Rain Can’t Keep Andy Murray Down

Written By: achangeofends - Aug• 15•10

During the second rain delay in today’s Toronto final, both Federer and Murray seemed to be ready to play through the miniscule amount of precipitation. The chair umpire was adamant that the lines were to slick and play would be suspended until they could be dried. On the ESPN2 coverage, the camera zoomed in on Murray pointing to the sky and explaining to the chair umpire that what was occurring in Toronto was not rain. It’s true, Murray lives in London (where I spent 6 months earlier this year) and they definitely know rain. If he says it’s not rain, I believe him.

It doesn’t really look like rain played a huge role in today’s match. Sometimes rain delays can make or break a match. If you’ve ever seen the movie Wimbledon (don’t judge me, it’s heartwarming,) you know what I’m talking about. Yes, it’s a movie, and an exaggeration, but things like this do happen. That was not the case today. Andy Murray was in control from the very beginning of the match to the very end of the match and that is an excellent omen for his chances at the US Open.

Yesterday, Andy Murray came out guns blazing and completely blitzed Rafael Nadal in his Rogers Cup semifinal. Nadal’s no slouch (a possible understatement?,) he’s number 1 in the world, he won the French Open, he won Wimbledon and right now the odds makers have him as the front runner to win the US Open. On Friday, Murray absolutely demolished Legg Mason winner, David Nalbandian. Murray has had a spectacular week and managed to top it off with a straight sets win over Roger Federer, the greatest of all time. Yes, I said it. Federer is the greatest of all time and Murray just beat him for the first time in a final.

Murray actually has a winning record against Federer, but has never beaten him in a tournament final, including two Grand Slam finals. This is a great step forward for Andy if he plans on winning the US Open, as Roger has been his biggest obstacle on the quest for a slam. Murray lost to Federer in straight sets in the final of the Australian Open in January. Since then, Murray’s results have been lackluster in the smaller tournaments and mediocre (for him) at the Grand Slams. I witnessed his loss in the 4th round of the French Open and his season still wasn’t looking so good. Wimbledon is always tricky for Andy because of the overwhelming pressure the UK dumps on him each year. He’s their only real chance at ending the British dry-spell (and it’s been a really long dry spell,) but the added pressure certainly doesn’t help his chances. This year, Murray equaled his best Wimbledon performance by reaching the semifinals before falling to eventual champion, Rafael Nadal.

Murray’s only 23 years old, so he has plenty of time left to win a Grand Slam, but he is clearly the best player on tour who hasn’t been able to make that final breakthrough and bring home a Slam trophy. The recently coachless Murray seems well on his way to realizing that dream if he can continue to perform like he has in his last three matches.

While I can’t give Murray enough praise for his performance in Toronto, I do have to address Federer’s side of the match. Roger came out flat today from the very beginning. All week, I feel like he’s been constantly trying to dig himself out of a hole. Today that hole was just too great. On Thursday, against Llodra, he fell down 4-1 in the first set. He is still Roger Federer and somehow managed to fight back to 6 all and win the tie-break, but it was a real nail biter. On Friday, we saw Fed win a re-match of his Wimbledon quarterfinal against Tomas Berdych. Both matches had everyone on the edge of their seats, but this time, Roger prevailed. Yesterday, I was confident that Federer would have no issues closing out a rattled Novak Djokovic after watching him run to a 6-1 first set. I’m not sure what happened after that, but the second set just slipped away from him. He started missing shots that no one would ever expect Roger Federer to miss. It was that second set version of Roger Federer that we saw today. He was netting easy forehand returns and looked miffed by the continued weather disturbances.

Federer may not have won the title, but he fought through two very difficult matches and regained his rightful position as world number 2 in the process. I’ll leave you with this. I don’t think it matters that Federer lost the title. He doesn’t need another Masters event. He’s in the hunt for more Grand Slams as he battles time and some excellent opponents. After his shock loss at Wimbledon, I think eeking out wins over Novak Djokovic, and particularly Tomas Berdych will do wonders for his confidence.

You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

© 2011-2017 A Change of Ends All Rights Reserved -- Copyright notice by Blog Copyright

Theme Customization by Fitr Theme Options