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post #1 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 08:21 PM Thread Starter
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Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Andy Murray is the best player to come out of Britain since Tim Henman. In some ways Murray is better than Henman with more titles at the age of 22 than Henman had in his career. Plus Murray has already played in a Major final. Despite this I find myself thinking Murray is still far away from a Major title and needs a combination of luck and a change of attitude.

I had my first opportunity to see Murray up close in the quarterfinal of the French Open this year against Fernando Gonzalez (Andy was thrashed) That thrashing confirmed some of the misgivings I have about Murray’s game.

First of all, Murray is the tallest counter puncher I’ve come across (or is that Monfils?). Usually guys that height are looking to impose their game on their opponents. What amazed me was the lack of weight of shot by Murray, not much depth and not very fast. I’ve been going to live tournaments since 1995 and seen most players, Fabrice Santoro is the only other player I’ve seen hit ground strokes without much pace or depth. What was really depressing was Andy’s 2nd serve, it could only be described as powderpuff and Fernando had a field day. In the preceding match, both Victoria Azarenka and Dinara Safina were hitting faster 2nd serves on the kph clock.

I think Murray has to up his game to be a slam winner. The match against Gonzalez was the norm and not the exception. In the Aussie Open match against Verdasco, after been two sets to one up, Murray handed the initiative to Fernando who obliged, realising Murray had no pace to his shots and was dropping the ball short often, allowing Verdasco to take over the match in the 4th and 5th sets – almost a lack of belief. It also happened in the US Open against Cilic. In the Wimbledon semifinal against Roddick, Murray said in the Press conference that it was close and could have gone either way. The reality was Roddick was mostly in control and Andy was playing catch up the whole match, Roddick was really taking advantage of Andy’s 72mph 2nd serve (as Jeff Tarango puts it).

I also feel Andy has a flawed belief in how to win slam tournaments. After Federer’s first service game in the 2008 US Open final, I concluded Murray would lose the match in 3 sets – Why? Because Murray was standing on the fence to return serve on a hard court, and all Federer had to do was keeping spinning the ball out wide to open up the court (which he did). Plus, Andy’s 2nd serve was so slow and short Federer was chipping and charging him all day (something Federer normally doesn’t perform). And after the match, Murray said that he didn’t serve well (true). He also said that if he serves at 70% first serves he will win.

Unfortunately for Murray when he misses his 1st serve he is in all kinds of bother, because his 2nd serve is so inadequate at slam level, he often wins well under 45% of 2nd serve points on his own serve. And at the slam level it’s not possible to win a slam with those figures.

Therefore I think Murray needs to change his attitude and mindset. I think Murray needs to work on his 2nd serve in the off season to get more depth, more pace and more slice which he could use to serve to the body or out wide as an alternative to slow topspin which lands in the middle of the box begging to be hit. Murray should concentrate on getting 60-65% 1st serves in because no one hits 75% first serves consistently in big matches when the pressure is on. That will force Andy to improve his 2nd serves because he needs to win at least 55% of his 2nd serve points in big matches.

I think Andy relies on his retrieval and defensive skills to much and is happy to hit the passing shot, but as Roddick showed at Wimbledon, its difficult to keep doing that under pressure, Murray wasn’t able to do it. Murray needs to take the offence more often by been prepared to come in behind strong ground strokes - as far as I can see he has good volleys. And he did this in 2008 US Open semifinal against Nadal.

Finally I wonder if Murray has a too friendly coaching set up? I know he has to feel comfortable with who he works with but is Miles McLaghan big enough to tell him that playing too defensive doesn’t win slam tournaments and he needs to develop an offensive game.

I wonder what you think of my assessment and Murray’s chances next year in the Major tournaments
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post #2 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 08:40 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

The ugly Scot has no chance to ever win a slam. Vamos!
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post #3 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 08:43 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

He'll win a slam

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post #4 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 08:56 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Yeah,if he change his attitude it's very possible,other way i see him dropping to 5-th place in 2010.

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post #5 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:16 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Some hilarious criticisms. Criticising Murray's return of serve? Murray has his faults, but his return is not one of them. He's the best returner on tour. His lack of aggression is certainly worthy of criticism, but not his return.

Also, he's a far better player than Henman ever was. No ifs, ands, or buts.

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post #6 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:22 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

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Some hilarious criticisms. Criticising Murray's return of serve? Murray has his faults, but his return is not one of them. He's the best returner on tour. His lack of aggression is certainly worthy of criticism, but not his return.

Also, he's a far better player than Henman ever was. No ifs, ands, or buts.
I'm not criticising his return of serve, I questioned his return of serve stance on a hardcourt against a superior server like Federer. That's in keeping with his mindset, which is too defensive and not prepared to take any risks whatsoever.

Thats not hilarious but actually an important observation.

By the way, what do you think Murray needs to do to improve next year?
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post #7 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:25 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Murray might be the best Brit since Perry, but I still think that in general Henman is preferred because his game is more aesthetically pleasing, he was seen as the eternal underdog etc etc etc.

Anyway, back on topic. Murray needs to stop playing like a chicken when he reaches the latter stages... to put it simply.

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post #8 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:31 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

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I'm not criticising his return of serve, I questioned his return of serve stance on a hardcourt against a superior server like Federer. That's in keeping with his mindset, which is too defensive and not prepared to take any risks whatsoever.

Thats not hilarious but actually an important observation.

By the way, what do you think Murray needs to do to improve next year?
That's how Murray has returned serve since the USO last year. You can't argue with his success on return. I don't think that was the problem against Federer that day. He had a bigger problem holding serve, not breaking serve.

As for how I think he can improve, I can only echo the comments of most other people. He needs to be more aggressive and he needs to find his 2008 forehand. Inexplicably, his forehand has regressed. It's much slower and shorter than it was in late 2008. He also needs to cut out the stupid mental lapses after he's won a set. I've lost count of how many times he has dropped serve after winning a set.

'Nous nous tournons vers l’Écosse pour trouver toutes nos idées sur la civilisation' - Voltaire
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post #9 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:35 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

only if predicted by Simon Reed

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post #10 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:38 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

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That's how Murray has returned serve since the USO last year. You can't argue with his success on return. I don't think that was the problem against Federer that day. He had a bigger problem holding serve, not breaking serve.

As for how I think he can improve, I can only echo the comments of most other people. He needs to be more aggressive and he needs to find his 2008 forehand. Inexplicably, his forehand has regressed. It's much slower and shorter than it was in late 2008. He also needs to cut out the stupid mental lapses after he's won a set. I've lost count of how many times he has dropped serve after winning a set.
You can't have one without the other. If you feel you have no chance breaking serve then holding serve becomes more difficult - its all in the mind. And no one breaks serve by standing on the fence. Not sure about the success on return comment, Murray has lost all of his big matches in the 4 slams bar Warwrinka, and he almost came unstuck in that as well. Murray may return well against the top 30 players but he has to return better against the top 10 opponents in the big matches (i.e. slams not ATP events which are best of 3 sets)

Has Murray had any injuries or surgery on his right wrist?
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post #11 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:45 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

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You can't have one without the other. If you feel you have no chance breaking serve then holding serve becomes more difficult - its all in the mind. And no one breaks serve by standing on the fence. Not sure about the success on return comment, Murray has lost all of his big matches in the 4 slams bar Warwrinka, and he almost came unstuck in that as well. Murray may return well against the top 30 players but he has to return better against the top 10 opponents in the big matches (i.e. slams not ATP events which are best of 3 sets)

Has Murray had any injuries or surgery on his right wrist?
Murray is statistically the best first serve returner on tour. He is also statistically the 2nd best 2nd serve returner, 2nd best in terms of return games won, and 2nd best in terms of breakpoints converted. Only Rafael Nadal is ahead of him in those categories and Nadal's return stats get a boost from the clay court swing. Murray was ahead of everyone on all 4 return of serve categories this year until the clay court swing.

And yes, you can have one without the other. Karlovic is evidence of that. He can't return to save his life, but he holds serve more than anyone else on tour. Murray broke Federer's serve several times that day. The problem was that he kept getting broken because his serve is inconsistent and he allowed Federer to dictate and was too central with his groundstrokes. He didn't find Federer's backhand often enough.

No, he hasn't had surgery as far as I'm aware. Just an extended period of rest to allow the wrist to heal after he injured it in Hamburg 2007.

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post #12 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:53 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Henman played in a tougher era. Henman >>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>> Muggay

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post #13 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 09:53 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

The problem with Murray's serve is that he hits the second serve and first serve with a very different technique. His first serve is based on pounding it flat, instead of serving with different spins (like Federer does). That creates a problem, since he has to drastically alter the shot on the second serve instead of just changing the spin and ball toss.

Del Potro is similar, he just gets away with it more since he's taller.

If Murray would change his serving mentality on first serve, I'm sure his second one would improve because it would just be an extension of a good first serve like it's supposed to be, instead of being a different shot altogether.

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post #14 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 10:02 PM
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

Murray returns very very well, it's the key part of his game, but his serve is simply laughable in most stances, specially the second one
he doesn't put as much power in his strokes as he could due to his size and sometimes he plays way too passively, allowing the rival to set the pace, and that's a double edged sword

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post #15 of 134 (permalink) Old 11-14-2009, 10:17 PM Thread Starter
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Re: Andy Murray - a Technical discussion and his chances of Major success in 2010

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The problem with Murray's serve is that he hits the second serve and first serve with a very different technique. His first serve is based on pounding it flat, instead of serving with different spins (like Federer does). That creates a problem, since he has to drastically alter the shot on the second serve instead of just changing the spin and ball toss.

Del Potro is similar, he just gets away with it more since he's taller.

If Murray would change his serving mentality on first serve, I'm sure his second one would improve because it would just be an extension of a good first serve like it's supposed to be, instead of being a different shot altogether.
Thats my interpretation about Murray's serve. I agree.
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