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post #286 of 396 (permalink) Old 12-03-2009, 08:02 AM
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At least we know the real reason for that wrist injury

Nearly all men can stand adversity, but if you want to test a man’s character, give him power ~ Abraham Lincoln
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post #287 of 396 (permalink) Old 12-05-2009, 01:20 AM
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Ambitious Andy Murray not satisfied with year, and aims to hit heights in 2010

Published Date: 04 December 2009
By Moira Gordon

THE Scottish dark nights are one thing but as he refocuses on a new season, Andy Murray is envisaging far brighter days.

• Andy Murray with Maya Cooper, a pupil at Glasgow's Broomhill Primary School,
where he was supporting the RBS Supergrounds scheme. Picture: PA

He sets off for Miami at the end of this week and says it is a combination of the dreich British winters and his desire to cement his place at the top of the world rankings that is driving him away from his family over the festive period.

The Sunshine State has been his preferred venue for close-season training over the past few years but this year he won't be punctuating the stay with a trip back to Britain. Instead, the intention is to spend Christmas in Miami and then head straight to Melbourne.

The new season starts with the Australian Open in January and after tasting the highs of a world No 2 ranking in August, he is determined to scale the ATP table again and knows the best way to do that is win one of the four grand slam events.

Appearing at Broomhill Primary School, where he was supporting the RBS Supergrounds scheme, he was coy about what he wanted for Christmas but it would seem he is far clearer when it comes to his resolutions for the upcoming year. "I got to No2 in the world (in 2009] which is the highest I have ever been in the rankings. I won more tournaments than I did the previous year and my consistency was way better but the difference in the rankings is winning a grand slam. That is much more easily said than done but I think I have a chance of doing it next year.

"Last year I came home for Christmas so that meant I was in the warm weather for three weeks, would come back and be cold four or five days and then I headed to a warm-up tournament in Doha in the hot. I was getting to Australia the week before the Australian Open started. Now I will be heading to Australia earlier to become used to the conditions."

Now 23, he says he has always believed that he would deliver his best tennis between now and the age of 26 and wants to prove it. In the past 12 months, he not only became the first player in four years to end the Roger Federer/Rafael Nadal duopoly at the top of the world rankings, he also won his highest number of tour titles – six. Only Novak Djokovic and Nadal could equal the number of wins he accumulated in tour level matches but to leapfrog them he knows the likelihood is that he will also have to join their exclusive club of grand slam winners.

"This year went well. There were certain things I would have liked to have done better but in the tennis season, you cannot really look at one tennis tournament here or there. It is 11 months long and you need to focus on the year as a whole and that went very well. Obviously, I will try to do better next year and that is one of the reasons I am spending Christmas in Miami. That is to make sure I am in the best shape possible going into the grand slams."

Throughout 2009 he improved on or matched his best ever showings in three of the four slams, showing greater consistency in reaching the latter stages. In Melbourne he progressed to the fourth round for only the second time in his career, while Roland Garros and Wimbledon represented improvement as he reached the quarter-finals and semi-finals respectively.

"Within tennis there is obviously an ambition to (win one], but there are a lot more things to worry about other than just a grand slam. I am going to work as hard as I can and dedicate my time to it as much as possible. If it happens it happens, but if it does not I feel like I am giving it my best shot and working as hard as I can. If I am good enough to win one, then I will do it. If I am not, then I won't. But I will try my best."

Talking up the current state of Scottish tennis, citing the return to form of British No1 Elena Baltacha as well as his own standing as proof of valuable role models in the women's and men's game, he said the continued improvement of Colin Fleming, breaking into the world top 50 in the doubles, was also a boost to tennis in this country. "My brother (Jamie] did not have his best year but the last couple of months were a lot better for him and hopefully he will be back to playing his best next year."

Murray will be doing his best to ensure he has the best foundation on which to build. "He is coming out to train with me in Miami for the first time which will be good."

But in the grand scheme of things, it's not good the world No4 is aiming for. This is a guy who wants to be great and he is willing to make the sacrifices necessary to achieve that. Even if that does mean spending Christmas away from home.
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post #288 of 396 (permalink) Old 12-09-2009, 11:33 PM
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Andy has been out at Crandon Park today watching the juniors play in the Orange Bowl event there, so he's in Miami and his training block for the next 3 weeks or so is getting underway.
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post #289 of 396 (permalink) Old 12-23-2009, 05:28 PM
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post #290 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:47 PM
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Page last updated at 13:25 GMT, Sunday, 3 January 2010

Andy Murray withdraws from British Davis Cup tie

The LTA said last year that Murray should focus
on winning Grand Slams

British number one Andy Murray insists he has not abandoned the British team despite pulling out of the forthcoming Davis Cup match against Lithuania.

The 22-year-old says he is missing the tie in March so younger players can gain more international experience.

The Scot said it was "unfair" to criticise him when other top players had also skipped Davis Cup matches.

"I don't think it's a case of me abandoning Great Britain. I've played a lot of matches for them," he said.

"You've got to do what is right for your tennis. That period of the year just before Indian Wells and Miami is very important for me.

"I've got a lot of ranking points to defend. I think it's the right decision."

Murray, who will play for Team GB alongside Laura Robson at the Hopman Cup in Australia this week, pointed out that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have missed Davis Cup games for their respective countries.

"It would be a bit unfair to single me out. A lot of players better than me have missed Davis Cup matches," he said.

Murray's decision is set to give the likes of Jamie Baker and Dan Evans the chance to prove their mettle.

"We are in quite a low group now. When I do play and we lose, I don't feel like it benefits the other players.

"It think it's been 10 years or something since a British player outside myself, Tim (Henman) and Greg (Rusedski) won a live Davis Cup rubber.

"It's time for the guys to get used to winning in the Davis Cup, rather than having so much pressure on them every time they play," he said.

Murray, who is number four in the world, hinted after Great Britain's relegation to Europe/Africa Zone Group II in September that it might be time to give other players an opportunity.

And he was supported by Lawn Tennis Association chief executive Roger Draper, who said he would be happy for Murray to miss future Davis Cup matches as the Scot focuses on trying to win Grand Slam titles.

"That's what I want to do, but this is one of, if not the toughest era in tennis. You can play great and not win right now because of how good the other players are.

"I'll try my best to win a Grand Slam, that's my goal, but I still think you can be successful in tennis even if you didn't win one.

"Having said that, I would be disappointed if I didn't," Murray added.
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post #291 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-05-2010, 12:48 PM
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From The Times
January 5, 2010

Laura Robson and Andy Murray enjoy mixed fortunes before claiming Hopman Cup win

Robson and Murray made a successful start to their partnership but sterner challenges are imminent

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, Perth

So there is another Murray who is pretty handy at mixed doubles. But let no one take seriously Andy Murray’s gibe that he alone was responsible for Britain’s win over Kazakhstan in the Hyundai Hopman Cup.

Asked if he had suffered any aches and pains during his first two matches of 2010, Murray remarked that the worst was when Laura Robson struck him in the back with her racket. Her gesture had been meant to applaud her partner, not chide him; Murray joked that his back was “sore already because I’d been carrying her”.

Robson threw Murray one of those looks that only a man knows. For had the 15-year-old not stood her ground in the decisive champions’ tie-break of their mixed doubles, the outcome of the group A tie might have been decidedly less auspicious.

Robson had lost the opening singles 4-6, 6-3, 6-0 to Yaroslava Shvedova before Murray restored parity with a 6-2, 6-2 victory over Andrey Golubev. In the deciding mixed doubles, the British pair were match point down when Robson produced two forehand volleys, neither of which she middled, that turned the tables.

It was also her second serve on Britain’s second match point that Golubev rather gallantly chose to try to lash into next week. With that, honour was satisfied for the pair who are the marketing men’s real dream at this event, whatever Lleyton Hewitt and Samantha Stosur, of Australia, might tell you.

In defeating Golubev and Shvedova 6-3, 5-7, (12-10), Murray and Robson have a foothold in the competition, although they know that Germany, in Philipp Kohlschreiber and Sabine Lisicki, and Igor Andreev and Elena Dementieva, of Russia, offer sterner challenges ahead. As an opening performance together, though, it began as a bit of a wheeze and ended in full business mode. And few players do their business more sharply than Murray.

It probably rankles just a bit that Jamie, his elder brother, can, if he is losing an argument, wave his Wimbledon winner’s medal for the mixed doubles in 2008 under Andy’s nose. As a prelude to his initiation with Robson, the British No 1 said he was “rubbish at mixed”. Even in its wake, he was a bit pained. “I’m not quite sure about the etiquette,” he said. “Laura told me that the men players are supposed to hit it as hard as possible to the woman, but I’d like to have that cleared up before I do it.”

From 5-0 up in the first set, Murray continued to be chivalrous towards Shvedova when a bit of spite would not have gone amiss. Actually, when the British pair secured break points in successive service games from Golubev in the second set, Murray made the ricks, crossing into Robson’s territory on the baseline to scoop one forehand long and then to attempt to dink an undersliced forehand winner when he ought to have hit through Shvedova at the net. He will learn.

For Robson and Murray, though, this was a test of resolve from which they emerged richer for the experience. Murray spoke of his pleasure at playing four sets of tennis in almost three hours and although it was in the evening and indoors, the temperatures inside the Burswood Dome were still stifling. “All round, it was a perfect day,” he said. “I felt a bit stiff during the match, but that was only to be expected. As the guy, you have to be more aggressive, take a few more chances and be excellent in your movement, which gives you the confidence to do other things. I was very happy with the way I played.”

He served well, too; a couple of humdingers at 215km/h (about 134mph) earned him the kind of free points that will be essential when it is five sets and the mercury is nearing 35C (95F) at the Australian Open, which starts on January 18. Robson is also beginning to look the professional part although, as one Australian supporter said: “She has too much of a tan to be a Brit.”
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post #292 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-07-2010, 08:49 PM
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Thanks for all the articles you post Getta!

Sorry to post anything from the Record but it made me smile

Hopman Cup: Laura Robson's cheeky Olympics snub to Andy Murray as pair close in on finals

Jan 7 2010 Ted Tracey

ANDY Murray will have to do some sweet talking if he wants to team up with Laura Robson again at the London Olympics.

The world No.4 is enjoying himself so much alongside his mixed doubles partner at the Hopman Cup he suggested they go for gold in 2012.

But the Scot was stunned to hear Robson say thanks, but no thanks.

Murray said: "I asked her if she wanted to play the Olympics and she said no so it will be the last time I ask her to play mixed!" Quizzed on whether she really wanted to turn down someone as good as Murray, Robson said: "I'll have to think about it."

It was all tongue in cheek, though, because Murray and Robson have been hitting it off Down Under.

And the fun has carried right on to the court where the pair have won two deciding mixed doubles to clinch consecutive 2-1 victories in their first two round-robin matches in Perth.

After squeezing past Kazakhstan in their opener Britain beat Germany by the same score yesterday but Robson pulled her weight this time.

First she pushed world No.22 Sabine Lisicki hard beforeeventually going down 7-6 6-3, having served for the opening set at 5-4.

But after Murray demolished Philipp Kohlschreiber 6-4 6-1 with a superb display Robson lifted her game again as she and her partner saw off the Germans 6-3 6-2.

The Dunblane star said:"We started both matches really well and then went through tough spells. Today was good though. We just played a few bad games.

"It happens in mixed sometimes and things can change quite a lot.

"We haven't played that much together so it takes a bit of time and we've done pretty well."

Murray and Robson continued their banter throughout the post-match press conference with the 15-year-old berating the Scot for using his phone and then saying she had not received much advice from her more experienced partner.

Murray, 22,said: "I don't thinkshe has run back for one lob yet. I'm trying to encourage her to do that a little bit but I am not sure she'd listen to advice.

"I mean, I've only known her for a year and a half so we haven't said too many nice things to each other during that time. I guess that's just the way our relationship is."

As in their first match the British pair stormed to a 5-0 lead only to lose concentration and let the Germans win three straight games before Murray served out for the opening set.

On Monday he revealed Robson's focus had begun to wander after she asked him: "Do you moisturise your hands?" And yesterday Murray again let slip the former junior Wimbledon champion had come up with another unusual question at exactly the same stage of the match.

He said: "When we were walking back to the baseline Laura asked where the balls were.

"I had to explain to her it was the opponents' serve. I don't think she quite understands the scoring system yet."

Robson is already guaranteed the biggest pay cheque of her career - around £28,000 - but it could be a lot more if Britain go on to win the trophy.

Victory over Russia - who suffered a shock defeat to Kazakhstan yesterday - in their final group match tomorrow would ensure their place in Saturday's final.
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post #293 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-26-2010, 02:47 PM
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From Times Online
January 26, 2010

Rafael Nadal blown away by 'unbelievable' Andy Murray

Nadal sits dejected after he was forced to retire after two sets with Murray well on top

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, Melbourne

Unbelieveable. Rafael Nadal repeated his word for good measure. Unbelieveable. Not that he stopped a match in midstream which is about as un-Rafa like as anything you will see on a tennis court - but his description of the levels attained by Andy Murray on Rod Laver Arena today. Two more performances like this and a little bit of grand slam stardust will surely be sprinkled on the Scot.

Nadal quit on his stool, a boxing analogy made all the more redolent in that Ricky Hatton had flown in from Hong Kong to watch at first hand a man who proved that his hands are every bit as swift and destructive as Hatton’s own. And Nadal does not do quitting. In Rotterdam last February, with both his knees burning, he played through the final against Murray, losing the final set 6-0 and then refusing to discuss his ailment lest it should be considered an excuse.

It was the same yesterday; a tweak to the Spaniard’s right knee at the end of the second set, exacerbated by the state of the match - Murray was about to take decisive command - only this time the choice was made to shake on it. Why risk any further damage with hard court tennis stretching ahead as far as the eye can see? In the front row of his box, Toni Nadal, Rafa’s coach, asked him not to play on. The world’s most famous sporting nephew did his uncle’s bidding.

To see the back of Nadal at any event is both a horrid blow for the tournament and a blessing for the opposition. Murray would have preferred to complete the job in the time-honoured fashion but his 6-3, 7-6, 3-0 retired scoreline is every bit as definitive as if all the loose ends had been tied up. As a preparation for a semi-final tomorrow night against Croatia’s Marin Cilic, it could not have been sweeter. Murray played magnificent tennis, most especially when he faced Nadal at the heights of the intensity he brought to a match he said had so much riding on it.

Murray knew it, too. Though the Spaniard’s form against the very best has suffered of late, he does not give up a title without shedding the last vestige of effort and the opening exchanges were extreme in both the physical and the tactical sense. Nadal broke first with a brutal backhand winner after a forehand had opened up Murray; the British No 1 responded in kind with a backhand lob on the third of his break points in the subsequent game. He saved three futher break points in the next game, twice choosing to volley behind the serve, a tactic that was to bring rich dividends. A further break in the sixth game secured a foothold that needed to be underpinned by saving three further Nadal break opportunities in the ninth game.

The match did not need further fireworks but this was Australia Day and on Australia Day fireworks are a ritual. Incomprehensibly, the match was halted for a quarter-of-an-hour after five games of the second set, so the sky could be lit up. Murray said he felt his body stiffen, the sudden halt allowing cool air to invade and play tricks with his muscles and bone. He dropped serve. It might have been a match-turner but Nadal was unusually hesitant, tossed in a double fault, scuffed a backhand to give Murray two points to break and he needed just one, thanks to a devastating backhand crosscourt winner.

“It was just quite strange,” Murray said. “You can’t imagine in like a football World Cup quarter-final or something of that kind, being stopped stopping in the 60th minute when they say ’there’s a few fireworks, just hang on.’ Your body gets used to the match, we’re conditioned to play four hours or so but if you take a break for ten minutes on these courts, your body starts to tighten up because it is not like playing for an hour and 45 minutes against Rafa is the easiest thing to do anyway.” Even this turn of events, however, did not faze Murray. He might have been in a position to serve out for the second set had Nadal not roused himself to avert another four break chances in the eleventh game but it was during one of the outstanding exchanges that marked the game that he felt something tweak in his knee. Murray breezed the tie-break 7-2 - as secure as Fort Knox under the high ball and as eager as a dingo to devour anything short.

After six points of the third set, Nadal raised his arm to stop play and called for the trainer, who kneaded his fingers into the muscles around the Spaniard’s right knee. Only twelve more points were played, four of which were aces from Murray ranging from 207 to 212kmh before Nadal was gesturing again, this time that he wanted to shake hands. The players hugged at the net. A brilliant match had been brought to a sad stop.

Sad, that is, unless you like your victories in tennis to be Murray ones.
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post #294 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 05:25 AM
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AUSTRALIAN OPEN 2010: Andy Murray vows, I'm not going to blow my big semi-final chance
By Mike Dickson Last updated at 12:50 AM on 28th January 2010

Andy Murray believes he has conquered his habit of following a masterful Grand Slam victory with a flop in the next round.

Murray faces Marin Cilic in the semi-final of the Australian Open on Thursday morning, and he is confident he has the stamina and game to beat the man who ousted him at last year's US Open.

Although the British No 1 was out practising at Melbourne Park by Wednesday lunchtime following his dismissal of Rafael Nadal, he was careful not to overdo things ahead of his match against the 21-year-old Croat.

Big chance: Andy Murray has vowed to conquer Marin Cilic en route to the Finals

Murray has sometimes struggled to back up commanding performances such as Tuesday's, for instance when he beat the Spaniard in the 2008 US Open semis before losing heavily to Roger Federer in the final.
'That one was difficult, Roger had a day off and I had to play back-to-back, which was not ideal at the end of a long hard court season,' he said.

'I need to recover properly and not spend too much time around the courts. These are the kind of things you learn from experience and make sure you don't make the same mistakes.

'Obviously I have to enjoy the win against Rafa but get ready for the next match. But I'm not worried about it at all, I'm ready to play and it won't be a problem.'
At stake will be a title decider on Sunday against either Federer or Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

The Wimbledon champion came back from a set and 3-1 down to defeat Nikolay Davydenko 2-6, 6-3, 6-0, 7-5 and the ebullient Frenchman gained revenge for his defeat in the 2008 final by beating Novak Djokovic 7-6, 6-7, 1-6, 6-3, 6-1 in yet another five-setter at this event.

Murray goes into Thursday's encounter wary that a player who once beat him in the semi-final of the French Open juniors will be dangerous.

'He has come through a couple of tough matches and I'm sure he will go for it. I've got to be focused at the start of the match and try to get ahead and then maybe his head will drop a bit,' said Murray.

Game, set and watch: Andy Murray plays fun football with his fitness coach Jez Green (left) as he warms up for Thursday's semi-final against Marin Cilic

'It's pretty amazing that I've got this far without dropping a set, it doesn't happen very often. I would love to get to the final without dropping one but I think it will be tough.'

While Murray has a relatively youthful coach here in Miles Maclagan, Cilic is with the veteran Australian Bob Brett, whose previous clients over a 31-year career include Boris Becker and Goran Ivanisevic. After a recommendation by the latter, Cilic was sent to Brett's tennis academy in San Remo, just over the French border in Italy, when he was 15, and has been under his wing ever since.

As a product of the old school, Brett does not believe that conditioning should have much to do with the outcome, despite his charge's heavy workload over the last 10 days. 'I don't think anyone can have an excuse, once you step out on to the court that's it,' he said. 'That's why you do all the hard training, to prepare for these situations.

'Marin has already come through some tough situations and the difference in this tournament is that he has kept his level up. I think that he has got the opportunity to still improve over the next few years.'

Federer initially struggled against an opening onslaught from the Russian but came through to reach his 23rd consecutive Grand Slam semi-final - a monument to his amazing consistency.

Although Djokovic suffered a bout of nausea in the fourth set, Tsonga finally looks like he might be following up on his piledriver performances of two years ago, in which case Federer needs to pay due care and attention.

Djokovic, 22, said later: 'I had a little problem with my stomach even before the match. I started feeling it a lot after the third set when I just couldn't hold on.'

Tsonga had little sympathy for his opponent's plight, saying: 'It's good for me, bad for him.' But the Frenchman conceded he has his work cut out to beat Federer. 'I will have to play my best tennis,' he said. 'Roger played unbelievably today again because Nikolay was in good shape, so it's going to be tough. But like today, I will give everything and we will see.'

Murray mania: Tennis fans gather round the beaming Scot to get his autograph
Andy Murray faces huge test but here are three ways for the Briton to beat the booming boy Marin Cilic
By Mike Dickson

Britain's No 1 Andy Murray will be much fresher than his Australian Open semi-final opponent Marin Cilic on Thursday.

World No 4 Murray has breezed into the last four in Melbourne without dropping a set and has spent only only 10 hours, one minute on court.

Cilic, who beat Murray in last year's US Open, is renowned in the game for his booming first serves.
He has slugged it out for 18 hours and 40 minutes in the fierce Victorian heat to reach his first Grand Slam semi-final.

Tennis correspondent MIke Dickson identifies three ways that the British No 1 can triumph over the big Croatian and cruise into Sunday’s showpiece final ....

Booming serve: Cilic in action during his quarter-final clash with Andy Roddick

1) Run, Marin, run: With Cilic playing nearly 19 hours in the tournament to date, Murray will mercilessly try to run the finish out of him by making the Croatian change direction.
If Murray can secure the first set, the prospect of being kept out there for more hours will start to look like a mountainous task.

2) Keep him bending down: Murray brilliantly exploited the problems caused by being a tall man when he dismissed American giant John Isner in the fourth round.

At 6ft 6in Cilic is a good athlete and more flexible but still not the most agile, so there will be plenty of slicing to him to keep the ball low and balls hit to his feet when he is brought in to the net.

Celebration time: Cilic battled to beat Roddick in Melbourne

3) Don’t let him settle: Cilic is like a threshing machine from the back of the court, a formidable hitter who like Nadal can be lethal if he is allowed to get into his rhythm in the rallies.

As Murray has shown in previous matches, drop shots and surprise serve and volley expeditions will keep him off balance and deny him the baseline exchanges he thrives on.

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Last edited by Nolby; 01-28-2010 at 06:00 AM.
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post #295 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 10:45 PM
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Apparently the Aussies should support Murray

I love this article:

Following Andy Murray’s pretty convincing win in last night’s Australian Open semi-final The Punch now argues Australia must support the young Scot in the final. For one it has been 74 years since the last British male won a grand slam, and secondly Australia kind of killed their last champion.

Andy Murray, a British person not completely crap at tennis

If you are ever tempted to complain about the state of Australian tennis just remember this: the British are really, really bad. They even have to say British because as individual UK nations it would look even more pathetic.

While Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977 for all the British ladies in the place, the last male Briton to win a grand slam was Fred Perry back in 1936. In 1936 the Nazis were running Germany and refrigeration was looked upon with the same awe as the iPad is today. Perhaps only bettered by Cronulla’s inability to ever win the premiership it’s one of the longest standing failures in sport.

By all accounts Perry was an amazing player who between 1933 and 1936 won eight of the old amateur grand slams, before turning professional and travelling around the world in a tent and wrestle Lucky Lindy, or whatever they did on those “professional sportsman” tours.

Perry also defeated a representative of the Third Reich in two Wimbledon finals, beating the fabulously named Baron Gottfried Van Cram, thus making him doubly the hero in English folklore.

(Although to be fair to Baron Van Cramm he didn’t like the Nazis. In fact he refused to become a poster boy for Hitler and as a result the Gestapo outed a gay relationship he had with a young Jewish actor and sentenced him to one year in prison, something that gave Britain and America reason to ban him from tournaments and stunted his career. At one point he also married the richest woman on earth. None of this has to do with anything much other to further illustrate the point that tennis used to be a hell of a lot more interesting)

Another reason the nation should get behind Murray is the fact that Australia was responsible for Fred Perry’s death. Well not quite, but he slipped in his hotel bathtub and died while he was in Melbourne to watch the Australian Open. Needless to say it’s been a bit awkward, so we probably owe the Brits on some level and if he wins here there’s a nice “circle of life” aspect to the whole thing.

Some fans may be a little torn as he could be up against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final, a decidedly more exciting player and character than any of the other top tennis players at the moment. But given that Tsonga is up against Federer in the other semi-final it’s a choice that is likely to be made for us.

Murray is an odd-looking incongruous kind of an athlete. Even though he’s cut his hair and bulked-up a bit recently he still looks like a skinny and pasty Scottish teenager who should be smoking pot and listening to Tool. For this reason alone he is more deserving than that boring genius Roger Federer who has won everything there is to win.

But besides the blood money and historical rationale, the best reason for having Murray win the final is that he is the best player going around yet to win a grand slam tournament. Put simply the guy is due and so are the British.
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post #296 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-28-2010, 11:25 PM
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Originally Posted by scoobs View Post
Murray is an odd-looking incongruous kind of an athlete. Even though he’s cut his hair and bulked-up a bit recently he still looks like a skinny and pasty Scottish teenager who should be smoking pot and listening to Tool. For this reason alone he is more deserving than that boring genius Roger Federer who has won everything there is to win.
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post #297 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-29-2010, 02:10 PM
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From Times Online
January 29, 2010

On this form Andy Murray will struggle to match Roger Federer

Neil Harman, Tennis Correspondent, Melbourne

Andy Murray was probably only halfway through his first course when Roger Federer reached the final of the Australian Open for the fifth time this morning. On the face of it, he might have to re-consider whether he wants to play the Swiss in the final tomorrow.

How hard do you work to make this happen? Federer was asked. "All I do is take care of the kids," he replied, as relaxed as it possible to be on the verge of a 16th grand slam title.

"I know Andy would like to win the first title for British tennis in what is it, 150,000 years?" Federer added. "Andy, the poor guy, has to go through those moments over and over again but he has done tremendously. I'm looking forward to a great final, we match up well together. I will play the way I usually always play, aggressively. Andy, if you are listening, I'l drop shot, you will slice to my backhand, I'll lob and you will play through your legs," a reference to the shot of the tournament in the semi final.

If Federer is as on song on Sunday as he was in his demolition of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga of France, it will take more than the hopes and prayers of the nation to see the British No 1 home. This was Federer at his imperious best, a 6-2, 6-3, 6-2 triumph in an hour and 28 minutes, less than half the time it took Murray to see off Marin Cilic of Croatia on Thursday.

Tsonga did not help himself, for he was stuck between trying to force the issue and then attempting to make Federer dart around the baseline. Unfortunately for Tsonga, his groundstrokes did not carry enough weight and Federer simply picked him off at will. It was an awesome display. "Against the top players it's always a bonus when you win the first set but I thought he(Tsonga) did really well to come through all those five set matches. Maybe he was mentally more fatigued than physically tonight."

It was hard to believe that this was the same Federer who was a set and a break of serve down to Nikolay Davydenko of Russia in the quarter final on Wednesday. This was simply a wonderful player at the height of his talents. But Sunday is different day, a different pressure, a different occasion.
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post #298 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-30-2010, 05:03 PM
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Re: Andy, Articles and news

My best can beat Federer - Murray

Andy Murray says he must play the match of his life if he is to beat Roger Federer in the Australian Open final.

Murray, 22, hopes to win his first major title and end Britain's 74-year wait for a male Grand Slam champion.

"I'm going to need to play my best match ever," said the Scot. "I'm totally aware of that going into the match tomorrow.

"That's what I plan on doing. I'll try and play my best. If I do, I've got a good chance of winning."

Murray will play in his second Grand Slam final on Sunday, having lost in straight sets to Federer in the 2008 US Open final, but the Briton insists he is a different proposition now.

Murray only thinking of winning final

"I was only 20 when I played him in that US Open final," said Murray. "Twenty was pretty young when I played my first Slam final. A year and a half, two years later, I just feel physically more mature, mentally more mature.

"I just have a lot more experience in these sorts of situations now. I have a game that can cause Roger problems. I have played him a lot of times now so I know the way you need to play against him. There are not going to be too many surprises on the court tomorrow.

"I know what to expect. I know how he's going to play. It's up to me, like I said, to play my best."

Federer v Murray: Tale of the tape

Murray is the first British man to reach two Grand Slam singles finals since Bunny Austin in 1938, but it is Fred Perry's US Open victory of 1936 that he is desperate to match by breaking his Grand Slam duck.

Standing in his way is arguably the greatest player of all time in Federer, who set a new record of 15 Grand Slam titles when he won Wimbledon last year.

And the 28-year-old Swiss looked in supreme form as he swept past 10th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the semi-finals on Friday.

Federer starts the strong favourite and almost certainly wins, possibly heavily, if he plays as well as he can

"I'm sure he's going play great again tomorrow," said Murray. "Obviously, he plays very, very well. He's probably the best tennis player ever, so you would expect him to play well.

"I think if I play my best I've got a good chance against anyone. At the top of any sport it can come down to a few points here or there, sometimes a little bit of luck.

"You have to wait and see, but if I play my best, I think I've got a chance against anyone."

Murray has proved a difficult opponent for Federer in the past and has a 6-4 head-to-head record against the Swiss. He can also take heart from last year's US Open final, where Argentina's Juan Martin del Potro proved that the world number one can be overhauled with a five-set win.

"Obviously it would be nice to start well, but I don't think it's the end of the match if the start doesn't go my way," said Murray.

"Guys have come back against him in the past. "You look at the US Open final last year against Del Potro. Federer was up a set and serving for the set and Del Potro came back.

Federer tips Murray for Slam success

"In five-set matches so much can happen. A lot can change in just a few points, like my match the other night against (Marin) Cilic.

"It's not the end of the world if the start doesn't go to plan."

Federer, who completed his set of Grand Slam titles with victory at the French Open last year, is well aware of the pressure on Murray to end Britain's long wait for a for a male Grand Slam singles champion.

"I think Murray's always being reminded of that and it makes all the other players smile a little bit, that he has to hear that question over and over again," Federer told BBC Sport.

"I think he's handled it beautifully. He's been very successful, he's won many Masters 1000s and he's now putting himself in contention over and over again in Grand Slam play, so you must figure that he's got the game to do it.

"The question is now how much happens upstairs in the head. Let's say if he were to lose a second Grand Slam final, what effect has that on Andy? But he can put that all to rest by beating me on Sunday and he doesn't have to answer that question any more."

Loving the helpful wee graphic too
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post #299 of 396 (permalink) Old 01-31-2010, 06:21 AM
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Re: Andy, Articles and news

Inside Team Murray

As you have wandered around this beautiful city of Melbourne, have you encountered a bald chap in an ill-fitting pink tracksuit? Or a pale bloke in deely-boppers and boob-tube? And, as you crossed swiftly to the other side of the street, have you ever wondered who they were?

Chances are, they are part of Team Murray, the gang of experts who have helped and supported Andy Murray on his journey to the Australian Open final. And they have just lost a bet with the boss.

For the first few years of his professional career, Murray tried a string of individual coaches as he searched for the perfect voice to guide him on his way. But by the time he had parted company from Brad Gilbert, his third coach in as many years, Murray had come to the conclusion that this one-on-one business was not for him. Tennis is an individual sport and Murray is single-minded, but when he is not actually at the office, he likes a bit of company.

An extremely smart and funny guy, the Muzz has a fairly low boredom threshold, and the tedium of training, travel and practice can get him down. With a group of mates around him, the hours in the gym and the days on the running track are a bit more bearable, and the banter between the boys makes it fun. And, being boys – and competitive ones at that – every training routine instantly becomes a contest. That’s where the bets and the forfeits come in.

The winner of these little games gets nothing, but the loser gets it is all. He gets heaps. The failure to lift as many weights as the Muzz could result in doing 20 push-ups (and has to kiss the feet of the victors on the way down); losing the 400m may result in the loser buying lunch for everyone; but it is failure at football-tennis that will result in the humiliation of the pink track suit or the boob tube.

Football-tennis is the only thing – other than Murray’s career – that the whole gang takes seriously. Like a cross between keepy-uppy and tennis, the game requires a ton of skill and eye-watering levels of fitness. Well, it does if you play at Murray’s level.

And where the world No.4 will accept a duff call on tennis courts around the world, he will not be robbed of a point in tennis-football. Close observers of Scotland’s finest have seen him harrumph, grumble and chunter about a close call for fully 20 minutes after what was supposed to a fun-filled kick about.

The team was assembled – obviously – for their individual talents, but soon the crew bonded and formed a happy boys club. Now they travel the world as a bunch of lads who work hard, train hard and laugh hard. They are a clean-living lot – Murray is tee-totaller and his idea of good night out a Japanese meal and then back to his place to beat his mates at pool – but they tease each other mercilessly.

Miles Maclagan is the coach. You can spot him – just – under the floppy hat. The quiet and level-headed Miles was born in Zambia, has Scottish parents and grew up in Zimbabwe. He earned his coaching spurs with the doubles team of Wayne Black and Kevin Ullyett, taking them to the Australian Open 2005 doubles title.

Miles is a straight-forward sort of bloke - his top tip for tennis? Watch the ball, because you can’t hit it if you don’t know where it is – and never seems stressed or worried.

But even if he takes everything in his stride, he is sometimes amazed by just how much he and the rest of the gang have achieved.

“I’m pretty low-key in style,” he said. “At times, for example at the US Open, he had suddenly got to the final and I thought: ‘Holy smoke, as far as coaching is concerned this is the sort of thing you dream about.’ I hadn’t realised it. We do talk among the team and when Andy’s playing Federer in the final of the US Open or the semi-finals of a Masters Series, we sometimes have to pinch ourselves a little bit. It does hit you every now and then. But at other times, when you’re practicing and competing and having fun, it’s just like we’re five guys travelling around the world with a few tennis games interspersed.”

Murray’s impressive physique has been designed by Jez Green and Matt Little (otherwise known as Treacle). They work the Muzz to a standstill over the Christmas break and during training blocks throughout the season. During Grand Slams, they keep him ticking over in perfect nick. Jez and Matt take it in turns to travel with Murray, and this time it if Jez who has been at the Scot’s side. Easy to spot thanks to his shining bald pate, he is always ready with the chat and a joke.

Andy Ireland is the physio, the man who takes care of the endless aches, pains and niggles that go along with life on the tour. A firm believer in the motto “prevention is better than cure” he keeps a constant and watchful eye on Murray as he ploughs through the draw to offset the increasing fatigue and the threat of injury.

But given that Murray insists that every member of his team goes through the same fitness routines as he does, Ireland is kept busy. “Sometimes I seem to spend more time putting the old men on the team back together again than I do on Andy,” he said. Mr Ireland also believes in aliens, but please don’t hold that against him.

Alex Corretja has not been here these past two weeks, but the former world No.2 is part of the team set up. He was first brought on board to help with Murray’s clay court preparations in 2008, but now works as a regular consultant with the team. He will sometimes give Miles a week off and travel with the Muzz to a tournament, and sometimes he will work in tandem with Miles at events. Or sometimes he will stay at home. Reports from deep within the Murray camp have indicated that Cortetja’s football-tennis skills are improving, while reports from your correspondent can reveal that Alex still has lovely legs.

But the cast list does not end there. Muzza’s management company, 19 Entertainment, are represented here by Matt and Sharon, who field endless requests from the press bunker. Murray’s mum, Judy, is also here on a busman’s holiday (she is one of the most respected tennis coaches in Britain, so how does she spend her vacation? Watching tennis).

And then there is Ricky Hatton. He is not part of the team – not many players travel with a professional boxer – but he is a fan and Murray is trying to persuade him to put off his scheduled trip to Sydney and stay for the final. Oddly, Murray has not forced Hatton, the former world champion at welter and light welter weight, to wear either deely-boppers or a boob tube.
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post #300 of 396 (permalink) Old 02-01-2010, 01:21 AM
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Re: Andy, Articles and news

Murray left in tears by Federer's fireworks

World No 1 produces his 'finest ever match' / Scot still certain he has game to win a Slam

By Paul Newman at Melbourne Park

Monday, 1 February 2010

The task of beating the best player in history in a Grand Slam final proved beyond Andy Murray here yesterday, but the 22-year-old Scot gave a display of which he could be proud. Roger Federer, having won their Australian Open final 6-3, 6-4, 7-6, said that Murray had made him produce "one of my finest performances in a long time or maybe for ever". It was a thrilling match, full of tennis of the highest quality, and the emotion of the occasion got to Murray.

At the presentation ceremony, in which Federer had wept uncontrollably after losing to Rafael Nadal in the final 12 months ago, Murray broke down as he thanked his supporters back home for their backing over the last fortnight.

"I'm sorry I couldn't do it for you," Murray said. Choking back the tears, he added: "I can cry like Roger, it's just a shame I can't play like him. I'm done. Sorry." Murray also lost in straight sets to Federer in his only previous Grand Slam final, at the 2008 US Open, but this was a very different match and one that should give the Scot great encouragement.

Murray had his chances to win the first set, played poorly at the start of the second, upped his level thereafter and should have won the third. He led 5-2 and had five set points in a wonderful tie-break, which Federer won 13-11.

"I had three chances to go up a break at 2-2 in the first set," Murray said. "He started to play a lot better after that. He deserved to win the second set for sure. In the third set I thought I had more of the chances. I thought I deserved to take it into a fourth, but it didn't happen."

Murray, who was aiming to end Britain's 74-year wait for a men's singles Grand Slam title, added: "I'm hungry to win a Grand Slam. I have been since I was 16 or 17 years old, when I started playing the junior Grand Slams. I've worked really, really hard to try to do it and give myself the opportunity. So far it's not been good enough, but I'm sure one day it will be. When it comes, maybe because of the two losses, it will be even better.

"I'm getting closer and playing better. To have the opportunity to play in these tournaments, in these matches, is pretty incredible in the grand scheme of things. I'm not going to be too disappointed. I've got a pretty good life. I've got a long career ahead of me and I'm going to have more opportunities to win them."

Murray had beaten Federer in six of their previous 10 meetings, but he said the Swiss always upped his game in Grand Slam tournaments. "I think his level is a lot more consistent in the Slams," Murray said. "He makes fewer unforced errors than he does the rest of the year. Maybe in the other tournaments he tries a few more things out.

"But the shots that he hits great – they're still great all year round. He puts a lot of pressure on you with the way that he plays. You need to focus really hard throughout the match."

Federer, who is the first father to win a Grand Slam singles title since Andre Agassi in 2003, said he had played "some of the best tennis of my life these last two weeks". This was his 16th Grand Slam title – he has played in 22 finals – and once again he holds three of the four major crowns.

The world No 1 said Murray was "too good not to a win a Grand Slam". He added: "He's a wonderful mover and tactician and has a great backhand. He's got everything you need to beat the best and to win big tournaments. Sometimes it just doesn't happen when you want it to. Sometimes it happens all of a sudden without you knowing it.

"He's going through a tough generation. I've dominated hard courts and grass for a long time. Rafa dominated on clay and also became very strong on the other surfaces. Winning Grand Slams isn't an easy thing to do and I proved it again tonight. But I think he's extremely strong in his mind and I just feel like he's got the game to do it."

There are consolations for Murray. He will rise to No 3 in today's world ranking list – Novak Djokovic is at No 2 while Nadal falls out of the top three for the first time in five years to No 4 – and takes home a cheque for £581,000.
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