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Respect for Andy well overdue

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Post by newballs Mon 30 Nov 2015, 1:18 am

I got talking to some muppet in the pub last night who still could not get over that Argentinian shirt incident.

Honestly some people need to get out more. Point being I too have been very vocal in my criticism of Andy for being moody and rather negative in his tennis at times. All that is forgiven though. He single handily (OK he needed Jamie's help vin the doubles) won the whole thing for GB tennis and let his slam ambitions fall by the wayside at times.

Fair play Andy and respect for all your hard work.

See if I can do it it's about time all those delusional English soccer fans did the same. I'm not holding my breath on this one though as they probably don't possess the wherewithal to do so.

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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 30 Nov 2015, 2:18 am

It was a Paraguay shirt which was all stage managed by the press.

I find it is the 'anyone but England' remark they can't get over and have got tired trying to explain the full facts. Those were that prior to the 2006 Wimbledon tournament getting underway the players were at SW17 for press conferences. Tim Henman and  a Daily Mail correspondent  (prior to the conference getting underway) were ribbing Murray about Scotland not qualifying for the World Cup and saying he'did have a boring summer etc because of it. Now when the press conference got underway the same Daily Mail correspondent stuck the knife in again asking Andy who he'd be supporting at the World Cup and so when you are getting the Mickey taking out of you Andy did what anyone would and with tongue in cheek said: 'Anyone but England.'

The remark was purely in banter but many threw a hissy fit and he got labelled as anti-English. Dig around on the Internet and I am sure you will find Henman and the Daily Mail correspondent confirm this as what happened.

I am certain (look on BBC remarks page today on the match report) many still use this pathetic excuse as a reason to hate Murray and I am sure they always will. However, I prefer to look to the respect he gets from his fellow players and other respected figures outside of the sport to know how much he is valued.
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Post by newballs Mon 30 Nov 2015, 7:53 am

Thanks CC. For some reason I had in the back of my mind Argentina and not Paraguay.

Real sports fans though will all see his performances in the Dais Cup for what they really were. He has (in my opinion) really come of age and might just be able to do a Djokovic and take his tennis to new levels through his Davis Cup experience. I certainly hope so.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 30 Nov 2015, 2:11 pm

He did say anyone but England but there is not evidence he wore or bought a Paraguay shirt and I think that was made up by a tabloid, possibly the Daily Mail.


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Post by CaledonianCraig Mon 30 Nov 2015, 2:27 pm

Henman Bill wrote:He did say anyone but England but there is not evidence he wore or bought a Paraguay shirt and I think that was made up by a tabloid, possibly the Daily Mail.


I think you may be correct on the latter Henman.
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Post by lags72 Mon 30 Nov 2015, 2:49 pm

Andy has been 'doing the media rounds' this morning, with several interviews in the wake of yesterday's great achievement. My full respect & congrats to him - and indeed the entire GB team - once again clap

One question asked was whether he feels this latest success will act as a spur for more good things in his 'normal' Tour career. He answered in the affirmative, as you would rightly expect him to. But he also went on to say that, at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin

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Post by Born Slippy Mon 30 Nov 2015, 3:14 pm

Well, Ferrer still seems to be very close to his level of 5 years ago. Players who steer clear of injuries and retain their drive seem to get to at least 32-33 nowadays with minimal decline.

Andy obviously has the ongoing problem with the back he has to manage but I would have thought at least 4 more seasons as a contender is realistic if he can manage that.

Of course, if he has a couple more seasons without any more slams then he may call it a day earlier - its all about maximising the slams from now on - and getting an amount which more accurately reflects his true standing in the game.

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Post by dummy_half Mon 30 Nov 2015, 3:36 pm

I was having a look at the year end top 100 earlier - iirc, 33 of them are now 30+, with a good few of the guys near the top of the game being well above that: 5 of the top 32 are 32 or older, with Dr Ivo at 36 being the oldest of the lot.

As we have discussed before, the issue is 2 fold - how long can Andy (and Djoko, Nadal, Fed, Stan) play to a very high level, and how soon will any of the youngsters supplant them at the uppermost end of things?

Given that Nishi is the only member of the top 10 significantly younger than Andy (i.e. I don't think the fortnight's difference in age between Murray and Djoko is significant), it's clear there isn't a huge pool of talent in mid career waiting to take the places of the big 4, and the likes of Thiem, Kyrgios etc still have some developing to do.

I'm not sure 5 or 6 years at the very top is realistic (so to 33 or 34 years old), given that Andy has quite a lot of miles on the clock and a playing style that does seem quite tough on his body, but I can see him staying well in contention for the next 3 or 4 years and then gradually slide away. It will be interesting to see whether he changes his playing style a bit, to shorten points and rely more on his shot making skills, as he starts to lose a little of his phenomenal court coverage speed.

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Post by sirfredperry Mon 30 Nov 2015, 4:34 pm

Dummy-Half and others. Of course, seeing just how long the youngest three of the big four can carry on will be one of the most interesting things about tennis over the next few years.
  You would have thought the physical nature of the tour would have meant the top 100 growing younger, not older. But we have the likes of Anderson and Isner having their best-ever seasons and as for that perpetual Duracell Bunny, David Ferrer, well he seems tireless as ever.
  One thing to consider is that Djoko Rafa and Murray started so early - winning stuff in their teens - that their slowing down could come sooner rather than later. Conversely, will the comparatively slow-developers - Dimi, Nishi - be fresher for the challenges ahead having not got burnt out thru early success?

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2015, 5:41 pm

newballs wrote:I got talking to some muppet in the pub last night who still could not get over that Argentinian shirt incident. ...
The old fictitious muppet in the bar to start a new thread controversy chestnut.  warning

I seem to recall Andy Murray winning BBC SPOT in 2013.

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Post by Guest Mon 30 Nov 2015, 6:22 pm

The whole ABE comment has to be water under the bridge by now. I just smirk at those who continue to recite it.

I think Andy on the whole does have a lot of respect afforded to him. Like with any legacy, his will be measured and appreciated in time.

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Post by Henman Bill Mon 30 Nov 2015, 11:50 pm

I have to say I'd long forgotten about the 2006 controversy and it hasn't crossed my mind for years until I saw this thread.

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Post by dummy_half Tue 01 Dec 2015, 12:31 am

sir fred

I certainly believe that 'miles on the clock' are more significant than age per se. That means a combination of mental strength (burn-out), and ability to maintain physical condition both through time generally and in coming back from injuries in particular.

My suspicion is that Rafa will be the first to go - has long-standing knee and back issues and a style that doesn't allow him to compensate for a decline in physical conditioning as well as some of the others.

Murray a bit in between - chronic knee and ankle issues that he's had to manage throughout his career must mean there's some wear and tear building up. Also, I think Andy is the one who has the least 'natural' body - Nadal was always reasonably muscular, Djoko always quite slight, but Murray has tried to develop a Nadal-esque body on a Djokovic type frame, and I don't think that type of conditioning is as sustainable as being more the shape and size you are meant to be.

Djokovic is just a physical phenomenon - his speed and litheness is incredible, and for a player that plays that way to be as injury free as he has been defies logic.

I still can't get over the fact that there is no-one younger than Djokovic that has won a Masters Series event (although there have been two younger GS winners - Del Potro and Cilic), and that this year was the 9th consecutive year Novak has been the youngest winner of an MS100 event.

Of course, if we were writing this at the end of 1969, we'd have been asking how much longer Laver would dominate - the answer was not time at all, and that he would not win another GS title. Things can change quite quickly, but at the moment I don't see it happening over the next year or so - pretty sure Djokovic and Murray will be competing for almost all the major titles until at least the end of 2017.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Dec 2015, 9:02 am

Yes, the age thing with the Masters events is a staggering statistic. It's not as if the younger players are winning any of the minor tournaments, either. Ferrer snapped up five titles this year and the 30-somethings had a terrific year in terms of tournament victories.

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Post by Guest Tue 01 Dec 2015, 9:44 am

dummy_half wrote:sir fred

I certainly believe that 'miles on the clock' are more significant than age per se. That means a combination of mental strength (burn-out), and ability to maintain physical condition both through time generally and in coming back from injuries in particular.

My suspicion is that Rafa will be the first to go - has long-standing knee and back issues and a style that doesn't allow him to compensate for a decline in physical conditioning as well as some of the others.

Murray a bit in between - chronic knee and ankle issues that he's had to manage throughout his career must mean there's some wear and tear building up. Also, I think Andy is the one who has the least 'natural' body - Nadal was always reasonably muscular, Djoko always quite slight, but Murray has tried to develop a Nadal-esque body on a Djokovic type frame, and I don't think that type of conditioning is as sustainable as being more the shape and size you are meant to be.

Djokovic is just a physical phenomenon - his speed and litheness is incredible, and for a player that plays that way to be as injury free as he has been defies logic.

I still can't get over the fact that there is no-one younger than Djokovic that has won a Masters Series event (although there have been two younger GS winners - Del Potro and Cilic), and that this year was the 9th consecutive year Novak has been the youngest winner of an MS100 event.

Of course, if we were writing this at the end of 1969, we'd have been asking how much longer Laver would dominate - the answer was not time at all, and that he would not win another GS title. Things can change quite quickly, but at the moment I don't see it happening over the next year or so - pretty sure Djokovic and Murray will be competing for almost all the major titles until at least the end of 2017.
BIB - nearly except he missed out in 2010 - when Murray was the youngest winner. Amazing stat nonetheless:
http://www.tennis28.com/titles/masters_series_winners.html
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/ATP_World_Tour_Masters_1000#Singles

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Post by dummy_half Tue 01 Dec 2015, 9:54 am

Sir Fred

Was just looking at that - 21 players won 1 men's singles title, all at 250 level. Haven't checked all of them, but looks like only 4 or 5 were under 24, with a good number in the 30s.

Of multiple title winners, Thiem has won 3 250s for the young generation, Nishi 2 x 500 and 1 x 250 for the 25-27 year od generation (being the youngest winner of an MS 500 tournament this year), with all the GS and MS series + all but 2 of the 500s being shared by the 28 years + guys.

OK, Novak dominated, with 3 GS, WTF, 6 x MS 1000 + 1 x 500 titles, but the left-overs were hovered up by Murray, Fed, Stan, Ferrer and a Rafa who was off form for most of the season.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 01 Dec 2015, 12:19 pm

The number of aged 30-something title winners this year may be close to a record. Rafa turns 30 next summer so it looks like the success of these golden "oldies" will persist.

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Post by YvonneT Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:05 pm

lags72 wrote: ... at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin
Not convinced either, but I suppose it depends on what is meant by "top level play". I think he'd be doing pretty well to be in the top 8 level for the next 2 years and then say top 25/top 30 level for another 2 years. Anything more than that would be a bonus. The thing with players well past their peak though is that they are usual capable of top form for individual matches or tournaments even if not for the season-long grind - so although it may seem that player who had formerly been top 4 and winning slams would be unlikely to want to continue with a lowly ranking, there might be the lure of that one last hurrah if men's tennis is a period of unpredictability with no-one dominating at that point.

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Post by YvonneT Tue 01 Dec 2015, 1:13 pm

On the original point though, no-one has like or respect Murray. He has done some things during his career than have turned people against him. If you like him (I do, with some reservations) then why worry that other people don't.

Not liking him or being critical is different though from being abusive which is clearly an issue with the abuser than the subject. Certainly there are some right idiots keen to air their bile on Twitter or the BBC comments, but thankfully they are few and far between. I don't think there is anyone remotely in that category on here.

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Post by Henman Bill Wed 02 Dec 2015, 12:24 am

Well the forum got dead pretty fast.

I was kind of half hoping for some end of year summary discussion but it seems most people prefer to do the summary and predictions after the US Open, and then within a very short time after the WTF and Davis Cup finishing, this board is a wasteland.

Hullooo

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Post by Haddie-nuff Wed 02 Dec 2015, 10:51 am

YvonneT wrote:On the original point though, no-one has like or respect Murray. He has done some things during his career than have turned people against him. If you like him (I do, with some reservations) then why worry that other people don't.

Not liking him or being critical is different though from being abusive which is clearly an issue with the abuser than the subject. Certainly there are some right idiots keen to air their bile on Twitter or the BBC comments, but thankfully they are few and far between. I don't think there is anyone remotely in that category on here.

I entirely agree with this comment. Andy has done things during his career that have not won friends and influenced people; Hence he has been his own worst enemy.. I am not one of his greatest fans but I do  acknowledge his talent and ability. His display of passion during the entire DC battle was evident and commendable... as must be said of the rest of the team, who, may not have actually made their contribution in tennis terms, were certainly there with him every match of the way.. lest we forget.

There are many on here that do not like Nadal.. frankly I could not give a damn that's life  Wink

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Post by bogbrush Wed 02 Dec 2015, 11:51 am

It's ridiculous to condemn Murray because he made a statement of allegiance based on something as stupid as country of origin.

It's equally as ridiculous to support him on the same grounds.
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Post by banbrotam Wed 02 Dec 2015, 11:56 am

YvonneT wrote:
lags72 wrote: ... at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin
Not convinced either, but I suppose it depends on what is meant by "top level play". I think he'd be doing pretty well to be in the top 8 level for the next 2 years and then say top 25/top 30 level for another 2 years. Anything more than that would be a bonus

As ever Andy''s vast superiority, over all but the three who've won more than him, continues to be more underrated than his personality

There is no one significantly younger than him that can lay a glove on him in terms of consistency. Where's all these players coming from that they're suddenly going to threaten his Top 8 place in two years? Few of them could beat him last year when he was unfit. Are the numerous renta-ball-bashers suddenly going to alter their one-dimensional approach and penetrative Murray''s instinctive touch and feel talent?

Murray wouldn't make such a statement if he didn'the believe it. And there's no reason to think that he can't

For me Top 4 for the next three years at least - injury permitting of course


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Post by Guest Wed 02 Dec 2015, 12:32 pm

bogbrush wrote:It's ridiculous to condemn Murray because he made a statement of allegiance based on something as stupid as country of origin.

It's equally as ridiculous to support him on the same grounds.

I have to say that made me flinch. Purely because I tend to be partisan. Almost feels instinctively to do so.

But the flipside of the coin would be that in Murray's case or any athlete would want to be supported on the quality of their craft rather than their nationality.

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Post by alfie Wed 02 Dec 2015, 12:45 pm

Murray deserves immense respect for his achievements - the Davis Cup effort just adds to them. I reckon he may well go on at the top level for several years (fitness permitting - who can predict injuries ?) and cement his place as Britain's greatest ever tennis player.

Anyone who dislikes him because of a bit of a joke ten years ago just lacks a sense of humour...

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Post by Calder106 Wed 02 Dec 2015, 1:33 pm

I was reading an article yesterday which was a bit of an over-hype. However one thing it did point out was that on his Twitter account Andy described himself in three words 'I play tennis'. That IMO sums him up pretty well. Once he chose a tennis career he fully committed to it and as a result had a very successful career for which respect is due.

I can see why people may not like him due to the on court demeanour and language he displays sometimes. I don't condone these and think they often hinder him. He is also not afraid to speak out (like this week) when he feels strongly about a subject which can alienate some people. I don't think that he really puts too much effort into trying to market himself. He plays Tennis and at the end of the day his results on the court are where his legacy will be.

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Post by slashermcguirk Wed 02 Dec 2015, 3:55 pm

While I am not a huge fan of Andy Murray as a tennis player and his style of the game, I have a huge amount of respect for him.

He has achieved a huge amount in a very tough competitive age in tennis facing the likes of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic during their respective peak years. He is certainly the greatest tennis player from GB and I have grown to like him more off the court.

I also have huge respect for how good he has become considering he represents GB and they produce such poor tennis players given the investment put in. Clearly this is because he went to Barcelona at the right time to learn the trade and faced stiffer competition from the start. You have to hand it to his mum for doing that, would have been a tough decision to make regardless of how talented he was. So many talented players never make it but clearly Murray had the talent and the perseverance to go with it.

He may well go on to win more slams, I wouldn't be totally surprised if he finished with about 4 slams, you have to think he might win an Aussie Open sooner or later having performed so consistently well there without winning.

All depends on a few things............the motivation and hunger remaining / staying injury free and avoiding a peak djokovic who seems to be playing the tennis of his life.

Regardless, Murray has cemented his place as the greatest GB tennis player and will probably go down as a top 40-50 player of all time. Hard to really measure that but certainly he wouldn't be far off the likes of Hewitt if not ahead of him. His longevity in the top 4-5 players in the game over a very long period of time is arguably as impressive as winning two slams

Big respect for Andy !

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Post by HM Murdock Thu 03 Dec 2015, 9:39 am

Andy gets plenty of respect.

Yes, he gets a certain amount of unfair criticism for his "anyone but England" comment and his tweet about Scottish independence.

But then his regularly being referred to as part of a "Big 4" is arguably rather generous.

So, swings and roundabouts.

I think most objective observers would recognise him as one of the country's best sportsmen of the last decade.

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Post by sportslover Thu 03 Dec 2015, 11:15 am

Respect - Forget about most of the Internet forums and a lot of "the nutters" that frequent them with a lot of stupid comments!

As for Andy he has kept GB on the tennis map because without him we would be a forgotten nation as far as men's tennis is concerned.

As far as the top four is concerned I would put Novak way out in front as the number one followed by Roger and Rafa as joint second ( for now) with Andy as third. With his Wimbledon title  Olympic Gold and now Davis Cup plus all his masters titles there is nobody close with the exception of probably Stan.

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Post by Born Slippy Thu 03 Dec 2015, 1:55 pm

YvonneT wrote:
lags72 wrote: ... at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin
Not convinced either, but I suppose it depends on what is meant by "top level play". I think he'd be doing pretty well to be in the top 8 level for the next 2 years and then say top 25/top 30 level for another 2 years. Anything more than that would be a bonus. The thing with players well past their peak though is that they are usual capable of top form for individual matches or tournaments even if not for the season-long grind - so although it may seem that player who had formerly been top 4 and winning slams would be unlikely to want to continue with a lowly ranking, there might be the lure of that one last hurrah if men's tennis is a period of unpredictability with no-one dominating at that point.

I think that's pessimistic. In 2 years time, he will be 30. If he can keep the back problems in check, then I cannot see his level dropping significantly - if anything, I would expect him to improve slightly. If so, he will still be in the top 4 - probably top 3 - as I don't see any of the youngsters over-taking the established order in that time-frame.

After that, it becomes a bit harder to predict. However, I would be astonished if he was down at #25-30 aged 31-32 unless he was missing substantial chunks of the season through injury. I would have thought, at worst, he would still be a top tenner. The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10. I'm struggling somewhat to see why Murray, with all the power and shots at his disposal, will be doing miles worse than Ferrer at the same age.

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Post by Belovedluckyboy Thu 03 Dec 2015, 3:07 pm

Can't compare Fed and Ferrer now to Murray or Rafa or Novak at 32-33. Fed and Ferrer now have Dimi's generation as young challengers but they're not strong challengers. Kyrgios batch seems more promising but they're mostly still in their teens. However, in three to four years time, Kyrgios batch may be a force to be reckoned with when they're in their early 20s and hitting their prime. Also who knows Dimi's batch may be some late developers not unlike Stan or Ferrer, so there may be more competition for Rafa's batch as they grow old(er). Just my opinion of course.

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Post by lags72 Thu 03 Dec 2015, 4:33 pm

Born Slippy wrote:

.....................................................

..........................


.........However, I would be astonished if he was down at #25-30 aged 31-32 unless he was missing substantial chunks of the season through injury. I would have thought, at worst, he would still be a top tenner. The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10. I'm struggling somewhat to see why Murray, with all the power and shots at his disposal, will be doing miles worse than Ferrer at the same age.

Whilst I wouldn't disagree with your central point here, I think there's more to it than just the question of ranking in itself.

When I quoted Murray talking about his hopes of playing at a 'top level' for another five or six years ....I think he may have actually used the words "the highest level". But either way, I got the distinct impression that what he had in mind was the ability to continue to be a serious contender at Slams & Masters. And for that reason, I'm not sure that a comparison with Ferrer is totally valid.

Ferrer has had a fantastic career of course, and is undeniably a genuine role model for his sport, if ever there was one. Hard-working, dedicated and never giving less than maximum effort. All credit & respect to the guy. And this last season has actually been one of his very best - at the ripe old age of 33 !

But the fact remains that Ferrer does not make Slam Finals. Nor does he win Masters (not with any regularity that is). And I wonder whether Murray would regard collecting 250's, at best, as evidence that he was still competing at the highest level. Especially if those 250's were being won from (relatively) weak fields.

The comparison with Federer is somewhat different of course. But to what extent I wonder can Federer be held up as some sort of typical example of the standard that can be maintained well into your 30's.....? He does appear to be somewhat unique in terms of his longevity and ongoing competitive level. In recent decades, I don't recall anyone of his age making two successive Slam Finals and an unbeaten run to a WTF Final too. He has a very different and less 'taxing' style of play to Andy, and hence my doubt - and it is only doubt, am not ruling it out - that Andy will still be amongst the elite at say 33.

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Post by summerblues Fri 04 Dec 2015, 4:08 am

sportslover wrote:As far as the top four is concerned I would put Novak way out in front as the number one followed by Roger and Rafa as joint second ( for now) with Andy as third. With his Wimbledon title  Olympic Gold and now Davis Cup plus all his masters titles there is nobody close with the exception of probably Stan.
That is a rather peculiar ordering of the Big 4. I can imagine various ways of ordering them depending on the angle one is looking at it, but I cannot make heads or tails of this one.

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Post by summerblues Fri 04 Dec 2015, 4:25 am

Born Slippy wrote:The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10.
Federer and Ferrer are the most successful examples of oldies doing well, but not "best" in the sense of giving us an unbiased idea of others might do. There is selection bias in your data - you picked Federer and Ferrer, but discarded all other players from their generation who did not age equally grecefully.

At the end of 2009 (when Fed was about current Andy's age), these were the highest ranked players from roughly Fed's generation (or even a bit younger):

1. Fed
6. Davydenko
7. Roddick
8. Soderling
9. Verdasco
11. Gonzalez
16. Robredo
17. Ferrer

Why is Ferrer a better example of what to expect than Davydenko? Andy may stick around and still play well, but odds are not as good as you make them out to be.

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Post by banbrotam Fri 04 Dec 2015, 11:15 am

summerblues wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10.
Federer and Ferrer are the most successful examples of oldies doing well, but not "best" in the sense of giving us an unbiased idea of others might do.  There is selection bias in your data - you picked Federer and Ferrer, but discarded all other players from their generation who did not age equally grecefully.

At the end of 2009 (when Fed was about current Andy's age), these were the highest ranked players from roughly Fed's generation (or even a bit younger):

1. Fed
6. Davydenko
7. Roddick
8. Soderling
9. Verdasco
11. Gonzalez
16. Robredo
17. Ferrer

Why is Ferrer a better example of what to expect than Davydenko?  Andy may stick around and still play well, but odds are not as good as you make them out to be.

But the gap to Andy and those outside the top 5 is huge. It will take a catastrophic drop in form or three new 'lights out' players, for Andy to become an outsider for the slams in the next two to three years

Significantly out of your list, five of the eight rely(ied) on hard hitting with little variation. Robredo is then the next most varied and then the current top tenners are prime examples of a varied player

Yet, we've got youngsters who's  best backhand is Murray's worst on a bad day and they're suddenly going to reverse the current trend. Nah! The next sensation will come from someone we don't know of and they'll be three years away from getting near

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Post by Born Slippy Fri 04 Dec 2015, 12:28 pm

summerblues wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10.
Federer and Ferrer are the most successful examples of oldies doing well, but not "best" in the sense of giving us an unbiased idea of others might do.  There is selection bias in your data - you picked Federer and Ferrer, but discarded all other players from their generation who did not age equally grecefully.

At the end of 2009 (when Fed was about current Andy's age), these were the highest ranked players from roughly Fed's generation (or even a bit younger):

1. Fed
6. Davydenko
7. Roddick
8. Soderling
9. Verdasco
11. Gonzalez
16. Robredo
17. Ferrer

Why is Ferrer a better example of what to expect than Davydenko?  Andy may stick around and still play well, but odds are not as good as you make them out to be.

Given that my assessment was based on Andy avoiding significant injury, I'm not sure there is actually anything to dispute here. I think we can agree that if Andy suffers career-ending mono (Soderling) or persistent injury problems (Davydenko/Gonzalez), then he won't be competitive at 32. My understanding was that the synopsis was that Andy will not be competitive at 32 even if he does stay relatively injury free - it was that assessment I was challenging.

Federer, Ferrer and Robredo basically show that you can play very close to your peak, if you avoid career ending injury issues, up to at least 33.

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Post by YvonneT Fri 04 Dec 2015, 12:48 pm

Born Slippy wrote:
YvonneT wrote:
lags72 wrote: ... at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin
Not convinced either, but I suppose it depends on what is meant by "top level play". I think he'd be doing pretty well to be in the top 8 level for the next 2 years and then say top 25/top 30 level for another 2 years. Anything more than that would be a bonus. The thing with players well past their peak though is that they are usual capable of top form for individual matches or tournaments even if not for the season-long grind - so although it may seem that player who had formerly been top 4 and winning slams would be unlikely to want to continue with a lowly ranking, there might be the lure of that one last hurrah if men's tennis is a period of unpredictability with no-one dominating at that point.

I think that's pessimistic. In 2 years time, he will be 30. If he can keep the back problems in check, then I cannot see his level dropping significantly - if anything, I would expect him to improve slightly. If so, he will still be in the top 4 - probably top 3 - as I don't see any of the youngsters over-taking the established order in that time-frame.  

After that, it becomes a bit harder to predict. However, I would be astonished if he was down at #25-30 aged 31-32 unless he was missing substantial chunks of the season through injury. I would have thought, at worst, he would still be a top tenner. The best two examples we currently have are Federer and Ferrer. Fed could afford a season with a serious back issue at 32 and was still top 10; Ferrer has missed large chunks of this season aged 32-33 and is still top 10. I'm struggling somewhat to see why Murray, with all the power and shots at his disposal, will be doing miles worse than Ferrer at the same age.
I don't think I'm overly pessimistic, I possibly err on the side of caution - caution similar to that BLB and SB have expressed. I'd say you and Banbro are quite optimistic.
We just don't know! Last year, Murray had a poor year, probably came in below his physical peak (as he will be in a few years), won nothing of significance and was ranked 12 at the lowest. It's not inconceivable that happens again in just a year or two.

There's several variables: how the players of the younger generations perform, physical condition, motivation. Roddick for example could easily have played on longer and while he wasn't a serious slam contender when he retired, he was still capable of winning other tournaments - he just didn't have the motivation to train as hard as he knew was required and had other career options lined up. I think Murray has quite a different attitude to the training, practice etc so is likely to last longer but you just never know.

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Post by YvonneT Fri 04 Dec 2015, 12:55 pm

Henman Bill wrote:Well the forum got dead pretty fast.

I was kind of half hoping for some end of year summary discussion but it seems most people prefer to do the summary and predictions after the US Open, and then within a very short time after the WTF and Davis Cup finishing, this board is a wasteland.
Andy and Fed are going to play either at the IPTL - maybe that will generate some interest!

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Post by Henman Bill Fri 04 Dec 2015, 8:31 pm

Well, I was being a bit harsh to say the forum was dead, it did seem to be when I posted that, but maybe it was just a lull.


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Post by summerblues Sat 05 Dec 2015, 7:13 pm

Born Slippy wrote:Given that my assessment was based on Andy avoiding significant injury, I'm not sure there is actually anything to dispute here. I think we can agree that if Andy suffers career-ending mono (Soderling) or persistent injury problems (Davydenko/Gonzalez), then he won't be competitive at 32. My understanding was that the synopsis was that Andy will not be competitive at 32 even if he does stay relatively injury free - it was that assessment I was challenging.
Ok, perhaps we are not really disagreeing so much.  It was not clear to me that your assessment was based on essentially assuming Andy would have no health issues.

So, as far as blanket statements go, maybe we can both agree that "Andy will likely not be competitive in four years".

However, in a more nuanced version, when talking about health assumptions etc, you also believe that as long as he stays healthy, he will remain competitive.  I am not sure I agree with that statement, but more importantly I think he will struggle to remain healthy enough to be competitive regardless.

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Post by Born Slippy Sat 05 Dec 2015, 9:13 pm

I think my comments are fairly clear and I'm not sure why you seem to be twisting them?

I think it more likely than not Andy will still be top 4 in 2 years (I would assess the chances at well over 50%). The prospect of him still being top 4 at 32 is lower but I would still put in the 40-50% range. The main reason for him not remaining competitive up to that age is likely to be injury.

Post 32, I would expect age to start to, of itself, impact on his prospects. I would be surprised if he was still a consistent slam contender at 33-34.

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Post by summerblues Sat 05 Dec 2015, 10:02 pm

Born Slippy wrote:I think my comments are fairly clear and I'm not sure why you seem to be twisting them?

I think it more likely than not Andy will still be top 4 in 2 years (I would assess the chances at well over 50%). The prospect of him still being top 4 at 32 is lower but I would still put in the 40-50% range. The main reason for him not remaining competitive up to that age is likely to be injury.
I beg your pardon?  I was not "twisting" your words, I was trying to interpret them in a way they make sense to me.  The way I saw the conversation going was - very roughly - like this:

1. You said that you expected Andy to be competitive in four years, and used Federer and Ferrer as guiding examples.

2.  I argued that they were not a good sample as guiding examples (and explained why), and suggested an alternative approach which would suggest that only 2 (or three tops) of the 7 players roughly appropriate age in 2009 were still playing at anything like comparable level.

3.  You then said that my sample was not good because it included players who had injury issues and you were assuming in your statements that Andy would remain injury free.

4.  I then interpreted it to mean that you agreed that, once the possibility of injury is taken into account, Andy is indeed unlikely to do well at 32, and that you are only opining on his ability to do well assuming he stays injury free.

Where does the "twisting" come into play?  How did you expect me to interpret your words?  If you are now going back to the statement that you think that Andy will do well, even absent any health assumptions ("I would still put in the 40-50% range") why did you pointedly say that your initial statement was only predicated on the assumption of good health?

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Post by Born Slippy Sat 05 Dec 2015, 11:22 pm

Are you seriously suggesting that the prospect of a top athlete picking up an injury significant enough to end their career between 28-32 is over 70%? I don't have stats to address that but I would suggest that is hopelessly off. I can think of very few footballers who have been relatively fit at 28 who haven't still been playing at the same level at around 32.

If we directly address your examples, you included Soderling in your stats despite the fact he hasn't played a tennis match since he was 27 and was 25 at the time of the rankings you used - he isn't a comparator at all. Roddick and Verdasco were also gone from the top 10 before they were Andy's current age. Andy is, of course, currently at his career high ranking.

That leaves 5 players who we can use as real comparators - 3 were at or around the same ranking at 32 and 2 weren't. That would seem to be in line with my suggestion that Andy's prospects of still being competitive at 32 are 50-60%.

Having also had a look at the YE top 20 in 2013, 6 were the same age as Andy is now. Of those 6, 5 are currently ranked the same or higher. Only Almagro has suffered injury problems significant enough to affect his ranking by age 30.

As Yvonne has said above, we simply don't know what will happen. However, I do not consider that recent history suggests a likelihood that someone who is #2 at 28.5 is likely to be anything other than competitive at 30. I think that the evidence also suggests that "It is more likely than not that Andy will be competitive at 32" is a more accurate assessment that the view you stated.



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Post by summerblues Sun 06 Dec 2015, 3:09 am

Born Slippy wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that the prospect of a top athlete picking up an injury significant enough to end their career between 28-32 is over 70%?
Well, there were 8 players on my list, and only 2 (or at most 3) of them were still competitive four years later.  I think one can argue whether Davydenko or Gonzalez quit because of age or because of injury but they did quit.  So either you need to consider that injuries are more common than what you say (though not at 70% - not sure where you got that from), or you need to consider that staying competitive is harder even if you are healthy.  You cannot exclude them from the stats entirely willy-nilly.

Born Slippy wrote:If we directly address your examples, you included Soderling in your stats despite the fact he hasn't played a tennis match since he was 27 and was 25 at the time of the rankings you used - he isn't a comparator at all. Roddick and Verdasco were also gone from the top 10 before they were Andy's current age.
But surely the fact they were younger than Andy is only strengthening my case?  I did not have enough players exactly age 28 there, so I picked a range of maybe 25-28.  But if even players 25-26-27 cannot stay - on average - competitive another 4 years, then it will be even harder for 28 year-olds?

Born Slippy wrote:However, I do not consider that recent history suggests a likelihood that someone who is #2 at 28.5 is likely to be anything other than competitive at 30. I think that the evidence also suggests that "It is more likely than not that Andy will be competitive at 32" is a more accurate assessment that the view you stated.
I would agree that Andy is likely to be competitive at 30.  Not at 32.  He may be, I am not saying there is no way he will be, but I think you are giving him too generous odds.

Seeing that you did not like my looking at 25 year-olds, I went into trouble of digging through ATP stats and I looked up all players who were in top 20 when they turned 28, and who turned 28 between 2006 and 2011.  I then compared their rank at 28 against their rank at 32:

Playerturned 28rank at 28rank at 32
Federer08-Aug-0915
Ljubicic19-Mar-07716
Roddick30-Aug-109retired
Davydenko02-Jun-091148
Blake28-Dec-071359
Youzhny25-Jun-101416
Ferrero12-Feb-081548
Gonzalez29-Jul-0815457
Ferrer02-Apr-10176
Hrbaty04-Jan-0618141
Stepanek27-Nov-061963
There are 11 players on the list.  Ferrer is the only one who was ranked higher at 32 than 28.  Youzhny and Federer were close(ish), and everyone else was significantly worse.  I would say that gives maybe 20-25% chance for Andy to be competitive at 32, and even then likely outside top 4.

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Post by socal1976 Sun 06 Dec 2015, 8:12 am

lags72 wrote:Andy has been 'doing the media rounds' this morning, with several interviews in the wake of yesterday's great achievement. My full respect & congrats to him - and indeed the entire GB team - once again clap

One question asked was whether he feels this latest success will act as a spur for more good things in his 'normal' Tour career. He answered in the affirmative, as you would rightly expect him to. But he also went on to say that, at the age of 28, he believes he has around five or six years of 'top level play' left in him.

Hmm. Five or six years ...... ?? Do we see this as a realistic assessment ....? chin


Yes it is realistic look at the average age of the top players thirty is the new twenty five

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Post by banbrotam Sun 06 Dec 2015, 12:00 pm

YvonneT wrote:I don't think I'm overly pessimistic, I possibly err on the side of caution - caution similar to that BLB and SB have expressed. I'd say you and Banbro are quite optimistic.
We just don't know! Last year, Murray had a poor year, probably came in below his physical peak (as he will be in a few years), won nothing of significance and was ranked 12 at the lowest. It's not inconceivable that happens again in just a year or two.


Sorry, I didn't realise you were assuming that Andy will have to have another recovery year from major surgery. Whistle

Note, that even the autumn 2014 version, that was miles away from the Spring one of this year - was still better than all but around five players. How on earth you think he'll be dropping like an eight week old hit song, in just two years defies the logic and evidence of recent years

If Murray was that vulnerable, he'd have crashed last year. The fact he only dropped to 12, when you consider what an effect major injuries have had on others, was quite remarkable. He got to this year's Aussie Open final, more on memory than skill, testament to how far superior he is to virtually all his rivals and how far he has to drop to be inferior to them

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Post by It Must Be Love Sun 06 Dec 2015, 3:35 pm

summerblues wrote:
Born Slippy wrote:Are you seriously suggesting that the prospect of a top athlete picking up an injury significant enough to end their career between 28-32 is over 70%?
Well, there were 8 players on my list, and only 2 (or at most 3) of them were still competitive four years later.  I think one can argue whether Davydenko or Gonzalez quit because of age or because of injury but they did quit.  So either you need to consider that injuries are more common than what you say (though not at 70% - not sure where you got that from), or you need to consider that staying competitive is harder even if you are healthy.  You cannot exclude them from the stats entirely willy-nilly.

Born Slippy wrote:If we directly address your examples, you included Soderling in your stats despite the fact he hasn't played a tennis match since he was 27 and was 25 at the time of the rankings you used - he isn't a comparator at all. Roddick and Verdasco were also gone from the top 10 before they were Andy's current age.
But surely the fact they were younger than Andy is only strengthening my case?  I did not have enough players exactly age 28 there, so I picked a range of maybe 25-28.  But if even players 25-26-27 cannot stay - on average - competitive another 4 years, then it will be even harder for 28 year-olds?

Born Slippy wrote:However, I do not consider that recent history suggests a likelihood that someone who is #2 at 28.5 is likely to be anything other than competitive at 30. I think that the evidence also suggests that "It is more likely than not that Andy will be competitive at 32" is a more accurate assessment that the view you stated.
I would agree that Andy is likely to be competitive at 30.  Not at 32.  He may be, I am not saying there is no way he will be, but I think you are giving him too generous odds.

Seeing that you did not like my looking at 25 year-olds, I went into trouble of digging through ATP stats and I looked up all players who were in top 20 when they turned 28, and who turned 28 between 2006 and 2011.  I then compared their rank at 28 against their rank at 32:

Playerturned 28rank at 28rank at 32
Federer08-Aug-0915
Ljubicic19-Mar-07716
Roddick30-Aug-109retired
Davydenko02-Jun-091148
Blake28-Dec-071359
Youzhny25-Jun-101416
Ferrero12-Feb-081548
Gonzalez29-Jul-0815457
Ferrer02-Apr-10176
Hrbaty04-Jan-0618141
Stepanek27-Nov-061963
There are 11 players on the list.  Ferrer is the only one who was ranked higher at 32 than 28.  Youzhny and Federer were close(ish), and everyone else was significantly worse.  I would say that gives maybe 20-25% chance for Andy to be competitive at 32, and even then likely outside top 4.

Some good points here; but I would point out Summerblues that you have to take into consideration that Murray aged 28 is at his joint highest ranking, and is playing some very good tennis. How many people on that list were close to their highest rank aged 28 ?

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Post by Born Slippy Tue 08 Dec 2015, 9:55 am

Only Fed and Ljubicic were within 5 of their highest ranking. Youhzny was also fairly close. Perhaps not surprisingly, all 3 of them remained at a similar level at 32.

I think the other point to note is that Murray is currently the 8th youngest player in the top 25, the 2nd youngest Masters winner and 4th youngest slam champ (with one of those younger than him unfortunately unlikely to get back to that level again).

Given all the above, to consider there to be a significantly higher than 50% shot of Murray not being competitive at 32 seems somewhat optimistic on SB's part.

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Post by sirfredperry Tue 08 Dec 2015, 12:49 pm

On the age thing/lack of new players coming through: I recall our tennis master back in the 1960s saying that tennis was always interesting in that the good players turned professional and were banned from the main (amateur) tour which meant that new names came to the fore.
Had tennis been Open in, say, 1961 or 1962 then Laver would probably have dominated for the rest of the decade. The likes of Emo, Stolle, Santana, would hardly have had a look in.
Imagine if the current big four had had to "turn pro". We would have had some fresh faces at the very top.

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Post by banbrotam Mon 21 Dec 2015, 8:23 am

Well done to him on his and the Davis Cup Team's SPOTY awards. He's getting as smooth with his acceptance speeches as Roger. Particularly liked the 'Worthing' joke Smile

Merry Xmas all. Have a good one

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