Murray makes short work of Davydenko

Posted on June 26, 2012

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Faultless Murray surges into round 2 after classy display 

Andy Murray produced a ruthlessly efficient performance against the former world number 3 Nikolay Davydenko in the first round of Wimbledon 2012, winning 6-1 6-1 6-4 in front of an exuberant home crowd. It was a breathtaking Centre Court display which should fill Murray with confidence as he tore the Russian to pieces and dispatched him effortlessly after 92 minutes of first class tennis.

Of course, Grand Slams are not won on the first Tuesday, and much sterner test lie in wait, but it was difficult not to be impressed by the variety in Murray’s game. It’s been a difficult few weeks for the world number 4 but on the evidence of this match he has put his troubles behind him and he looks hellbent on mounting another serious challenge for the Wimbledon crown.

This blog has often praised the variety of tactics Murray employs. He can lob, chip, slice and pass on both wings. He can mix power with deft subtlety. And, of course, he can play sublime drop shots that frustrate and tire his opponent. When he plays like he did today there are very few players who can match him in terms of excitement and sheer brilliance.

Murray said afterwards:

“The first two sets were very good.

“I got a great start and then relaxed. Since Queen’s [where he went out in the first round] I’ve been itching to get going. I’ve got to be ready for the next match, potentially against Karlovic; there’s very little rhythm in a match like that.

“I probably settle into matches here a bit quicker than I used to. It’s never easy playing at Wimbledon in the first round.”

Much has been made of the fact that Murray is in a tough section of the draw, with many of the world’s biggest servers congregating in his quarter. I think this suits Murray. Andre Agassi, whose game Murray’s resembles the most, used to thrive on tackling big servers, using the pace of their serve against them. Murray also possesses a great return of serve and he is well placed to find ways of beating tricky big hitters like Ivo Karlovic, who will almost certainly be Murray’s next opponent.

Davydenko made the mistake of riling Murray with pre-match taunts about the Scots propensity for feigning injury. Murray rarely lacks motivation anyway, particularly in front of the crowd on Centre Court, but disparaging remarks from fellow professionals certainly add an extra drop of rage. Davydenko will regret that now after spending an hour and a half being ran ragged by the inspired Scot.

It’s difficult to predict a Murray title win here at Wimbledon – he is up against 3 of the most formidable players the game has ever produced. He will most likely have to defeat Nadal in the semi and Federer or Djokovic in the final if he is to clinch the trophy, and we have seen in the past what a tough ask that can be. However, let’s not let that detract from the talent that Murray is. We must embrace his ability and and recognise the difficult era in which he is plying his trade.

Murray interview

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Posted in: Tennis