Andy Murray botched it, BIG-TIME
In yesterday’s semifinal against Rafael Nadal in the Wimbledon, Andy Murray had his best chance to make it a step further after two failed attempts here to make it to the final. He won the first set by just doing well in the business end of the set. The set score read 7-5 which was a fair indication of the closeness of the set. Murray did what RF and Rafa generally do. He stepped up his game a notch, in the game that matters and closed out the set. Hopes were really at an all time high now at center court. Murray was confident and Rafa needed to win 3 out of the 4 remaining sets to reach the final. Murray was the slight favorite now to make it to his first final.
But, what followed was a pathetic and careless display by Murray. Rafa was serving 1-2 and 15-30 when Murray had an open court to put away an easy forehand winner. All that Murray could do was over-hit the ball and gift the point to Nadal. It was 30-30 now and that became 2-2 in no time. Rafa had been gifted a second life if ever he needed one. In the next game Murray over-hit a smash this time around and the ball again landed wide. Rafa had broken for the first time in the match and he was 3-2 ahead and that became 6-2 very soon as Rafa really stepped up the gas with another break.
At the start of the 3rd set, Rafa broke Murray again and held serve to 2-0. He was on a 7 game winning streak. There were some incredible winners from Rafa’s racket, the first serves were landing in at a very consistent rate and he was running like a manic machine. Murray was literally being demolished mentally and thus his game was broken to pieces. He was broken again and the 3rd set also ended in the same way as the 2nd. 6-2.
2 sets had ended in no time. 6-2 6-2. Quite a fair indication of the total domination that Rafa was able to accomplish over his opponent. Murray was spraying his ground strokes wide, he was finding the net regularly and the double faults were also starting to creep in. Rafa broke again early in the 4th set and he had some minor problems holding serve till the end as he had to save some break points. But the great Spaniard was in no mood for any leniency and he wanted to wrap it up in the 4th set itself. When Murray was serving to stay in the match at 3-5, Rafa showed this very same intent to wrap up the match then and there. But, egged on by the crowd, Murray was able to save some match points. But, the very next service game by Rafa was a real romp and the champ finished it off with a typical forehand sledge hammer to enter yet another final. His 5th Wimbledon final and a possible hat-trick on the cards.
At the end of the match, praising Rafa for the utterly confident performance would be easy and quite obvious. But, let’s first see what Murray did in this match that suggest that he would find it very tough to win any more important matches in his career.
- He was not able to close out some easy winners on very crucial points of the match
- He could not serve big, when needed
- He could not find the big ground strokes when needed. All he could do was find the net
- He over hit on many occasions too.
All the above traits don’t suggest champion material in anyway. What a champ does is:
- Find minor chinks in his opponent’s psyche and totally dominate him after that
- Be ruthless on the games that follow a break
- Be confident on the big games and serve big, consistently when needed
- Never step down the pedal. Keep running and retrieving balls even when there is not much at stake in the set.
Rafa did all the above and more and that’s why he could break with ease and with regularity. He didn’t breathe easy with just 1 break a set. He wanted more and that showed in his game.
So, Murray has botched yet another semifinal against Nadal. This time he had a 1 set cushion lead but Rafa more than made up for that with a hammering in the remaining 3 sets. The Spaniard said after the match that Murray deserved to be in the final and all that he needed was more luck to win Slams. The champ was just being too modest and too kind to his PlayStation partner.
Murray needs much much more to win a Slam and with the likes of Rafa and Nole in top gear, it doesn’t look like happening. Another Henmanesque career is going to be played out, sadly!!!