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The Ultra Major? 11/20/2010 - 10:45 PM

Sod by Pete Bodo

If you're anything like me, you're thinking: Okay, let's get this baby over and done with. We're down to the last official tournament of the year, the ATP World Tour Final, and it's a big one—theoretically. But theory and reality are two different things, and the best we can say about the year-end championships is that it's a work in progress. Has been for a long time. Whether it can ever get where it purports to go, where many think it should go, is a question that remains unanswered.

Nobody ever seems really sure what to make of the YEC, by whatever name it travels under (that, I think, is part of the problem, but beyond our scope at the moment). This is, in a roundabout way, a testament to the four-cornered game that has proven to be remarkably resistant to alteration. Think about it: the four Grand Slam events have, for all practical purposes, been the only tournaments that really matter. That this has remained so despite the convulsions of the Open era, in which so many other aspects of the traditional game have fallen by the wayside, is remarkable. And it has to be discouraging for the visionaries who predicted or tried to effect a genuine revolution in how the game is adminstered and presented.

The four "majors" were once vulnerable and might have suffered a loss of status for various reasons. Instead they've grown stronger. This is a testament to how well-managed they've been in recent years. The Australian Open was dead in the water as recently as the early 1980s, due mainly to its awkward position on the calendar (it was once the final official tournament of the year, played during the holiday season). The timing of the event did not play well with players who were weary of travel and, much like today, prone to ask, When do we get some time off?

Fortunately for the status quo, the Australian Open re-invented itself with both a new date (it became the first Grand Slam of the year, played after an adequate interval for the holidays) and a new facility—an effective one-two punch that was bold, risky, and in retrospect, prescient.

Early in the Open era (we're talking about the 1970s) the French Open was woefully behind the times,  but an aggressive marketing strategy and infrasructural changes at the Roland Garros venue saved the day. It also didn't hurt that the advent of Open tennis helped break the Anglo-Australian stranglehold on the game. When players bred on red clay—think Bjorn Borg, Ilie Nastase, Adriano Panatta—rose to stardom, they took the red dirt tournament with them. Borg stood heads and shoulders above the other emerging European stars, and he deserves credit (which he rarely gets) for making Roland Garros relevant in the pro era. He was at his very best on clay, but able to dominate world tennis. This raised the stock of clay enormously.

Murray The U.S. Open did not have Australia's awkward calendar slot, but like the Down Under Slam, it was stuck in a facility (the private West Side Tennis Club, in Forest Hills, NY) that was no longer appropriate in the Open era. The tournament always had two huge advantages: the popularity of tennis in the U.S. and the preponderance of top players who were American. Although those two advantages might have been adequate to tide the U.S. Open through the growing pains of the Open era in and of themselves, the lords of the U.S. game, to their credit, aggressively pursued a growth strategy for the new era.

By moving from the WSTC to a new, "public" facility in 1978, the U.S. Open guaranteed its continuing success, set a percedent that the Australians would follow, and moved into a suddenly available niche that neither the French Open nor Wimbledon needed or particularly wanted to occupy. It was a terrific bit of market creation and/or exploitation. At a time when everyone was talking about the reshaping of tennis, the U.S. Open and then the Australian Open carved out identities that catered to the emerging sensibility.

Wimbledon, being what it is, didn't need to do much. The tournament's stroke of genius was (and continues to be) resisting pressure to re-invent itself. As the other majors were upgraded and re-conceived, Wimbledon officials seemed to recognize that the traditional baseline values and appeal of tennis were still valid, and they understood that as the other tournaments surrendered their cloak of exclusivity, Wimbledon would do well by cultivating it's elitist aura—while making subtle but wise changes to prevent it from becoming a mere curiosity, or anachronism.

So the Grand Slams found a way to remain relevant, the cornerstones of the game. This has hurt the year-end championships, which certainly would be a bigger deal if the majors hadn't been so successful in keeping control of the high ground. Given the way the pro tour developed, it would seem a given that the year-end championships would, if anything, eclipse the individual Grand Slam events. In the best of the world as envisioned by the professional establishment (the ATP), the YEC would naturally become the ne plus ultra among tournaments.

This, incidentally, is one of the reasons the round-robin format has proven so popular to promoters and administrators. How can you compare a single-elimination, luck-of-the-draw tournament with an eight-manm round-robin format in which every match is the de facto equivalent on paper of a tantalizing Masters Series or even Grand Slam semi or final? Today's first singles match (Soderling vs. Murray) is a testament to the genius of the format, as well as the mentality that created it.

I'll have more to say about this subject in the near future, but the main point for now is that despite the concept of the event (a year-end playoff among the top players) and the compelling format, the year-end championships, while undeniably important, has never really challenged the vaunted place of  the Grand Slams, nor has it been embraced for what it clearly wants to be—the ultra major. That won't diminish the enjoyment we take out of the next week, but it raises some questions and helps define how and why tennis still remains different—decentralized, parochial (loosely speaking), individualistic—from our other major sports.

Enjoy the tennis, everyone. Let's get it started!


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Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 07:58 AM

Hi zenggi and temes. Thanks zenggi; I always try to read the overnights to catch your comments but miss a lot myself. ;))

temes, my understanding of a "power nap" was that it should be between 20-30 minutes but like you said, max 30 min. My own sleep patterns are pretty erratic so naps help me. And I don't think I'm a "freak" but... ;)).

Great doubles point there!

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 07:58 AM

temes,
That's what they say. You can only have hibernation ones where you live.

This set is much more interesting. The 'ers 1-0 and 30-all.

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 08:06 AM

Part 2 of the Video log from the Bryans. http://goo.gl/d3ebY
LOL @ "This doesn't happen too often. Here is the peace treaty on table" at about 1:35..

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 08:06 AM

2-2 on serve. Melzer plays very agressive and Petszchner shanks the ball into the net. No problems. First match.

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 08:09 AM

Love game for the 'ers. Good tennis. Crowd enjoying the DJ's selection.

Posted by Anna 11/21/2010 at 08:10 AM

Anybody with a live stream?

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 08:15 AM

Anna: A free livestream is available on Tennis TV after registration.

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 08:16 AM

Hi Anna.

http://www.livescorehunter.com/Livescores/Livescore-Tennis.html

Shows links are available for the doubles and will be available later for all the matches. When needed, I've always had success here.


I'm very torn as to who I want to win this one. Good play except for that last break. ;(


Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 08:19 AM

Anna,
Here you have a good live stream:
http://www.fromsport.com/c-4.html

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 08:19 AM

Arun, thanks for the BB video links. I really enjoy them and I would never find them on that site.

Loved AndyR with the term "Bobarazzi" and the opening is always fun, first one the closet and today the ice chest. ;))

Posted by !whatthedeuce? 11/21/2010 at 08:20 AM

The YEC needs to be aggressively marketed and placed on network tv to reach Grand Slam status...that's what sets the Slams apart is better blanket coverage and recognition. The casual fans sometimes don't even know about (or when) the YEC is so how can the general populace. Get it out there in the public's face and push the greatness of the event and the players in it.. It should be the best tournament, hands down, with every match between two of the world's top eight players - how can that not be appealing.?..Grand Slams don't get interesting until week 2 but the YEC is like a hyper week 2, If it is marketed better, I think it will give the players even a bit more push to put on a great show!

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 08:22 AM

No worries, sisu. :)
Bryan Bros are very cool.

Posted by wilson75 11/21/2010 at 08:28 AM

I know the British don't usually play music on the changeovers but they could do better than this. The music is terrible.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 08:30 AM

London Order of Play:

Sunday
Bob Bryan and Mike Bryan defeated Jurgen Melzer and Philipp Petzschner 6-3,7-5
Robin Soderling(56-20; 5-7) vs Andy Murray(44-16; 5-3) at 9 AM
Lukas Dlouhy and Leander Paes vs Mariusz Fyrstenberg and Marcin Matkowski at 1:15 PM
Roger Federer(60-13; 11-6) vs David Ferrer(60-21; 7-11) at 3 PM

Monday
Mahesh Bhupathi and Max Mirnyi vs Lukas Kubot and Oliver Marach at 7:15 AM
Novak Djokovic(57-16; 2-6) vs Tomas Berdych(44-24; 5-8) at 9 AM
Daniel Nestor and Nenad Zimonjic vs Wesley Moodie and Dick Norman at 1:15 PM
Rafael Nadal(67-9; 7-4) vs Andy Roddick(48-15; 4-2) at 3 PM

Posted by zenggi 11/21/2010 at 08:31 AM

6-3, 7-5 for the Bryans Brothers.

Half an hour to spare for next match. :)

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 08:37 AM

Good mornoing everyone !

Comgrats to Bryan bros and fans, commies to Melzer and Petzschner (hope that spelling is right.)

So eager to see live tennis today, that I'm a bit early !

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 08:37 AM

Regarding Murray's coaching situation, from The Sunday Times:

[...] Dani Vallverdu, a former roommate at the Casal Sanchez Tennis Academy in Barcelona, has filled Maclagan's seat in the coaching box but there is no official appointment and neither is there likely to be. "When you first come on tour, you need somebody telling you when to practise, when to get in the gym, when your rackets need restringing," says Murray. "Growing up a bit, you learn what you need to do. Since not having a full-time coach, it's been more laid-back."
Murray has not been short of offers from coaches to join his team. He has actively considered options outside those offers but hitherto no new allegiance is imminent, although he admits to using former British No 1 Tim Henman as a sounding board.
"I speak to him a lot," he says. "He seems very happy, playing lots of golf, being home with his family and doing commentary work. I don't think going back on the road appeals to Tim but linking up with him is not something I would completely rule out. Right now, it's not exactly what I want.
"With my game at the stage it is, the most important thing is not always having somebody there at tournaments but the off-weeks and training blocks. That's when I find the most benefit from a coach."

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 08:38 AM

"Grand Slams don't get interesting until week 2"

ever heard of Isner-Mahut? Ferrer-Verdasco? Fognini-Monfils? all those matches took place in the first 4 rounds and that's just what I can remember off the top of my head. I also remember being very drawn into many many matches during the 1st week of slams this year. One of the things that make Slams so great is that you never know where the drama is going to come from, it can take place on Centre Court between the world #1 and the world #2 or it can happen on court 17 between two guys ranked below 50.

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 08:41 AM

yay! Bryan Bro's won!

commies to Melzer and Petzschner. and any of their fans.

Posted by sisu 11/21/2010 at 08:42 AM

Nice to see the house is pretty full.

Taking a break before AndyM/RobinS.

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 08:42 AM

Hi sisu!

Zenggi yes we all are in hibernation state right now...we wake up in the spring lol!

Can't wait for the tennis I have had withdrawal symptoms already.

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 08:44 AM

going OT for a sec. so, one day Serena is working out in a less then G rated outfit. and the next she's on crutches wearing a boot. any WTA people out there have any clue what happened?

Posted by Angel of the Surf (Flavia and Gisela YEC Doubles Champion) 11/21/2010 at 08:52 AM

hi everyone

just checking in before the first match which I won't be able to watch due to having to work tomorrow.

Hoping Rockin' Robin gets a first up win.

Posted by embug 11/21/2010 at 08:53 AM

From where I sit and see on TV, it's Best of 5 on Tennis Channel although programming schedule says 'ATP Tennis.' You're right on '!whatthedeuce.' A major tournament would follow up on all its hoopla promotions and broadcast on major channels, as schedule has promised.

Waiting ... can't get on fromsports.com, either.

Waiting ...

It's not nice to fool mother nature and tennis fans. Sketchy stuff from promoters.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:00 AM

Good Morning everyone,

This better be good

I wish the YEC was played in Sydney Pfft.

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:00 AM

Congratulations to the Bryans and commiserations to Mel/Pet and same for their fans. Arun, thanks for the links to the Brothers' v-logs. I've enjoyed them, but I don't think the same can be said for Andy Roddick. ;-)

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:02 AM

Good morning, Marge. You'll have tennis in your part of the world soon.

Posted by Maya 11/21/2010 at 09:02 AM

For me it's the most exciting and important tournament of the year! no easy draws, only the best.. technique and tactics and velocity. and I think the idea of cutting off the week between Bercy and YEC is not good at all as the players would be exausted

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:03 AM

I have the YEC "live" Robbie and Jason are the commentators

Robin is walking through first and Murray is behind him

Jason said the pace of the court is med pace

Posted by GB 11/21/2010 at 09:04 AM

Finally MAndy has a new outfit! C'mon Andy!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:05 AM

Holds To Love

I will probaably sleep through the 4 Aussie tournaments to catch up

I have to get up at 1.00am in the morning for the rest of the year usuallu

Hell there is that insane song again

London Calling Ugh!

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:06 AM

funny, Robin thought he was walking in first, but as they described the player's accomplishments, Robin could tell he was talking about Murray and turned around to have him go first. good thing his nerves didn't have him tuning out the intro. wonder how the crowd would have responded to Soderling walking out as the British No 1? ;-)

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:06 AM

GB Hi!

I just posted that LOL!

Well Rafa will love that then

Yay Go Muzz!!!!!!

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 09:10 AM

Holds 2 Love: Anytime.

It took Adidas about 48 weeks. But they finally give Murray a new kit!

Posted by NP 11/21/2010 at 09:13 AM

"I very much doubt that most knowledgeable tennis fans share your opinion that the year end championships were considered more important than Roland Garros during the 1977-1989 period."

MSF, while the agenda of the poster in question was obvious, he's not entirely wrong about that particular comment. The FO did have some lackluster years early on, especially in '77 (as you recall, this was the year Borg skipped the event for WTT and Vilas took proper advantage). If you want I can prolly dig up some data that show the relatively weak draw of the FO at the time compared to Wimby, the USO and, yes, the YEC.

Posted by GB 11/21/2010 at 09:13 AM

Hey AM! *confused* What will Rafa love? I know they've got a great bromance going, but I don't know that Andy's new outfit will excite him that much:) Nice to see you cheering for Andy, not that his playing Sod hurts on that front:)

Posted by Or 11/21/2010 at 09:13 AM

Interesting shirt for Andy, I don't know whether I like it or not yet.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:14 AM

Hmmm my posts gone AWOL

Robin won the toss and will serve

Steve Urlich is the umpire

Arun LOL!

Robin looks like a "yellow spider man" Yikes!

Posted by ncot 11/21/2010 at 09:15 AM

hi pete.this is a good post, i enjoed the writing and the concept that it is trying o push thru. props to tignor's prose and bodo's sensibility.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:15 AM

Happy Sunday everyone
Andys new kit is pretty sweet. He's also cleaned up a bit, shaved, shorn and well adorned

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:16 AM

GB The med pace court of course lol!

I like Andy

if he plays like Hmmm I will kill him

Yawn just because Robin won his first Masters sheild Robbie and Jason now think he is set to fire and win.Please he turned 26 and lets wait and see.

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 09:16 AM

"Robin looks like a "yellow spider man" Yikes!"

LOL! but you are so right....

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:18 AM

Just Horsen Hi good to see you here

Fuzzy Hi! I agree looks like Muzz spent a day at a Spa.He does have great skin

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 09:20 AM

Come on, Andy! I want to see you giving it your best shot ... it's your last chance to win anything this year.

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 09:22 AM

Hi AM! good to see you too.

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:23 AM

nice passing shot off the running FH by Murray and triple break point

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 09:23 AM

Keep it up, Murray.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:23 AM

Yay Muzz bury him

3 b/points

Dont stuff up Muzz

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:23 AM

a rotten volley by Robin, that ball sat up for an hour.Robin has no punch on his volleys so far

Posted by just horsen 11/21/2010 at 09:23 AM

nice passing shot there from Andy. triple break point for him

Posted by GB 11/21/2010 at 09:24 AM

C'mon Muzz, take this last bp already!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:24 AM

Bad luck Muzz good defense though

I miss my Douggie already!

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/21/2010 at 09:24 AM

Great rally for 30-40.

Hey everyone. :) Tennis on TV! Andrew Castle! Murray! *excited*

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:25 AM

Yay Muzz breaks

Now consolidate Muzz

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 09:26 AM

Yes !! That's the way, Andy !!

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:26 AM

Jewell Hi,

Muzz gets the early break lets hope he can consolidate

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 09:26 AM

Nice job Muzz breaking. I won't mind Muzz winning the whole thing, he is long overdue of his one Slam wonderdom. Not that YEC is a slam by any means, but atleast it's better than masters(in my opinion).

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:26 AM

attacking Murray at athe net isn't a great game plan ....Robin doesn't have the finesse in his game to go against Andys angles and variety

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/21/2010 at 09:27 AM

I love the argyle-inspired shirt, too.

Posted by Kwaku 11/21/2010 at 09:27 AM

I like YEC but would prefer rotating surfaces (hard-clay-grass-hard-clay-etc.) Not only "fairer", but also more fun tennis 4 me.

One mathematical aspect of YEC vs slams is often ignored: it is much, much harder to be the best of 128 than of 8, even if they are the top-ranked 8. Even Masters 1000 events are much harder to win. Of course, that means once you are in (qualifying for the YEC is of course difficult).

Wasn't Sod supposed to play Rod? He's playing Mandy on my TV...

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:28 AM

El Sod with the soft hands

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 09:28 AM

Two holds to start, each with a DF. Not keen on the Soderling all black, white shoes, look. Then Soderling drops into a 0-40 hole, with some strong passing shots from Murray. Serve winner, long rally get us to 30-40. But Murray breaks on a BH 2nd serve winner. 2-1 Murray, with the first break.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:28 AM

Kwaku Hi!

Andy Roddick is in the other group and will play Rafa in his first match

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/21/2010 at 09:29 AM

Boring~~. Evil Sod predictably got broken. I predict Muzz winning here. That's for overhyping Sod last few days!

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 09:29 AM

Yes AM Sod looks like the evil twin of spider man.

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 09:29 AM

Hmm, I'm not too keen on either outfit today. Still, it's the tennis that counts.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:30 AM

AM
Andy got all prettied up for the home folks....eyebrows look plucked too
lets hope that mouth has been washed out too

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 09:30 AM

Muzz don't have to be so British here, this is not Wimbledon. He might as well wear a shirt with steaming tea cup print.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/21/2010 at 09:31 AM

As commies are commenting, I did notice that Muzz's shorts are rather short today. Almost Agassi-like. Are tennis short-shorts coming back? I bet it will if either Fed and Rafa brings on next year!

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:31 AM

perhaps Andy raised his grooming game for his brother's wedding?

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:32 AM

temes
He might as well wear a shirt with steaming tea cup print.

LOL
I want one! with a crumpet print on the back

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/21/2010 at 09:33 AM

I'd buy the tea cup & crumpet shirts. LOL.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:33 AM

I like the "shorter shorts" it reminds of the good old days.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/21/2010 at 09:33 AM

Short-shorts are cool... except when you have to sit down with it. oy.

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:34 AM

I would so buy that shirt :-D

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 09:34 AM

Two holds, Murray 3-2 with a break. Murray looks much more self assured right now - TV graphic shows 7-2 winners/UFEs for Murray, 3-7 for Soderling.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:35 AM

Thats the way Muzz bring Robin forward and usually you will get the error

Posted by GB 11/21/2010 at 09:35 AM

I would prefer Muzz's tee if it wasn't shiny.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:36 AM

Muzz with a love service game

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/21/2010 at 09:37 AM

It's a make or break for Evil Sod in this match since he can't possibly like his chances of winning the next two matches if he drops this, especially when you're like 1-22 against you-know-who.

Meanwhile Muzz has rather good record against you-know-who in best of 3 sets and even beat him in straights last two times. So it's less dire for him.

Posted by yello fuzzy 11/21/2010 at 09:37 AM

Andy has already taken this match from Robin

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:38 AM

Great Muzz great use of the slice and you are just beating Robin from the baseline

Lets get that double break

Posted by sf 11/21/2010 at 09:38 AM

holy shmokes, where did mandy learn to play so well indoors - lol.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 09:38 AM

15-40 for Andy as he hit FH winner DTL as Robin serves at 2-4
Andy breaks as Robin nets BH

Andy to serve for set 5-2

Posted by Lynne (Rafalite) 11/21/2010 at 09:38 AM

Robin isn't serving so well today ...

Posted by Kwaku 11/21/2010 at 09:39 AM

Thanks AM, you are right.
Murray punishing Sod for taking his #3 ranking. Toying with him with dropshots and all, almost making him look mediocre.

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/21/2010 at 09:39 AM

Robin, Jag, ja vill leva, jag vill do i Norden. From the Swedish National anthem. In thee I live, in thee I die, in the Northland. Kom igen Robin, kampa! Kampa!!!

Posted by Samantha Elin, Caro 2010 YE #1 11/21/2010 at 09:39 AM

Robin, Jag, ja vill leva, jag vill do i Norden. From the Swedish National anthem. In thee I live, in thee I die, in the Northland. Kom igen Robin, kampa! Kampa!!!

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 09:39 AM

Murray in complete command. A medium slow court won't hurt him in the slightest. Soderling looks like he's been told to drive a stick shift, and is wondering what the extra pedal is. 5-2 Murray, double break up.

Posted by temes 11/21/2010 at 09:40 AM

Andy seems to be having a very good day.

Posted by Old man Fed/Puny Server Rafa fan 11/21/2010 at 09:40 AM

Geez. I hope Fed-Ferru match will be at least a little bit more competitive. This match is so lopsided that I feel cheated of watching this.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:40 AM

Yay he gets the double break

Good pace and variety of shots Muzz

Keep this up Robin 2nd serve winning percentage is very low at the moment

Keep attacking it.

Posted by jewell - back to the grind. Gah! 11/21/2010 at 09:44 AM

Fun way to take the second set point with a FH dropshot. :)

Posted by Arun 11/21/2010 at 09:44 AM

Wow. A brilliant set from Murray.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 09:44 AM

15-0 Andy service winner wide
15-15 Robin gets to drop shot and eventually, hit easy volley winner
30-15 Robin nets BH return as Andy served to body
30-30 Andy DF
40-30 Robin FH long
40-40 Andy nets BH
A-40 Andy Ace at the T
Andy takes the set 6-2 as he hit drop shot winner

Posted by Holds 2 Love 11/21/2010 at 09:44 AM

Murray feeling very confident to take the first set with that drop shot.

Posted by Master Ace 11/21/2010 at 09:45 AM

5-12 Robin 14-4 Andy W/UFEs

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:46 AM

Great dropper Muzz thats the way

Where has this form been lately by the way?

Come on dont let Robin have a look in,in the 2nd set

Posted by Andrew 11/21/2010 at 09:46 AM

Murray finishes with a FH CC DSS: making Soderling look like he belongs on the Challenger circuit. Still, only the 1st set. Loved the 30-30 point, as Murray effortlessly soaked up the pressure, induced the error.

Posted by Ausiemarg,Madame President,Rafa London Is Calling! 11/21/2010 at 09:47 AM

Muzz what were you thinking there at the net? Hmmm.

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