Andy Murray’s troubles come from inside

Myles Stedman Roar Guru

By Myles Stedman, Myles Stedman is a Roar Guru

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    ‘Mr Consistency’ Andy Murray has scored himself another runner-up trophy that will probably end up on his mother Judy’s shelf or in the rubbish bin. Yes that’s right, it’s that time of year when all the knee-jerk articles about Murray come out again.

    He’s lost another Grand Slam final. Yes this one’s a bit unfair, as his loss was largely due to a foot complaint, but when do they stop becoming low blows? When he wins his sixth runner-up trophy? Seventh?

    Or should it be now that we all fess up to thinking that Andy Murray doesn’t have what it takes to win?

    I know what you’re thinking – lay off him, he may only have lost because he hurt his foot, and he beat this bloke, who happens to be one of the best of all time, last time they met in a Grand Slam.

    But Novak had clearly already put his foot on the accelerator and started to turn the tide when Murray called for his trainer – he was going to be the first man in the open era to win the Australian Open three times in a row.

    Was Murray ever going to achieve his goal for this summer of finally proving to everyone the contrary of my article?

    No. He looked like it in the first set, but in the second, Novak flexed his muscles, and Murray started to get the better of himself.

    In other words, situation normal.

    Andy Murray has a fatally abiding penchant to decide he’s lost the match, sometimes less than halfway through.

    For example, take this latest Grand Slam final against Novak Djokovic. His perpetual whinging gets him in a funk in which is impossible to win tennis in. Effectively he loses mentally, then loses physically.

    And it’s not like this downcast attitude has only been apparent once or twice, or even only in grand slam finals.

    We saw this similar sulking act against Roger Federer (which mind you, was a miraculous effort since he offed the greatest tennis player of all time, all the while looking like he was thinking about that 21-hour fight back to Heathrow).

    But this similar disposition was brought to the Djokovic match, with minimal success.

    Oh, but Andy’s a victim of the era, you say? Rubbish.

    The big three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic was coined for a reason: they were all evenly-matched players who could all beat each other on any given day.

    Murray was added and it became the big four for the same reason. He was on their level. And he continues to prove that as he does continue to beat them; they’re not unbeatable.

    In fact, players as young and as hot-headed such as our own Bernard Tomic are up and proving even the best of them are by no means unbeatable.

    So perhaps Andy’s best chance to win a few more slams and crown himself one of the greatest is no, or in the near future.

    Murray has proved plenty of things in his now eight years on the pro circuit. He’s a world-class player, a potential future world no. 1 and a massive choker.

    In six out of the seven slam finals he’s been in, he’s lost and in only one of them he went for the full ride.

    He is only 25. But he can train and train and train until he’s 45 and perhaps see the same results. He has to train from the inside out.

    Murray’s attitude is one rarely seen by any champion tennis players, past or present. And not dissimilar to Bernard Tomic, whether Andy Murray wins 10 slams or his current total of one is entirely up to him.

    Because his tennis performance against the greatest of all time showed that he has what takes to be the best player in the world.

    If he really wants to be he’s got a funny way of showing it.

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    The Crowd Says (9)

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 11:46am
      Lancey5times said | February 3rd 2013 @ 11:46am | ! Report

      How do you train courage? The difference between Murray and the other 3 is that he doesn’t have the gumption to pull the trigger. And unfortunately for Andy the others are fully aware of this. Before the Aus Open I picked him to win it but as the tournament went on this faded. Why?, because the Novaks and Rogers started playing better than I expected them to in the years 1st slam. I disagree that he can beat them. At ‘there’ best he can’t. They decide when they win, Murray decides when he loses. There is a subtle difference.

      Comment left via The Roar’s iPhone app. Download it now [http://itunes.apple.com/au/app/the-roar/id327174726?mt=8].

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 1:09pm
      Frankie Hughes said | February 3rd 2013 @ 1:09pm | ! Report

      Whilst Murray is good(even very good at times) the other 3 are a class apart.

      This notion that the Brits use ‘The Big 4’, is to hype up Murray.

      In reality it’s the top 3 then the rest.

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 2:38pm
      Phil said | February 3rd 2013 @ 2:38pm | ! Report

      I think Andy doesn’t have the first-strike weapons to beat Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal. Think about it, Federer had offensive variety that few ever had. Djokovic can hit powerful winners from both wings. And Nadal has his heavy topspin forehand. Andy doesn’t have what they have nor does he have any of his own unique weapons to intimidate them. Andy is just a very scrappy player. Unless he develops a first-strike weapon, it will be doubtful he will beat Djokovic or Nadal consistently on the big stage.

      My bet is on Djokovic ruling the tour for a few more years. That guy can do everything Nadal does defensively but can also smack winners from any inch of the court whenever he feels like it, something Nadal nor Murray can’t do.

      * though something tells me that Nadal will have a few new tricks up his sleeves when he comes back and get back to form.

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 8:57pm
      Tradge said | February 3rd 2013 @ 8:57pm | ! Report

      The thing a lot of people forget is that Murray has beaten all three of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic at GS tournaments, and he actually has a WINNING head-to-head record against Roger of 11-9! That’s no mean feat, as the only other player to have done that is Nadal! It seems to me that whenever the UK has a player who is highly ranked, they find it a culture shock and start complaining “oh he’s not as good as the other three”, “he’ll never be one of the greatest!”, etc – I feel it’s partly down to the British public and media why he “lets us down”. He’s been ranked 4th in the world or better since 2008, be happy that we have a Brit at the top of the game and stop complaining when he loses CLOSE matches!!

      • Roar Guru

        February 3rd 2013 @ 10:20pm
        Myles Stedman said | February 3rd 2013 @ 10:20pm | ! Report

        I agree with you completley. If you’ve read my article, it’s about whether he has the mental toughness to win those close matches

      • February 3rd 2013 @ 11:32pm
        Phil said | February 3rd 2013 @ 11:32pm | ! Report

        Yes, but let’s not kid ourselves. Until recently, Murray has not won a set in a GS finals against Federer or Djokovic. His track record against the big 3 (when it really, really matters) has always been abysmal.

        Surely, mental toughness was a key criteria and he has improved greatly in that department as well as other areas. It was really his style of play (defensive, counter-punching, and wear-you-down approach) that was not helping him win those GS Finals. Even when they first started working together, Lendl acknowledge that in today’s game, you have to go out and get the point. Think about it, the only guy that beat the big 3 was Del Potro back in US Open 2009. He had the weapons (most notably a big serve with the hardest hitting forehand in the game) to beat Federer and Nadal, the first to do so back-to-back.

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 9:17pm
      Johnno said | February 3rd 2013 @ 9:17pm | ! Report

      Roj is overrated. You look deeper into Roj’s statistics, and he melts like a good Swiss Cheese.

      • February 4th 2013 @ 2:59am
        amazonfan said | February 4th 2013 @ 2:59am | ! Report

        Considering that Federer is arguably one of the two greatest players of all time (many would say the greatest, although I personally wouldn’t), to describe him as overrated is absurd.

    • February 3rd 2013 @ 10:34pm
      The Duffster said | February 3rd 2013 @ 10:34pm | ! Report

      I’ve always thought Murray would have been one of those kids at school that wore a big thick wooly polar jumper when it wasn’t really cold enough! I don’t think Roger, Novak or Rafa would have.

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