Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

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When Andy Murray loses in a Grand Slam Tournament is he usually having

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Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Guest on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 10:15 am

The following data excludes the current tournament (French Open 2016).

So far in Andy Murray's professional career he has entered 40 grand slam singles tournaments and won two of them.  Hence in most grand slam tournaments he ends up at some stage losing.  This poll pertains to your opinion of Murray's performance levels when he loses.

Supplementary Data
Murray has reached the quarter-final stage or better in 25 grand slam tournaments.
Quarter Final Stage (25 times): win percentage 72%
Semi Final Stage (18 times): win percentage 50%
Final State (9 times): win percentage 22%

Thank you.

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by barrystar on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 10:37 am

He has lost 38 matches in slams, and as I see it by and large he has played to his potential when going out, either losing to one of the 'big 3' or bumping into someone better on clay than him or having the tournament of their lives (Tsonga and Verdasco at Aus, Roddick at Wimbledon).  I am not just looking at the particular match, not least because I don't remember them all, but at how far he got into the Tournament too and who was waiting in the later rounds:

a. Every final he has lost (7) was against a better player playing better than him
b. You can't really say that any of the matches he lost between 2005-2008 (9 excluding the USO) was a proper disappointment, including to an 'on fire' Tsonga in R1 of the Australian Open 2008
c. 2-3/4 of his losses in 2009 were explicable - Verdasco & Roddick on fire at the Tournament - although he had his chances against Roddick, Gonzalez better clay court player at the time, Cilic was a disappointment at the USO
d. in 2010 losing to Wawrinka at the USO was disappointing, the rest were explicable
e. in 2011-2013 losing to Wawrinka at the USO 2013 was again disappointing, the rest were him maxing out
f. in 2014-2015 he struggled with injury but did 'OK', yet again the most disappointing loss was probably at the USO 2015 to Anderson
g. 2016 - to form so far.
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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Born Slippy on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 11:08 am

In grand slam finals against the rest of the big 4 he is 2-7 (4 of which were in straight sets and none of which were close). In Masters finals he is 8-6. In Masters events he generally looks the same player in the final. In slams, particularly the early ones, he has either looked a shadow of his usual self or faded badly after two sets.

Yes, he isn't as good as the other guys but the gap is relatively narrow. His record in slam losses to them is, in general, due to him underperforming rather than them simply being better. I don't think Novak, for example, was particularly great in Oz 13, 14 or 16. A competent performance from Andy could be easily seen him grab one or two of those finals.

On the slam finals only I would say:

Under par throughout: US08; Oz10, Oz11, Oz16
Par or slightly above (but faded inexplicably): Oz13, Oz15
Par: Wim12

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by bogbrush on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 11:13 am

All of the above.

Where he's different from some peers is that at his best he will still lose to any of the other top players if they also play at or close to their best.
Of course he can also have an off day, they all do.
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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Guest on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 11:31 am

For me, I haven't yet made my mind up.  

Considering Federer - I always gets the impression Federer gets the best out of himself.  Considering Nadal - I get the impression Nadal plays above himself (on average) to the point of destruction.  Considering Djokovic it varies but I get the impression he normally raises his level.  

With pre-Lendl Murray the impression was that he couldn't handle the occasion (playing below his potential).  During the Lendl era my impression was that he was playing to his potential or above it.  In the post-Lendl period - I am not sure.


Last edited by Nore Staat on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 11:34 am; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by temporary21 on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 11:32 am

On the whole. It takes a legend to throw him out of a slam. Most of his off day losses have come earlier in his career

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 1:53 pm

It's inevitable that average performance level is lower when losing than winning, and I think lower performance level was present in many of his losses to non big players before the semi final.

As to the semi final and final losses to big players, I'd say it's more a case of him playing at his level and losing in most of them.

There is a mental factor where Murray has been overawed or not mentally stable (perhaps not pure nerves) - especially in his first two slam finals - but I don't think this is a major factor overall.

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Mad for Chelsea on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 2:47 pm

Some of the earlier losses can be explained by other factors: the one to Verdasco he was carrying a virus (which eventually saw him retire from Dubai and not play until IW), the one to Cilic was just before he pulled out of the rest of the season with an injured wrist, and watching him return serve that day he was really struggling with his DHBH. Some of them he was below par (Anderson last US), combined with his opponent playing red-hot (Tsonga 08), etc. Usually it's not just one thing...

Having said that, once he gets to semis or better, the only time he's lost to a non Fedalovic player was Wimbledon 09 vs Roddick, which I still think is his most disappointing slam result to date. Which suggests that more often than not in the latter part of slams he's simply losing to a player who's better than him. Did he play to his best in many or most of these? Probably played close to his best in a few (AO 2012 springs to mind immediately) but also, you can sometimes only play as well as your opponent allows you to (think Wimbledon last year).

Ultimately, on average, I think Murray plays pretty close to his potential once he reaches those latter stages, it's just that he's more often than not up against an all-time great, so will lose more than he wins...

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Danny_1982 on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 3:34 pm

Nore Staat wrote:For me, I haven't yet made my mind up.  

Considering Federer - I always gets the impression Federer gets the best out of himself.  Considering Nadal - I get the impression Nadal plays above himself (on average) to the point of destruction.  Considering Djokovic it varies but I get the impression he normally raises his level.  

With pre-Lendl Murray the impression was that he couldn't handle the occasion (playing below his potential).  During the Lendl era my impression was that he was playing to his potential or above it.  In the post-Lendl period - I am not sure.

This is largely my view. The whole was less than the sum of the parts pre-Lendl. The whole was equal to the sum of the parts during Lendl. The whole is now less than the sum again, but not as much as pre-Lendl.

It's not the tennis. His skills and movement can match the best. He just doesn't always implement the most successful strategy to beat the best, and even when he does he struggles to maintain it. There are at least 3 occasions in recent years where he has gone shot for shot with Novak for 2-3 hours, then just horribly faded.

The sustained mental intensity Lendl brought is now often drained away in chuntering to his own box. Or it was under Mauresmo anyway.  Not been so bad since she left. To be fair he's got himself out of some holes by firing himself up at RG.

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by banbrotam on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 6:18 pm

barrystar wrote:
c. 2-3/4 of his losses in 2009 were explicable - Verdasco & Roddick on fire at the Tournament - although he had his chances against Roddick, Gonzalez better clay court player at the time, Cilic was a disappointment at the USO
d. in 2010 losing to Wawrinka at the USO was disappointing, the rest were explicable
e. in 2011-2013 losing to Wawrinka at the USO 2013 was again disappointing, the rest were him maxing out
f. in 2014-2015 he struggled with injury but did 'OK', yet again the most disappointing loss was probably at the USO 2015 to Anderson
g. 2016 - to form so far.


The Verdasco loss could be put down to a virus, that resulted in him ultimately pulling out of the Davis Cup and getting some hassle for it. Later that year he injured his wrist at the US Open, gamely played on - then played the Davis Cup (probably because of the hassle from missing it before) and then made it worse, which effectively meant he was out for the year (came back, but looked rusty at the Paris Masters, where Stepanek beat him and the O2)

He was almost certainly affected at the 2013 US Open, due to his back issues

I mention this, because we had about ten pages about what Raonic would have done to Murray and how lucky the Scot was, after the Canadian's injury time out at the Aus earlier this year. Sometimes we forget that the likes of Roger and Andy, carry injuries etc and don't run for the trainer every time

His losses to Wawrinka and Anderson, were for me his only disappointing slam results

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by banbrotam on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 6:23 pm

Danny_1982 wrote:
Nore Staat wrote:For me, I haven't yet made my mind up.  

Considering Federer - I always gets the impression Federer gets the best out of himself.  Considering Nadal - I get the impression Nadal plays above himself (on average) to the point of destruction.  Considering Djokovic it varies but I get the impression he normally raises his level.  

With pre-Lendl Murray the impression was that he couldn't handle the occasion (playing below his potential).  During the Lendl era my impression was that he was playing to his potential or above it.  In the post-Lendl period - I am not sure.

This is largely my view. The whole was less than the sum of the parts pre-Lendl. The whole was equal to the sum of the parts during Lendl. The whole is now less than the sum again, but not as much as pre-Lendl.

It's not the tennis. His skills and movement can match the best. He just doesn't always implement the most successful strategy to beat the best, and even when he does he struggles to maintain it. There are at least 3 occasions in recent years where he has gone shot for shot with Novak for 2-3 hours, then just horribly faded.

The sustained mental intensity Lendl brought is now often drained away in chuntering to his own box. Or it was under Mauresmo anyway.  Not been so bad since she left. To be fair he's got himself out of some holes by firing himself up at RG.


I agree with all this. But it's a myth to think that the chuntering makes any difference. He did just the same during the 4th set of the US Open, before winning the 5th

I know here on these boards, there's a general indifference to his on court behaviour - but I'm convinced that others use it as a stick to beat him with, simply because they don't like it and hence make the facts fit the chuntering.

Yesterday after winning something like 9 out of 10 games, he was still chastising himself etc. He wouldn't get to these finals, never mind having a chance of winning them if he didn't do what he has to do

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 6:47 pm

Mad for Chelsea wrote:

Having said that, once he gets to semis or better, the only time he's lost to a non Fedalovic player was Wimbledon 09 vs Roddick, which I still think is his most disappointing slam result to date.
Ultimately, on average, I think Murray plays pretty close to his potential once he reaches those latter stages, it's just that he's more often than not up against an all-time great, so will lose more than he wins...

When he played Roddick he was the favourite, and was probably playing at a higher level those days than Roddick. However it was Roddick's best slam (OK he won the US Open and never Wimbledon, but probably just chance and a more open draw at the 2003 US Open than he ever had at Wimbledon in his prime) and by 2009 he had huge experience and pedigree at the event. He was already a bit of an old timer, and in those days the old timers even when they fell down in the rankings and couldn't sustain the consistency like Ferrer, Stan and Rog apparently can today, could turn up at a slam and produce their best old form from time to time, I remember Jim Courier playing quite well against Tim Henman and Rusedski at Wimbledon and the Davis Cup, even though his ranking was nowhere. Roddick was probably only about 28 or 29 then, but still, that was past peak in those days.

I think Roddick played extremely well on the day - probably one of the best 5 or 10 performances of his entire career - and Murray probably wasn't that bad. It was an underwhelming, not perfectly mentally focused performance (unlike Roddick who was keyed in on the day, more Borg than brat) but not that different to his previous big slam matches.

Perhaps it was a poor result as you say, so I am not disagreeing with you, but performance wise, you have to give Roddick the credit.

if anything though, this supports the overall point you are making.

Anyway, it was a different Murray in slams from about 2011 and 2012 onwards though. From around 2011 onwards he didn't throw in the poor slam defeats much anymore, there was a better slam focus. Even though he lost 1-2 slam finals or semis against big 4 around that time he was getting closer and I remember him getting to something like 5-5 against Djokovic in the final set, perhaps at the 2012 Australian Open, and I think that was a clear improvement, much closer than his previous efforts in big matches. So, he was getting closer rather than suddenly and unexpectedly breaking through with his US Open slam win.


Last edited by Henman Bill on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 6:57 pm; edited 1 time in total

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by Henman Bill on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 6:54 pm

Hi Banbro, yes I remember the BBC and perhaps other media from 2009 to 2011 going on and about how Murray would never win a slam if he didn't cut out the chuntering, and then he just chuntered his way to the US open title (perhaps with more than just one set featuring chuntering as I recall) and the media just ignored their previous wrong predictions.

Why did Murray make the grade to winning slams. What improved? Yes the mental was a factor, and perhaps the second serve seemed to be relatively less sh1t for a while (before regressing) but the number one reason was just the forehand got better.

In 2011 people were hitting more than 50% of shots to his forehand at times, they were actually targeting his forehand. I think that's what held him back.  Going through 2011 and into 2012 especially it got bigger, stronger, more solid, less errors and players changing and started hitting over 50% to his backhand.

Some of his slam defeats, Gonzalez for instance, were to people with notably more superior or at least more powerful forehands.

By 2011 the volleys and serve dominance had gone from the game and it was all about long rallies. The people winning slams were strong on both sides. Murray had to get strong on both sides. He made it so his weakest side was as good as Rafa or Federer's weakest side.

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Re: Andy Murray, Grand Slam Tournaments and Performance Levels

Post by CaledonianCraig on Thu 02 Jun 2016, 7:53 pm

banbrotam wrote:
His losses to Wawrinka and Anderson, were for me his only disappointing slam results

The Dimitrov loss was a very sore one to take as well. It is the only slam defeat (I can recall) that I'd say was tame - very tame. I can't remember but it may have been that match that brought about my epitaph thread.
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