Murray vs. Roddick – Queen’s Club 2011

Posted on June 11, 2011


Words by Rob Pollard 

Andy Murray booked his place in the final of this year’s Aegon Championships after a vintage display in his semi-final against Andy Roddick, sweeping aside the four-time champion 6-3 6-1 in a match lasting just 59 minutes. Murray gave a masterclass in how to play grass court tennis, with a comprehensive victory that sends out a clear message to his rivals ahead of this year’s Wimbledon. He will now face 5th seeded Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in tomorrow’s final hoping to reclaim the title he won in 2009. It would take a brave man to back against Murray on the evidence of this victory.

When Murray plays at this level there are very few players who can match him. His passing shots were sublime, hitting winner after winner past a despairing Roddick. Arguably the most astounding statistic of the match was Roddick’s first serve percentage, which stood at  an incredible 83%, yet Murray returned so brilliantly that the American’s serve barely penetrated. Murray bashfully described his performance as ‘lucky’ but the truth is he dispatched Roddick with the kind of ruthless efficiency needed to make an assault on the Wimbledon title.

picture courtesy of Kate 

Murray’s own serve was impressive, with 13 aces helping him to dominate the match, however, his return of serve was the most impressive aspect of his game. Time and time again he managed to return the seemingly unreturnable as he nullified the most dangerous weapon in Roddick’s arsenal. It was flawless tennis and one would have to go a long way to find a more emphatic grass court victory. So emphatic, in fact, that Roddick resorted to shouting ‘keep it social!’ in the closing stages of the match in reference to the level of performance Murray was producing.

“It was one of those days where everything is going your way,” said Murray, playing down the excellence of his display.

“If there was a net cord, it would have gone my way today. If he hit a good shot, it would miss by just a little bit. Everything I was trying, every passing shot I hit, was always in the right spot. I hardly gave him a chance on anything.

“Sometimes against Andy you guess on the serves. I guessed right every single time today. I don’t really remember him acing me hardly in the match. I was just seeing the ball really early and it’s difficult to do that every day. So it was a little bit of luck involved, but it’s taken many years of practice to be able to play like that.”

Roddick did not play badly but such was Murray’s brilliance he never got into the contest. The last time they faced one another was the Wimbledon semi-final of 2 years ago, which ended with Roddick claiming victory and inflicting upon Murray the most disappointing moment of his career to-date. There was never going to be a similar outcome today but Roddick still managed to graciously accept defeat despite such a heavy loss.

“I mean, I just thought he played too good today,” said Roddick. “Everything he touched turned to gold. He was too good for me today. Certainly it does nothing to my confidence level going into Wimbledon. I thought I played well [this week]. Got four matches, which is really important, and I feel prepared going into the practice week for Wimbledon. So it was a good week for me.”

Tomorrow’s final has been brought forward to 12pm in order allow for potential rain delays.

Posted in: Tennis