Category Archives: Andy Murray

WIMBLEDON: Best 2 Players, Best Court, Best Moment. Who’s Real No. 1? Novak Djokovic or Rafael Nadal?

Novak Djokovic reaches his first Wimbledon final, moves to No. 1

Rafael Nadal vs. Novak Djokovic. The best two players on the best court in the best moment. For tennis, The New Rivalry gets its big day Sunday in the Wimbledon final. Sure, Nadal already beat Djokovic in the U.S. Open final in September, and that will count when people tally up this rivalry years later. But Djokovic wasn’t at Nadal’s level yet. He still might not be, to be honest, but here’s his chance.

This moment could be to Djokovic what Nadal’s classic win over Federer in the 2008 Wimbledon final meant to him. On the other hand, if Nadal wins, he will be the champ of five of the past six majors, and on one of the most dominant runs in tennis history.

Amazing how one match can change things so much. How perfect that it will happen at Centre Court, Wimbledon. It is the ideal way to build interest in the game, too, among Average Joe sports fans who aren’t into tennis otherwise.

Both players won their semifinal matches Friday. Djokovic beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga 7-6 (7-4), 6-2, 6-7 (11-9), 6-3, and Nadal beat Andy Murray 5-7, 6-2, 6-2, 6-4.

Whoever wins Sunday is the best player in the world, even though Djokovic will move to No. 1 no matter what. That’s right, even if No. 1 Nadal beats No. 2 Djokovic, the next day the rankings will read 1 Djokovic, 2 Nadal.

Dumb. Continue reading


FRENCH OPEN: Roger Federer Will Beat Novak Djokovic. Here are 4 Reasons why

Roger Federer is going to beat Novak Djokovic Friday in the French Open semifinals.

The washed-up old guy is going to end the never-ending streak, beat the unbeatable player. He is going to ruin the coronation that everyone thought this tournament was all about, and remind people that he’s still here, still on the mountaintop.

This is Fab Friday at Roland Garros, as the world’s top four men’s players are meeting up. First, it’s Rafael Nadal against Andy Murray. Murray has been playing on a sore ankle, and Nadal finally found his mojo in the quarterfinals. I’ll take Nadal. 

But why Federer, when Djokovic has surpassed him and keeps looking stronger and stronger while Federer is starting to show age? Well, to me, everything is lining up perfectly for Federer. Every Federer flaw is negated, every strength enhanced. The predicted heavy winds, the new Babolat ball, the buildup, the slow clay. It all adds up on Federer’s side. Plus, Djokovic has to lose sometime. Plus, Federer has won the French before. Plus. . .

There is still the chance that Djokovic will simply power Federer off the court, push him backward. I just don’t think that’s going to happen. Here are four reasons why: Continue reading


COUNTDOWN TO FRENCH OPEN (6 DAYS): Reverse Chase on. No. 1 Rafael Nadal Trying to Catch No. 2 Novak Djokovic

Novak Djokovic beats Rafael Nadal...again

Novak Djokovic doesn’t just have Rafael Nadal’s number, he also has his address, his email, his Facebook page and his girlfriend’s number, too. Four straight wins over Nadal in the past two months, including Sunday’s 6-4, 6-4 win in the Italian Open.

So the French Open starts this Sunday, and the chase is on now in men’s tennis. But it’s going in reverse order, with No. 1 trying to catch No. 2.

Djokovic has blown right past Nadal. And maybe I’m just in denial or something, but I still think Nadal is going to win the French. If so, it will be a typically goofy moment for tennis’ goofy computer rankings, as Nadal beats Djokovic in the final to re-establish himself. He will have won four of the past five majors, including two final wins over Djokovic.

Next day? Djokovic will climb over Nadal to No. 1. That’s how this is set up.

Whatever. If Djokovic wins, everything makes sense. And at this point, that’s what most people expect. There are no more excuses or reasons for Djokovic beating Nadal. It’s not that Nadal is coming back from injury, or that anything can happen on any given day. In Madrid, the high altitude and speedy clay favored Djokovic.

In Rome Sunday, no altitude issues, healthy Nadal, French Open-like clay and conditions. But I don’t think this was the moment when Djokovic finally made his point to Nadal. That happened a week earlier, in Madrid.

This was the moment the chase started. On Sunday, Nadal was making an unbelievable concession. Instead of waiting to see how he would do against Djokovic with circumstances favoring him, he cut and ran. Nadal was acknowledging that Djokovic is better now, or at least that he’s playing better.

It wasn’t the denial we saw in Roger Federer when Nadal passed him. It wasn’t the stubbornness we saw from Andy Roddick for years after the top of the game passed him.

Nadal wanted to beat Djokovic, but this was about when and where. While they were playing in Italy Sunday, Nadal was trying to beat Djokovic in Paris three weeks from now. Continue reading


Andy Murray Likes to Have Sex (Yes, that’s the Real Headline). Or Maybe it’s the Backgammon

Andy Murray. Source of power?

Sometimes when Andy Murray talks after a match, you think he just might fall asleep in the middle of an answer. But you aren’t sure if he ever really did it because, well, you were nodding off yourself. So you just wish he would open up a little, say something. Anything.

“I’m not one of those sportsmen who practices a strict policy of sexual abstinence before playing,’’ he said.

What?

“I remember a world heavyweight whose trainer banned him from sex six weeks before a fight to save energy. We play every week so, with a boxer’s mentality, we’d always be saying `No.’ ’’

What?

Murray said this stuff the other day, setting off some highly entertaining headlines in the British tabloids, and any other place that saw it.

“Big match love ban? That’s not how I play it, says Andy.’’ That was in the Daily Mail.

“Game, Sex, Match for Andy Murray,’’ it said in the Sun.

Yahoo wrote: “No sex ban for Randy Andy Murray.’’

Too. Much. Information. I know I’ve wanted Murray to say something interesting, but, he must be nuts to have said this stuff.

Maybe something is a little off with Murray. He spent a decent part of the spring totally disinterested in tennis – where was his girlfriend? _ and crushed by players far beneath him. He arrived in Madrid this week with hair so wild, big and bushy that he can’t cut it. If he did, where would the mother bird and her babies go to live?

And now, he’s talking freely about sex with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, leading to a publication called Mid Day writing this headline: “Sex before matches makes Andy Murray sizzle on court.’’

Then, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone reportedly told Metro website in England that “For a woman, sex before a match is not only allowed, it is fantastic. It raises your hormone levels and brings advantages to all of your points.’’

I can’t even believe this is a real issue. So I asked Marat Safin who said that, no, he would never have sex before. . . Continue reading


Booed for Making Hurt Opponent Run? No Way. Andy Murray Finally Gives Something to Cheer for

Andy Murray shows the muscles hes usually reluctant to use

When Andy Murray was booed in Monte Carlo Thursday, the irony was that it was the first time I hadn’t wanted to boo him in months. Ever since the Australian Open in January, Murray has floated around, losing to far lesser players without putting up a fight.

He needs to be more cutthroat, critics have said. So now he took advantage of an opponent’s sore spot and was booed for it?

If you didn’t see, Gilles Simon hurt his ankle and couldn’t run much anymore, so Murray started hitting dropshots. The crowd booed him for being merciless, I suppose, though Murray did exactly the right thing: See a weakness, attack a weakness.

What’s next, fans boo players for serving to John Isner’s backhand?

“I was doing what I had to do to win the match as quickly and efficiently as possible,’’ Murray said. “It worked. So I know every single player on the tour would have done exactly the same thing.’’

Simon said he would have done it, too.

If this was anything for Murray, it was the start of something big. A killer instinct. I’m guessing, though, that it was nothing more than Murray seeing an opportunity to deploy another strategy. Continue reading