Tuesday, 1 February 2011

Mulling Things Over

There has been a lot of reaction in the Scottish media about Andy Murray’s defeat to Novak Djokovic in Sunday’s Australian Open final.  Having missed the Final (i was at a party the night before and didn’t get home until just before 3am), most of the reports have said that Murray was beaten by the better man.  The consensus seemed to be that Djokovic was the better player, as opposed to Murray not being very good.

What the final has done is spark a debate and scrutiny of whether Murray can win a major.  I don’t know whether he will win a major, but there is two points to bear in mind.  Murray has all the tools to win a major, possibly he is maybe that extra 1% away from winning.  Any comparison between Murray and Colin Montgomerie is invalid for two reasons.  Firstly because part of Montgomeries problem was that he was effectively playing in an away from home atmosphere when he went close to winning the US Opens in 1992, 1994 & 1997 and the USPGA in 1995.  Secondly, Murray is better at handling pressure than Montgomerie, and I would say is currently the best British sportsman at handling pressure.  I certainly wouldn’t say that Murray has disgraced himself by losing to one of the finest tennis players of all time (in Federer) and his contemporary who is two places higher than him in the ATP rankings.

The other point to make is that Tennis is such a swings and roundabouts game.  Two years ago, Federer was given a similar hammering by Nadal in this championship.  People were beginning to write Federer off.  He then went and won his maiden French Open – completing his personal Grand Slam – and regained the Wimbledon Championship – enabling him to pass Pete Sampras record for Grand Slam tournaments. It is not inconceivable that Murray could win either at Wimbledon or at Flushing Meadow this year.
Rather than take that two month break Murray was hinting at, the best thing he could do is get back to playing, as quickly as possible.

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