Members Login
    Remember Me  
Post Info TOPIC: San Jose match reports


Status: Offline
Posts: 18260
San Jose match reports

There are bound to be quite a few so I thought I'd start a new thread for this

Murray v Hewitt:

ew heights as he came from behind to beat Lleyton Hewitt and claim his first ATP Tour title in the SAP Open in San Jose.

The 18-year-old Scot, who also beat Andy Roddick in the last four, rallied from a set down to win 2-6 6-1 7-6.

Murray had his serve broken three times in the opening set, but hit back superbly to race through the next.

Hewitt saved two match points with aces at 4-5 and 5-6 down to force a tie-break, but Murray took it 7-3.

Hewitt had won all eight of his previous finals against opponents outside the world's top 50.

But the former world number one was never comfortable against the young Scot, despite a strong start.

Murray dropped his opening service game of the match to fall 2-0 down before breaking back and levelling at 2-2.

But Hewitt saved a further break point in his next service game and stepped up a gear to break Murray twice more and take the set.

Murray complained to the umpire about a line call at 2-5, 0-15 down, but undaunted by the setback of losing that game, he began the second set with renewed purpose.

The Scot broke Hewitt in the first and third games and upped his own serving percentages to take a commanding 4-0 lead.

The Australian refused to lie down but Murray broke him again to take the set 6-1.

Murray opened with a strong service game in the decider and then converted a break point in the next game with a backhand winner.

Hewitt responded by breaking back immediately, but Murray forced three more break points in the next, only to suffer a poor line call which allowed the Australian to level at 2-2.

Undeterred, a cross-court lob and a backhand cross-court winner saw the young Scot break Hewitt again for a 4-2 lead.

But again the Australian responded in kind, drawing level again at 4-4 with his best service game of the set.

An impeccable top-spin lob gave Murray a match point at 5-4, but Hewitt saved it with an ace, and did exactly the same when the Scot forced another at 6-5 ahead.

Murray raced to a 3-0 lead in the tie-break, and despite Hewitt closing to 5-3, two big serves brought Murray his magic moment.

His efforts in the past week mean he is assured of a place in the world's top 50 when the new rankings come out on Monday.



Status: Offline
Posts: 18260

Murray v Soderling:

Andy Murray is beginning to reap the benefit of a tough coaching regime, according to American great John McEnroe, who believes that the Scot will soon usurp Tim Henman as Britain's No 1.

McEnroe watched Murray reach the semi-finals of the SAP Open in San Jose yesterday - he beat the Swede Robin Soderling and his own outbursts of temper in a fractious three-setter - and reckons that he is learning from every match. Murray's reward was a semi-final against the sharp-serving top seed, Andy Roddick.

"Mentally he has proven to be a pretty tough customer and his body has grown as well recently," said McEnroe. "He doesn't seem to need a whole lot of help. Mark Petchey is doing a great job but Andy believes in himself and his attitude is something that I like. He plays hard, he shows a lot of emotion and he's a breath of fresh air. The type of player we need on the circuit."

McEnroe says "the sky is the limit" for Murray, who is still only 18. "A lot of the time there is hype and people talking about players when deep down they know it's not going to happen, but this time you have a guy who is really capable of being a great player.

"He has a way of keeping you off balance, he has a feel for the game and he's playing with the most confidence he has ever had."

Murray's world ranking - 60 at the start of the week - should improve significantly, another indicator, in McEnroe's eyes, that he is ready to assume the mantle of Henman and Greg Rusedski, both now in their thirties.

"Is there a changing of the guard in British tennis? I think there is," said McEnroe. "I predicted a few months ago that Murray would be in the top 20 around Wimbledon and I think there is an excellent chance of that happening. You see a guy like Murray and you see the potential that is there."

Murray had to overcome the big-serving Soderling and his own temper to advance with a 4-6, 7-5, 6-4 victory. He threw his racket four times and was given a code violation after appearing to swear at chair umpire Norm Chryst after losing the first set.

"I was trying to get myself going because I started the match so sloppy," Murray said. "It obviously worked. I was a little frustrated at the four or five bad calls on big points."

After losing the first set and falling behind in the second, Murray broke back from 1-3 with a sublime forehand crosscourt winner. Both players agreed that shot turned the match.

"I was the better player for almost two sets, but after that point, he didn't miss many first serves and he wasn't missing much of anything," Soderling said. "You have to hit winners against him all the time."

After Murray hit a simple reflex volley winner in the sixth game of the third set, Soderling approached Chryst to complain about Murray's behaviour.

"He was talking before the point was over a lot," Soderling said. "I asked the chair umpire if he could do that and he said, 'Yeah.' " Murray retorted: "You don't want to be unpopular on tour, but when you are on court you have to do what you have to do to win."



Status: Offline
Posts: 18260

Murray v Roddick + Murray v Hewitt:

American hard courts have seen some of the best tennis from Andy Murray, and the British teenager completed the finest weekend of his career last night by defeating Australia's Lleyton Hewitt, a former world No 1 and a winner of two grand slam titles, in the final of the San Jose tournament to win his first title on the ATP Tour.

The 18-year-old Scot was playing in only his second final on the ATP Tour, but he managed to out-think and out-hustle Hewitt, one of his boyhood idols, a former Wimbledon and US Open champion, and the world No 11. He came from a set down for his 2-6, 6-1. 7-6 victory.

Murray defeated two former world No 1s over the weekend at the indoor hard-court event in California. Before the final against Hewitt, the tennis world had still been adjusting to the news of Murray's pulsating and improbable 7-5, 7-5 victory over Andy Roddick, the American world No 3, in the semi-finals, and the British teenager's first win against a top-10 opponent. Teenagers do not often win titles or defeat players of the calibre of Roddick and Hewitt, and Murray has firmly established himself as a force on the men's tour.

Murray was ranked outside the world's top 400 players at the start of last season, and only achieved a double-digit ranking for the first time last October, but the world No 60 in last week's rankings and will possibly break into the top 50 in this morning's computer print-out, and so become the youngest player in that elite group. If Murray is included in the top 50 he would join three other teenagers, Spain's Rafael Nadal, the world No 2, and the two young Frenchmen, Richard Gasquet and Gael Monfils, all of whom have already turned 19.

With the points gained from San Jose, Murray, the British No 3, is also closing in fast on the two 30-somethings of the domestic scene, Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski, and there is an increasing possibility that he could be the top-ranked Briton when he walks on to the All England Club's Centre Court for his opening round at Wimbledon in June.

John McEnroe, an infrequent practice partner of Murray's and who has been playing doubles in San Jose, has been highly impressed by the Dunblane teenager. "Murray plays hard, he shows a lot of emotion. He's a breath of fresh air," the American said.

Against Roddick, Murray had been striking the ball with a sustained ferocity and accuracy which befuddled and unsettled the American, the 2003 US Open champion, and who had been attempting to win a third successive title in San Jose.

"I was almost a little sick because of nerves but in the end I came through against Roddick," Murray had said after his defeat of Roddick. "Beating Roddick in his home country is like a dream come true. I have so much respect for somebody like Roddick. He's won a grand slam title. He's been No 1 in the world. He's achieved so much. It was great for me to be on the same court as somebody like him. To actually win against him is amazing." After his emergence as a world-class player last autumn, Murray had indicated that his first full season on the main tour would be "difficult", and he certainly had an indifferent and occasionally uncertain start to this season, with just two victories from his first four tournaments, which had included opening-round defeats at his last two events.

Murray had been hoping to get his year moving in San Jose, With that aim he has plainly been helped by his conversations with Henman, as the teenager had sounded out the British No 1 for advice on how to replicate the hard edge to his tennis and his nerve and verve of 2005, and then start working on his target of finishing 2006 ranked inside the world's top 20.

Murray had plainly done that, and more, by defeating Roddick to make the final, a stage of a tournament he has reached only once before when he troubled Switzerland's Roger Federer, the world No 1, in Bangkok last October, the same tournament which propelled him into the top 100.



Status: Offline
Posts: 18260

Murray v Roddick

Even before Andy Murray's showdown with Lleyton Hewitt in last night's final of the SAP Open in San Jose the 18-year-old Scot had sent out two clear signals to the world's leading players by brushing aside Andy Roddick 7-5, 7-5 in the semi-final. The first is that he will need to be treated with great circumspection in future, the second that, given the correct game plan, which Murray brilliantly adopted, Roddick, for all his immense serve and forehand, is increasingly there for the taking.

Nothing should detract from Murray's win, his first against a top-10 player and all the more thrilling and satisfying for being on Roddick's home turf, or rather hard court. Talk about such encounters with Murray and his eyes light up. He fervently believes his place is among the world's elite and this will have given his confidence a huge charge.

Towards the end of last year Murray reached his first ATP final in Bangkok which, unsurprisingly, he lost in straight sets against the world No1, Roger Federer. Last month, when the 20-year-old Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus reached the final of the Australian Open, Federer observed that he was a little surprised because "there are other talented youngsters out there who I thought would make the break before him". Undoubtedly he had Murray in mind.

Despite losing to Federer, Murray was by no means overawed and felt he had pushed him as hard as was possible. "If you look at my other results against the top players, I played Ivan Ljubicic, the No5 in the world, and was a set up, I pushed Marat Safin to three sets and David Nalbandian at Wimbledon to five," said Murray after beating Roddick. "So when I play against top players I have not been outclassed. It was only a matter of time before I won one of the big matches."

Greg Rusedski was a 19-year-old before he reached his first ATP final and Tim Henman was 22. The SAP Open in California is a relatively modest event that Rusedski won five years ago, beating Andre Agassi in the final, but the fact that it is in the United States will raise Murray's profile enormously prior to the two Masters Series events in Indian Wells and Miami next month.

"I actually out-aced Andy which a lot of people would not have thought was possible," enthused Murray, who had been a little down on himself after losing in the first round of the Australian Open to Juan Ignacio Chela of Argentina. "The year did not start very well for me but I have been working very hard since. I knew I would start winning eventually, and in the next couple of years it is not so much about my ranking but about maturing as a player and knowing how to win matches.

"Wimbledon is not the most important tournament for me this year. If I go out in the first round or get to the semi-finals, nothing will change too much for me as long as I am moving in the right direction."

Murray fought off two break points in the sixth game of the first set to level at 3-3 and then began to get a grip on Roddick's serve, dominating the backhand rallies and frequently stretching the American. "He served real well and that got him out of trouble a lot," said Roddick, who had won the tournament for the last two years. "He returned well. I hit a bomb and he'd block it back and I'd be back to neutral again." In all Murray hit 25 winners to Roddick's 14 and became the youngest finalist in San Jose since Michael Chang in 1988.

Roddick, who was beaten in the first round of the US Open last year by Gilles Mueller of Luxembourg and who recently ditched his coach Dean Goldfine, is becoming ever more vulnerable against anybody who can return his serve, and exploit his weak backhand. In the fourth round of the Australian Open he lost to Baghdatis amid suggestions that he had been enjoying his celebrity status a little too much and just prior to San Jose he lost his opening singles match in the first round of the Davis Cup against the Romanian veteran Andrei Pavel.

Roddick, like Murray, burst on to the world stage as a teenager, was ranked No14 by the time he was 19 and won the US Open three years ago, one of 20 titles to his name. However, rather than progressing, his game has remained static, with Roddick having nothing like the range of Murray's shots.

"A lot of time there is hype and people talking about players when deep down they know it's not going to happen but Murray is really capable of being a great player," said John McEnroe. "He has a way of keeping you off balance and a real feel for the game. Mentally he's proved to be pretty tough and his body has grown as well recently. He plays hard, shows a lot of emotion and is a breath of fresh air. Just the type of player tennis needs."

Page 1 of 1  sorted by
Quick Reply

Please log in to post quick replies.

Tweet this page Post to Digg Post to

Create your own FREE Forum
Report Abuse
Powered by ActiveBoard