equal of the youngsters - but I still think with all these players once Murray gets into their service game their heads go down a little

If we have the Murray at the end of the second and third sets yesterday - then it's feasible that he and Novak could (at last!!) dominate.

If it's the version that we saw for those three lost games on the trot in the final set, then let's just say he's had a career and move on Wink

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 1:55 pm

SB - do you have a link to that quote from Nicklaus? It seems unlikely to me that he would have said he would be surprised if Rory doesn't pass his total. Most of the quotes I can see from him are that Rory "could" win 15-20 majors. That sounds like a fair assessment of a guy with 4 majors by the age of 25.

I would also be intrigued to know why it is hyping up the game for Mc to say Rafa is the best volleyer on tour - bearing in mind how infrequently Rafa goes to the net. If he just trying to sell tennis then he would be saying something like "watch Tsonga, he's the best volleyer on tour" or Fed or some other aggressive player.

Whilst commentators obviously are rarely going to say a match is boring or poor quality and are no doubt prone to artistic licence, my understanding of your position is that they will essentially lie to sell the game. It may be that Mc's comment about Murray being a top 5 returner was not properly considered at the time and, on reflection he might name 6-7 players who he thinks are better. However, I don't believe he would have made such a comment if he did not consider Murray right up there in the all-time list.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by bradman99.94 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 2:07 pm

banbrotam wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:An Oxymoron in life:

"Murray holds serve comfortably yet again"


Alternatively;-

"Murray failed to break serve throughout the match"

Two tongue in cheek remarks of course but just based on his record both can’t be true or you’d have to question just how he ever managed to come out of Futures qualies rather than be the double Grand Slam and Olympic Gold winner that he is….. why not just have a quiet little pop at his forehand or (far more justifiably) his second serve, and feel satisfied at that

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 2:39 pm

The second one is actually a positive for Murray Bradman Wink.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by bradman99.94 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 2:42 pm

Ha Very Happy

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:00 pm

If this is his epitaph then his career will be viewed with mixture. Obviously, after several slam final defeats in the early years you wondered if the slam win would ever come so the fact he now has two is pleasing and can never be taken away. If his career had ended then you'd be happy. However, since then we have seen the normally bullet-proof Novak and Rafa look more vulnerable but with it Murray's fallen away and missed a great opportunity to increase his slam win total. I know injury and coach change hasn't helped but still it must be seen as missed chances.
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by banbrotam on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:31 pm

bradman99.94 wrote:
banbrotam wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:An Oxymoron in life:

"Murray holds serve comfortably yet again"


Alternatively;-

"Murray failed to break serve throughout the match"

Two tongue in cheek remarks of course but just based on his record both can’t be true or you’d have to question just how he ever managed to come out of Futures qualies rather than be the double Grand Slam and Olympic Gold winner that he is….. why not just have a quiet little pop at his forehand or (far more justifiably) his second serve, and feel satisfied at that


Sorry Bradman. Josiah is a bit of an anti-Murray troll, who although is a lot better these days (strangely since he won some slams Whistle ) often likes to have a dig.

My response is that, whilst Josiah has a point - it's jsut as valid to point out that Andy rarely fails to break serve in a match, i.e. a fact that shows his remarkable talent and counters the rather miserable comment from young Josiah Very Happy

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by DirectView2 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:33 pm

CaledonianCraig wrote:If this is his epitaph then his career will be viewed with mixture. Obviously, after several slam final defeats in the early years you wondered if the slam win would ever come so the fact he now has two is pleasing and can never be taken away. If his career had ended then you'd be happy. However, since then we have seen the normally bullet-proof Novak and Rafa look more vulnerable but with it Murray's fallen away and missed a great opportunity to increase his slam win total. I know injury and coach change hasn't helped but still it must be seen as missed chances.

I see your point, on the other hand I would say there are many players like Cilic, Stan etc,.. failed to seize their chances in the past years and were a bit unlucky, Cilic has beaten Murray in USO in the past and only to be downed by Del Po in the next match which he was leading by a set and break to lose.

Yes had Murray lost to Cilic or kei on USO in my view its more acceptable and won't put down as a missed opportunity , for me Murray seized the opportunity brilliantly on USO 2012 and Wimbledon 2013, in USO 2012 there was heavy wind blowing across the court and that did affect Nole's timing [which was advocated by many in the forum already] and in Wimbledon 2013 a tired Nole appeared in the finals after a marathon with Del Potro in the semi's and on both occasion Murray seized the opportunity to win.

Murray on his best is a very very good player but certainly not a legend of the game on a whole and I would say may be if he had used his opportunity well he could have snatched 1 more GS which was the finals vs Nole in AO, but unfortunately Nole appeared in prime form and annihilated Andy to submission in that one, so 2 is the exact GS Murray deserve and he rightly holds that number as of now, unless he comes up with a better game plan and finds a way to win GS he deserves only 2.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by HM Murdock on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:38 pm

Ah, 'The Best Ever Returner Of Serve™'... a category where I think the pundits probably have it about right.

Connors, Agassi and Djokovic are the top three.

Murray not far off that level.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by DirectView2 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:41 pm

HM Murdoch wrote:Ah, 'The Best Ever Returner Of Serve™'... a category where I think the pundits probably have it about right.

Connors, Agassi and Djokovic are the top three.

Murray not far off that level.

Murray is certainly a good bet for that list and I personally would add him in that list along with Fed and Rafa. Murray is not recognized in this list mainly due to his lack of achievements overall, if say Murray wins another 8 more Grand slam people would add him to the top of the list on this particular category.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by HM Murdock on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 3:55 pm

DirectView2 wrote:Murray is certainly a good bet for that list and I personally would add him in that list along with Fed and Rafa. Murray is not recognized in this list mainly due to his lack of achievements overall, if say Murray wins another 8 more Grand slam people would add him to the top of the list on this particular category.
If we focus solely on the return of serve 'shot' (as opposed to playing return games), I think Federer is under-rated and Rafa is over-rated.

Federer's blocked serve is incredible, better than Djokovic's. I'd say he is by some distance the best around at dismantling a really big serve a la Isner, Raonic etc.

Rafa's return is pretty good but I think his stats are boosted by the fact that he only needs a return good enough to start the rally from neutral before launching into that forehand.

Murray's return is comparable to Djokovic's but I think Djokovic returns with a more consistent depth. In such small percentages do 'the best' seperate themselves from the merely excellent!

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by DirectView2 on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 4:33 pm

HM Murdoch wrote:
DirectView2 wrote:Murray is certainly a good bet for that list and I personally would add him in that list along with Fed and Rafa. Murray is not recognized in this list mainly due to his lack of achievements overall, if say Murray wins another 8 more Grand slam people would add him to the top of the list on this particular category.
If we focus solely on the return of serve 'shot' (as opposed to playing return games), I think Federer is under-rated and Rafa is over-rated.

Federer's blocked serve is incredible, better than Djokovic's. I'd say he is by some distance the best around at dismantling a really big serve a la Isner, Raonic etc.

Rafa's return is pretty good but I think his stats are boosted by the fact that he only needs a return good enough to start the rally from neutral before launching into that forehand.

Murray's return is comparable to Djokovic's but I think Djokovic returns with a more consistent depth. In such small percentages do 'the best' seperate themselves from the merely excellent!

+1 well said and I agree on all almost everything you wrote above except for a minor change in the last sentence , I feel Murray will deserve the credit for the best returner once his overall achievement falls above standard, till then even if he is as good as say Djokovic is on the "return of serve" department he wouldn't get recognized.

Do you think Nole would have got this global recognition as the best returner of the serve had he not won the 6 slams? that too not removing the two USO semi's win over Fed with his breath taking returns.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by HM Murdock on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 4:52 pm

DirectView2 wrote:Do you think Nole would have got this global recognition as the best returner of the serve had he not won the 6 slams? that too not removing the two USO semi's win over Fed with his breath taking returns.
7 slams. Very Happy

Tough to say.

Ferrer usually appears in the best returner lists, at least among the pool of current players, so a good return will draw attention even if it is not attached to spectacular success.

The players also often name Djokovic as the best returner, which I think is more likely to be based upon their experience of playing him rather than the fact he has a high profile.

There is an element of truth in what you say though.

If you compare Djokovic's famous return against Federer with the match point return that Murray hit v Tsonga at Wimbledon in 2012, they are almost identical shots. Because of the difference in setting though, one is the most talked about shot of the last few years, the other is probably forgotten by most people.

But I'd say that the setting is a key part of what differentiates the best players - producing the best shots at the biggest moments. I've lost track of the number of times in recent years that Federer has survived a mediocre/poor performance by producing a moment of magic at a key moment.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Mon 20 Oct 2014, 5:14 pm

HM Murdoch wrote:
DirectView2 wrote:Murray is certainly a good bet for that list and I personally would add him in that list along with Fed and Rafa. Murray is not recognized in this list mainly due to his lack of achievements overall, if say Murray wins another 8 more Grand slam people would add him to the top of the list on this particular category.
If we focus solely on the return of serve 'shot' (as opposed to playing return games), I think Federer is under-rated and Rafa is over-rated.

Federer's blocked serve is incredible, better than Djokovic's. I'd say he is by some distance the best around at dismantling a really big serve a la Isner, Raonic etc.

Rafa's return is pretty good but I think his stats are boosted by the fact that he only needs a return good enough to start the rally from neutral before launching into that forehand.

Murray's return is comparable to Djokovic's but I think Djokovic returns with a more consistent depth. In such small percentages do 'the best' seperate themselves from the merely excellent!

I haven't done any analysis of it but I think Murray leads Djoker on every surface on return of first serve points won, which I would view as the best measure of who has the best out and out return.

I personally would have a list of four players clear at the top (Connors, Agassi, Novak and Andy). I would have Andy 3rd ahead of Connors but I confess I only saw Connors after he was 33+. The second tier would then be guys like Hewitt, Chang and Nadal - maybe Fed but I actually think he is a level down from that (still obviously very very good but I think it is the weakest part of his game - compensated for by the fact the rest of his game is insanely strong).

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 1:08 pm

I am not so much writing Andy off just yet, but I think what is happening in the game is a mix bag of sorts. You have Nadal who by all accounts is injured, but I would not be surprised at another Lazarus 3.0 return next year. Djokovic in a bit of a quandry in terms of focus more than anything else. The year hasn't been a total write off, just given the lapses before this year he experienced post 2011 without many distractions and the impending joy of fatherhood will be a real test to his focus going into 2015. Federer is certainly enjoying a good year, despite being Slamless I think he would've bitten your hand off if you offered him the no.2 ranking at the start of the year especially given where he was end of 2013 and also given what that would mean for him going into the AO next year.

As for Murray. Like any player around the same ability as him, it's difficult to take your game to next level, more so at his age now. It's about making the right decisions within your limits. Many fans will acknowledge over the years the headbanging for him to put some ummpphh on that second serve. What does he do? Works on the fitness element of his game and that decision can't really be criticised given the success it resulted in. The issue with Andy is that fitness is one dimensional. It will take you so far, before it is just a case of maintenance and nothing else. Look at Federer. Developed an all court game when the baseline game passed him by with a new breed of baseliner that not only can hit harder for longer by retrieve for longer. He rounded his game off to remain competitive and really it is only 2 players that are above his current level. Nadal what did he do when US Open success elluded him? Beef up the serve. Hasn't stuck with it since, but made the adjustment. Djokovic. When the baseline game was failing him, bought in a proven winner and worked on his net play. Andy for all his faults, could if he wanted to hit his FH with purpose and could probably up the second serve. We all know on the practice courts that players do things we don't see in a match situation, but players won't take a risk they are not comfortable with. With Murray he is risk adverse to the max. It's about protecting weaknesses.

Tennis players are just like any other athlete. Focus more on what you do so well compared with what you don't do so well. Limitation. Andy like the players before him and long after him are constrained by limits. Andy will never address the second serve or FH like Federer never addressed his BH like Nadal and Djokovic never addressing the risk adverse element of their games. For every weakness a player has, there is someone that can get through that. No player is invincible. I loved Andy's variation in the early days, but it is not without weakness. Big hitting risk-free players could hit through Andy all day if their game was on. His GS results in 2009 illustrated that when he was picked off by big hitters Verdasco, Gonzalez, Roddick and Cilic.

What can Andy do when the rest of the field catch up to him? You have made all improvements for success and now that has been figured out by the competition what does one do? More importantly what can one do? New racquet? New coach? New tactics?

2015 we will get a better idea where Andy is with his game and fitness and where he is going with it, if anywhere. I fear that any success for Andy in the big tournaments will rest on the rest of the field having a bad day at the office. Andy mentally looks shot and the post season can't come quick enough.

And as for the comments on "Taking ex-pro's views on current players seriously and what have you." Listen, as far as I am aware no-one on this forum is a current or former tennis pro. No-one on this forum is questioned on the spot by a microphone or studio to my knowledge about the game and current pro's. So on that basis when us keyboard warriors give opinions and views we have the luxury of not only being able to have all time to think things through, but also the oportunity to research things before speaking. These guys don't. Yes they can give generic based answers which are all too simplistic. When asked about a specific player, they haven't got access to a limitless encyclopedia of current players that they can make like for like comparisons. So my point? Don't take yourself or views seriously. No-one here actually cares.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 1:46 pm

I think that's too negative LK. I think he is showing promising signs over the last couple of months. Coming back from 5-3 down in the 3rd on Sunday (particularly bearing in mind he had been broken 3 times in a row to get in that position) showed a lot of the old Murray fighting spirit. He also looks far fitter than even a month or so back. I certainly don't think he needs the post-season yet. More tough tennis is the way forward.

I think the signs are promising that 2015 Murray will at least be back to 12-13 level. If he does that, bearing in mind I would say the overall standard has been lower this year, he will be a major threat once again.

2009 seems a bizarre year to choose incidentally to back up your point, particularly bearing in the mind the circumstances of the Nando and Cilic losses. Isn't Murray something like 20-1 against those 2 guys excluding those defeats? Roddick was not a big hitter generally by 2009 and was notably unaggressive in that match as I recall.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 1:53 pm

Isn't it strange to pick 1 set to prove your point about fighting spirit and Old Murray? Swings and Roundabouts I guess.

2 x 250 events are not going to give me a strong indication that his past form is just on horizon. Far from it. Pretty much the same hype that Rafa was done after 2012. So I don't read too much into latter part of the season for an early indication of what is to follow on for the new season.

Roddick not big hitting in 2009 at Wimbledon? Headscratch agree to disagree on that one.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by LuvSports! on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 6:12 pm

Great post LK.
One tiny little thing (it really is minuscule). I'm not sure I buy into the Becker impact 2bh. I honestly think the great test would be against Nadal.
Novak was working on his volleying a lot more even since 2012 and deffo into 2013.
But other than that, kudos.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 7:01 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:Isn't it strange to pick 1 set to prove your point about fighting spirit and Old Murray? Swings and Roundabouts I guess.

2 x 250 events are not going to give me a strong indication that his past form is just on horizon. Far from it. Pretty much the same hype that Rafa was done after 2012. So I don't read too much into latter part of the season for an early indication of what is to follow on for the new season.

Roddick not big hitting in 2009 at Wimbledon? Headscratch agree to disagree on that one.

Well, it was the last set he played so it seems a fairly valid one to focus on. However, it was more an illustration that his recent form seems to be going better and be more focussed now than he was 6 months ago. Of course, he is still nowhere near his best form but I can't agree that his current performances suggest he should pack it in for the year. If he were to win Valencia I think he could move up to 5th in the race. Whilst that's a long way off, he would suddenly be looking at really breathing down Stan's neck for 4th by year end.

As for Roddick, I think most reports will show you that Roddick adopted a very controlled game in that match. He served incredibly but he definitely wasn't gung ho. He had been ultra aggressive in Dubai earlier in that year and got taken apart so decided to alter his approach. My recollection is Murray won more points and hit more winners but Roddick played the big points better. I agree A-Rod was then ultra-aggressive in the final.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by LuvSports! on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 7:17 pm

Roddick didn't play in dubai that year over the whole Israeli player not being allowed to play in the UAE.
Roddick had a very good year that year up to wimby 2bh.
Beat djoko to get to the aus semi's, decent run at the french and wimby final.
Are you thinking of Doha when Murray turned him over in the final?

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Tue 21 Oct 2014, 7:38 pm

Yeah Doha - the one before Oz.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 12:27 pm

The thing is BS with Andy's recent tournaments the 250 events I think he has played 1 top 10 player in those successes. Take Beijing and Shanghai he went out to Djokovic and Ferrer respectively. If we take Andy's form, even up until the US Open last year he was much closer to Djokovic and Federer than he is now and that was even with carrying an injury! From my point of view it is frustrating to think his best result in Slams this year came in his weakest event!

I know my post earlier seemed all doom and gloom, but I am a Murray fan BS and it does hurt a bit to see where he is now. He is mentally zapped. I don't know if it is motivation or just the changes personnel wise coupled with the lay off that has affected him. Change does that.

Like I said when you look at Federer and Djokovic, they have seen that to remain successful you need change. Take Nadal, I would say he is the one player who hasn't evolved. Now shoot me down Nadal fans because I know you will point to the US Open 2010 and the serve, but that wasn't a change that progressed beyond that tournament. His first serve prior to that event averaged around the 109-112mph mark (Just a rough estimate) and during that tournament he was in the high 120's! His first serve now is around 115mph average. I will say why does Nadal need to change? Let's be honest he is the best baseliner of his generation because the same formula has brought him success. Without question there is not a baseliner who can match his game stroke for stroke and often or not it takes a bulldozering performance to beat him. If Andy follows Nadal's path and not look to evolve other parts of his game, he isn't going to win against those 3. It's that simple. His current game is not on par with those 3 even when it is singing.

Federer can hit flat or with topspin. Djokovic can to a lesser extent. Nadal is all topspin and what is Andy? No real heavy topspin, can hit heavy, but doesn't often enough. He was found out early by these 3 and even after the aggression he developed under Lendl has left his game it seems.

For Andy to win another Slam he would need a Wimbledon/US Open like event. Only facing 1 out of the top 3. Anything else is asking the impossible I feel. Hope he proves me wrong, but history tells us he can't.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 12:31 pm

LuvSports! wrote:Great post LK.
One tiny little thing (it really is minuscule). I'm not sure I buy into the Becker impact 2bh. I honestly think the great test would be against Nadal.
Novak was working on his volleying a lot more even since 2012 and deffo into 2013.
But other than that, kudos.

Becker has been in 1 season and already he has won one more Slam than he did last year, so for me I think Becker is making a difference. Yes Novak worked on his volleying, but having someone like Becker in your corner who behind McEnroe and Edberg is one of the greatest volleyers I have seen. That will bring that skill on even further.

Thanks for the praise OK Smile

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Josiah Maiestas on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 1:41 pm

banbrotam wrote:
bradman99.94 wrote:
banbrotam wrote:
Josiah Maiestas wrote:An Oxymoron in life:

"Murray holds serve comfortably yet again"


Alternatively;-

"Murray failed to break serve throughout the match"

Two tongue in cheek remarks of course but just based on his record both can’t be true or you’d have to question just how he ever managed to come out of Futures qualies rather than be the double Grand Slam and Olympic Gold winner that he is….. why not just have a quiet little pop at his forehand or (far more justifiably) his second serve, and feel satisfied at that


Sorry Bradman. Josiah is a bit of an anti-Murray troll, who although is a lot better these days (strangely since he won some slams Whistle ) often likes to have a dig.

My response is that, whilst Josiah has a point - it's jsut as valid to point out that Andy rarely fails to break serve in a match, i.e. a fact that shows his remarkable talent and counters the rather miserable comment from young Josiah Very Happy
His returning doesn't deserve any ridicule so why should I mention it? I'd rather Andy be in the top 8 than Berdych and I'm not really having a dig if it's true, or are you saying his serve (or 2nd serve) is a good shot...

You are right it is harder to troll after he's got 2 slams Run
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by It Must Be Love on Wed 22 Oct 2014, 3:52 pm

Josiah is one of my favourite posters on here, he's the one who came up with the Kneedal name.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 3:14 pm

legendkillarV2 wrote:I am not so much writing Andy off just yet, but I think what is happening in the game is a mix bag of sorts. You have Nadal who by all accounts is injured, but I would not be surprised at another Lazarus 3.0 return next year. Djokovic in a bit of a quandry in terms of focus more than anything else. The year hasn't been a total write off, just given the lapses before this year he experienced post 2011 without many distractions and the impending joy of fatherhood will be a real test to his focus going into 2015. Federer is certainly enjoying a good year, despite being Slamless I think he would've bitten your hand off if you offered him the no.2 ranking at the start of the year especially given where he was end of 2013 and also given what that would mean for him going into the AO next year.

As for Murray. Like any player around the same ability as him, it's difficult to take your game to next level, more so at his age now. It's about making the right decisions within your limits. Many fans will acknowledge over the years the headbanging for him to put some ummpphh on that second serve. What does he do? Works on the fitness element of his game and that decision can't really be criticised given the success it resulted in. The issue with Andy is that fitness is one dimensional. It will take you so far, before it is just a case of maintenance and nothing else. Look at Federer. Developed an all court game when the baseline game passed him by with a new breed of baseliner that not only can hit harder for longer by retrieve for longer. He rounded his game off to remain competitive and really it is only 2 players that are above his current level. Nadal what did he do when US Open success elluded him? Beef up the serve. Hasn't stuck with it since, but made the adjustment. Djokovic. When the baseline game was failing him, bought in a proven winner and worked on his net play. Andy for all his faults, could if he wanted to hit his FH with purpose and could probably up the second serve. We all know on the practice courts that players do things we don't see in a match situation, but players won't take a risk they are not comfortable with. With Murray he is risk adverse to the max. It's about protecting weaknesses.

Tennis players are just like any other athlete. Focus more on what you do so well compared with what you don't do so well. Limitation. Andy like the players before him and long after him are constrained by limits. Andy will never address the second serve or FH like Federer never addressed his BH like Nadal and Djokovic never addressing the risk adverse element of their games. For every weakness a player has, there is someone that can get through that. No player is invincible. I loved Andy's variation in the early days, but it is not without weakness. Big hitting risk-free players could hit through Andy all day if their game was on. His GS results in 2009 illustrated that when he was picked off by big hitters Verdasco, Gonzalez, Roddick and Cilic.

What can Andy do when the rest of the field catch up to him? You have made all improvements for success and now that has been figured out by the competition what does one do? More importantly what can one do? New racquet? New coach? New tactics?

2015 we will get a better idea where Andy is with his game and fitness and where he is going with it, if anywhere. I fear that any success for Andy in the big tournaments will rest on the rest of the field having a bad day at the office. Andy mentally looks shot and the post season can't come quick enough.

And as for the comments on "Taking ex-pro's views on current players seriously and what have you." Listen, as far as I am aware no-one on this forum is a current or former tennis pro. No-one on this forum is questioned on the spot by a microphone or studio to my knowledge about the game and current pro's. So on that basis when us keyboard warriors give opinions and views we have the luxury of not only being able to have all time to think things through, but also the oportunity to research things before speaking. These guys don't. Yes they can give generic based answers which are all too simplistic. When asked about a specific player, they haven't got access to a limitless encyclopedia of current players that they can make like for like comparisons. So my point? Don't take yourself or views seriously. No-one here actually cares.

Good post lk. thumbsup

I must add that I have heard people say it just needs something to click and Murray will switch back on but I never saw Andy as a player like that. It took him years of hard graft and consistently high play to get to where he was at without any major dips like we have seen from him this year. Andy has always been a player whose level of play depends a heck of a lot on his mental state of mind and at the moment (well perhaps not quite now but a few weeks ago) he was rock bottom. He'll need to refind consistency and badly needs a win over a real big gun such as Federer, Nadal or Djokovic to show himself and us that he has still got it. Can he do that? Not until he much improves his consistency. I would say on a brighter note that in recent weeks his hunger seems to be back.
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 3:27 pm

Exactly CC. I can't see it's a simple case of Murray winning a few lower ranked tournaments and then he is back. Andy has always wanted to do well at the Slams. That has always been the attention of his focus. I believe that now conquering that quest, it's left him in the doldrums a bit. Yes there is still the AO and FO to win, but there are other tournaments and I don't think at this moment in time he is in a position to win a Masters event let alone a Slam.

It's positive to see Andy take this stage of the season seriously and really push for a spot at the WTF. I like it. However, that hunger needs to be amplified by about another 90%. Playing that league in India might just take all the steam out of this new found hunger.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 3:45 pm

I do think he has done the right thing entering these 250's though. Prior to them his confidence and consistency had hit absolute zero. Okay they are only 250s but they have helped put a little confidence back on board and rediscover that tournament winning feeling. Also the fact he has the WTF qualification to aim for has helped focus his mind and regain some hunger so things are heading (at least) in the right direction thanks to those 250s. Like you though lk we cannot say Murray is back or anywhere near back until he is back winning Masters or competing toe to toe in Paris for example in the final with one of the top players and beating them.

I suppose the one thing that we can take heart from is that none of the top players just now look as bullet-proof as they once were for one reason or another.
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by The Special Juan on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 10:31 pm

I'm using an infernal iPad so my apologies for any typos or grammatical errors before I begin. The signs over the last month is that Murray's game is on the up. I think his serve is now irreparably damaged so his fans are going to have to deal with more inconsistency and double faults. However, his fitness looks good and the groundless are looking nice. What's a good sign is that he's just starting to beat good players again. Fognini's hardly a barometer of this as he's a waster but he was dealt with handily today. If he can do a job on Ferrer on this court that's a good sign. I don't forecast any problems v Anderson tomorrow due to the court speed but it would be just like him to lose..........
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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 11:57 pm

It's interesting to note that Andy's return stats for 2014 are nearly identical to the 2013 figures. First return points won was 34% in both years, second return points won 55%, break points won 44% and return games won is slightly higher in 2014 (32% to 31%).

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 23 Oct 2014, 11:58 pm

This year's return stats are also exactly the same as his career stats.

As for the serve...

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Born Slippy on Fri 24 Oct 2014, 12:24 am

Not as big a drop as I thought there might be. Figures for each head below are 2014, 2013 and career. Save for the number of aces, they are %s.

Aces per match : 6.0 7.2. 6.9
FS% : 60. 62. 57
FS Points Won : 74. 75. 74
SS Points Won : 51. 52. 52
Break Points Saved : 62. 66. 63.
Service Games Won : 81. 85. 82.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by Guest on Fri 24 Oct 2014, 9:00 am

Well here is a stat BS.

Andy has currently lost 17 matches this year. The most he has lost in a full season is 18. So by my reckoning not to equal that or even surpass it he needs to win Valenica, Paris and the WTF. A very tall order.

Physically I see nothing wrong in his game. Just that to me mentally he isn't at the level he needs to be if he is to win the big events.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

Post by coolpixel on Fri 24 Oct 2014, 10:45 am

no clue about his epitaph, but the man is playing a tournament every week now and going deep in each of those, to qualify for the year ending tournament.

a stupid level of fitness is required to sustain that and also perform well in the YE, and then open the new year with a good showing.

i doubt he can do all three.

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Re: An Early Epitaph for Andy Murray

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