Has Murray regressed?
Normally on men’s quarter-final day, the British crowd on Centre Court is on tenterhooks amidst a fevered atmosphere for Andy Murray‘s and previously Tim Henman’s entrance. But Murray’s newfound confidence on the big stage and serene progress into the last eight meant that the atmosphere for two sets was almost dozy.
The crowd were so sure that Murray would find a way out of the hole he had fell into, that they didn’t do anything to help him out of it. But of course Murray didn’t do anything to get them involved either.
After his US Open victory, people have expected Murray to kick on and become a much more consistent Grand Slam finalist. But since he was out-muscled by Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open earlier this year, sometimes his play resembles that of the old Murray, the pusher, the counter puncher, the waiter. This was especially clear during the clay court season where Murray had arguably his worst run of results in almost three years.
In the first two sets, Verdasco’s powerful forehand forced Murray on the back-foot, and that’s nothing to be ashamed about, but he never really tried to move forward, and when he did, the errors just flooded from his racket. Maybe he has some sort of injury? Maybe his troublesome back isn’t as healed as we thought?
For whatever reason, Murray’s pitch perfect movement was off kilter yesterday. Eventually,he regrouped after another confused tirade to his camp and pulled through thanks to a wild crowd that had finally woken up and maybe absorbed some of the Olympic Davis Cup-esque atmosphere from last year.
Murray won his US Open despite his two set blowout against Marin Cilic and fans of the Brit would hope this will be the case again. But if he is to win, he has to return to the attacking mentality he displayed en route to three straight Grand Slam finals.