Re: Why are ballbashers more highly regarded than tacticians like Murray?
I think the main thing people resent in Murray's play is the fact that he is capable of seizing the initiative more than he does, and that in fact this would be to his own advantage, as well as more exciting to watch.
If a tactic works, it is tough to say it is wrong, even if it is boring, and you therefore have to respect it. But often it is Andy's passivity that can cost him a match, or make a match much longer than it needs to be, which can cost him a match later in the tournament.
I was really struck by the fact that, in the US Open final, it was Djokovic who came to the net more often - and successfully - even though Andy is probably a more natural volleyer.
As regards ball-bashing, the slowness of the courts these days has really deprived all but the most powerful players of even the option of playing in that style. Viewed in that light, you can't really complain about players who are not 1.95 metres tall if they choose to play more conservatively. After all, if your hardest shot is still not hard enough to get past your opponent, there is no point in going all out, because you are likely to make more errors for no conceivable benefit.
This is why everyone wants the courts speeded up, because we know that will give more players the opportunity to play aggressively, and get rid of this tendency in tennis for lumbering giants (the only people who can ball-bash on slow courts) to slug it out in a game of roulette with actual tennis players of normal size and athleticism.
Federer, of course, is the exception, a great athlete and a sensational player in both attack and defence.