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Post Info TOPIC: Andys tactics against the big boys


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Andys tactics against the big boys


 

Does anybody else get frustrated the way Andy plays against jocky,fed and rafa? He uses the same counter punching style every time that rarely works. I appreciate it works against lower ranked players, but the top guys know what's coming time after time after time. In my humble view he should follow in his good first serves and deep powerful ground strokes to try to win the following volley. He has great hands at the net, but only comes in when he is 99% sure of winning the point. I have been following him for ten years and this actually has changed little in that time. Instead of going down 3 & 2  meekly to jocky  in all these semis, would n't it be better to try something different. I don't see him winning any major tournament s playing like this.



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NilbyMouth


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Welcome, chiseljaw.

I think most people would prefer Andy to be more proactive than he too often can be - the sight of Andy turning more 'passive' is always a worry. It is as if he often needs to be convinced to be more agressive rather than rely overmuch on his excellent defensive and counterattacking skills. And I agree this is particularly needed against the "big boys". I am not sure about particularly more volleying ( on today's generally slower courts and against the top players you have to choose very wisely ), but more just generally more agressive off the ground, looking to play shots that consistently trouble opponents.

However, to my mind he most certainly did change during Lendl's coaching spell. Ivan seemed to be finally the one that convinced him what he really needed to do to win at the highest level - play a consistently more agressive game.

Andy's 2013 Wimbledon final triumph highlighted this. Frankly, it was largely a bit of a slogfest. But a good slogfest, with Andy for a large part the agressor and Novak latterly the one desperately trying to vary things with poorly judged drop shots etc.

He's a bit of an enigma. I think he knows deep down that consistent agression is the way to go against the best ( and how he should play generally ), but actually he himself has more pleasure in playing a varied game - something that he reitterated when Amelie was appointed re looking to vary his game more.

I guess Andy has to decide how much he wants to win more of the top prizes.

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Admin:Moderator + Tennis Legend

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I have often wondered if he feels the more aggressive style he played under Lendl was a large contributory factor in his back problems, and that he just cannot play that way all the time.

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Madeline wrote:

I have often wondered if he feels the more aggressive style he played under Lendl was a large contributory factor in his back problems, and that he just cannot play that way all the time.


 

That's an interesting point. I always tended to think of it the other way round - i.e. that long rallies and playing way behind the base-line gives you a bad back (rather Gasquet-like), and that if you want to protect your back, just finish the point as fast as possible. But it may well be the other way round, as you say. And it's certainly very much in the head - as soon as you feel you can't fully trust your body, it's very hard to play freely, and every twinge makes you tense up. 



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County player

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If you notice, Murray doesn't really go all out to thrash an opponent. Unlike Agassi, he's not cruel. His main skill set is his consistency, his low error count and he's generally content to do the minimum required to win a match based on his ultra-steady backcourt gamestyle with an occasional change of pace. (Personally, I don't think Murray is a natural, net-seeking volleyer but that's another story.) When an opponent steps up he often finds himself working hard yards behind the baseline, flat out from side to side to stay in the point. That happened with the modestly-talented Mannerino last week. Mannerino stood closer to the baseline, maintained his consistency and worked Murray around. Eventually Murray moved forward more, pushed him back and got the better of him but it was hard going.

The impression I get is he hates making errors so much that risk-averse tennis is ingrained into his natural playing style. We've all seen the tantrums where he berates himself or shouts at his crew after a shot gone wrong. I think that's a mental weakness more than anything, a weakness he has yet to properly overcome. Making an error is often a direct result of an opponent's forcing shot and it's basically wrong in approach (as well as disrespectful to an opponent) to allow undue frustration to show when you make unforced errors. To me the inner game should be all about quietly acknowledging what happened and striving to raise your level accordingly.

In my view, it's not so much his natural style of play that holds him back. That's the outward sign. It's more his overall mental outlook, too austere and unforgiving for my liking, out of which his risk-averse, counterpunching, gamestyle has developed.

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Apologies if this is referenced elsewhere but I haven't seen it. This was highlighted by Stu Fraser on Twitter - a conversation between Andy and a fan:

ANDY CARES ABOUT HIS FANS, EVEN FOR THE MOST CRITITC ONES. AND I LOVE HIM FOR THAT!
HH: hope youre watching the big boys play, some lessons to learn with holding serve #40love #1minuteholds #alloverthenet #focused
Andy: hey bud u OK?
Andy: let's chat... You have some pretty strong opinions so let me try answer a few of your questions/complaints etc
HH: sounds good. But I don't want the headache of your most loyal giving me abuse. So I may have to just decline
HH: And I'm sure you'll know, having had experience first hand, strong opinions aren't necessarily bad/invalid...no?
Andy: there is nothing wrong with strong opinions at all... But it's strange to have such strong opinions without knowing little
Andy: about the subject you are discussing
HH: True - as a spectator I'll watch the top 2 and think 'damn why doesn't Andy do that?'. But I have 0 slams so what would I know?
Andy: it's nothing to do with that... You have a problem with amelie and blame alot on her but you have no idea about the work we do
Andy: you say she says "yes" to everything also but you haven't been involved in any conversation with me and team
HH: All I see is Lendl had his way and it met outcomes. That's just the benchmark I am comparing it to
Andy: what was lendls way?
HH: from what I judged in what you said about him in interviews it was his way or nothing. Did I misunderstand?
HH: www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/andymurray/11442632/Andy-Murray-insists-Amelie-Mauresmo-does-not-talk-over-me.-She-listens-to-everything-I-say.html
HH: look Andy, I have strong opinions and apologise. This convo will get unnecessary heat at me so I will step away and deactivate
Andy: with certain things yes that would be the case..but Ivan always said you have to be the one making the decision
Andy: in tennis the responsibility of the performance lies with the athlete as coach can't help when you are out there playing
HH: I have 0 slams and 0 inside knowledge. Everything I say is a judgment from watching you for the last 6 yrs, interviews +results
Andy: yea but you say watch roger and Novak serve for example...I watch those guys all the time by the way... But what do you mean?
Andy: in my match against Novak I served badly..the worst of the tournament in terms of percentages by far...but the rest of
Andy: the event was much better than the last month
HH: Novak has pretty decent serve but last few months he's just taken it up a level - the technicalities how he has I don't know..
Andy: yesterday he served double fault on break point second set, then 3 in the tie break and then another one to get broken in 3rd
Andy: Novak is serving very well just now and he is extremely confident... That's what winning does to your whole game
HH: totally agree. Watched every match. But would Lendl take that loss and make you hit the practice courts hitting 500 serves?
HH: ...is it finding the perfect rhythm? Tweaking the ball toss? Believing in yourself that you can go for more on your 2nd?
Andy: it's a combination of a of those things.. And the only way it can get better is by practicing it... Which I do for hours
Andy: every week, and I'm sure the guys ahead of me do the same
Andy: I did tweak my ball toss significantly in the off season and if you watch videos it's very clear in Australia
Andy: no not really, I would sometimes go to practice immediately after matches if there was something I wasn't happy
Andy: but I also did that 2 times last week after matches.. Just because you don't see it doesn't mean I'm not doing it
Andy: at Australian open I was playing my best tennis in a long time... And the last 30 minutes of the tournament were ugly for me
HH: So you have the belief, you put the hours, technique is solid. Where do you think you need to step it up?
Andy: I need to consistently find how to play at that level and getting a coach to help me through the whole year will be big plus
Andy: in all of February I had no coach around me to work on things I feel my game regressed slightly in that month
HH: so is it a focus issue? Saw ur Rotterdam notes - be good to urself.This is hard to practice so maybe it case of getting wins in
Andy: being good to myself was there because on the court I'm not good to myself..too hard on myself, something in trying to improvr
HH: My view - when you have a solid goal, you're focused and pumped. First slam,wimbledon, Olympics...find your next feasible goal.
Andy: my goal is try and win grand slams, that's what motivates me..and I agree being pumped up makes me play better
Andy: I also had a goal of winning in Australia... But things don't always work out how you want
HH: I remember 2010/11 AO loses you struggled up till Summer. This year you picked yourself up straight away with Davis Cup...nice
HH: ..obviously it was unfortunate to see u lose early in Rotterdam/Dubai but like you said - you didn't have someone with you.fair
HH: Winning slams is a great goal, I want to have a red Ferrari - that's mine. But break your goal down, what's steps do u need
HH: ..mini steps do you need to take to get there? Break it down. E.G you want to win FO
Andy: not having a coach around for 5 weeks makes it hard to work on things for me... Not everyone is the same though
HH: So maybe aim for a title in Munich, good wins in 1000s, defend SF RG 2014 points. Aim to get confid in serve back before grass
HH: But who am I to talk? I have 0 slams. Maybe I just repeated everything Amelie is working on with you..but that's my view.
Andy: I am number 2 in the race right now and just had my best run at Indian wells since 2009...its not all bad news
Andy: I agree that setting shorter term goals is good and a problem I have had in past was focusing solely on slams
HH: totally agree.
#Andy Murray
1 DAY AGO ON MARCH 23, 2015 AT 12:39PM15 NOTES


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That is superb from Andy.

I may not agree with everything he does and indeed maybe have wondered about some of the things HH raised, but the way he has politely though persistently come back informatively at HH and indeed challenged HH ( who it appears had been a persistent public critic ) is very good.

I sense Andy was partly using HH as a vehicle to send some messages to a wider auduence. You just sence HH thinking "oh heck, what have I got into?" :)

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Tennis legend

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Brilliant re Andy's twitter conversation.

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All-time great

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That's really good stuff - well done Mr Murray. Thanks for sharing, Goldfish.

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Club Coach

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Net points won in this match were:

Djokovic 12/17
Murray 3/4

So Murray had 75% success versus djokovic's 70%, yet only approached the net 23% of how many times Novak did. Given I think they are very similar players in terms of defensive, waiting for the mistake, making you play one more ball type style (very noticeable djokovic/federer final - how many easy put aways did federer miss when he was made to play one more shot than usual) is this stat not quite noticeable?


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That stat is noticeable purely from the ( surprising to me ) how few times Andy approached the net. There is certainly an argument he could do it more though Indian Wells is very slow.

The success rates are of little significance, well Andy's of virtually none given his sample size.

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