The capable Scot


He is yet to win a Grand Slam, and he lost the final in Miami yesterday – against Novak Djokovic. But Andy Murray´s impressive capacity and consistency deserves nevertheless to be recognized. This year will with certainty be the fifth in a row with the Scot finishing top four (4) in the world.

Playing during the same era as Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic is not easy. Murray has, primarily in the Grand Slams, been stopped by these giants. But his grim achievements in Masters events ought not to be omitted – eight (8) winning trophies out of ten (10) finals!

This makes him a shared number six (together with Tomas Muster) since the Masters formula was introduced in 1990. An overview: Federer/Nadal 19, Agassi 17, Sampras/Djokovic 11, Murry/Muster 8. Murray´s internal records against the top trio, is nothing to be ashamed of either – Federer 8 – 7, Nadal 5 – 13 and Djokovic 5 – 8.

On court Murray displays incredible all round skills. Often changing the tempo, he challenges his opponents with different balls to be hit on. His serve is good, his returns are world class – so are his mobility and his backhand. His forehand is cruel in side positions, but on mid court weaker than these of his opponents.

What then, has stopped Murray from taking the last step, winning Grand Slams? I think two factors imply the answer: Number one, a weaker mentality – Murray still walks into and out of his matches. That you cannot afford against the very best. Number two, he has a too passive mode. Variation and ball greed are his signatures, but in the most solemn contexts he´s become too passive.

Andy Murray has lost three Grand Slam finals. But he hasn´t yet turned 25, and a glance at the career of his coach, Ivan Lendl, gives ray to his bone. Lendl took, in 1984 at Roland Garros, his first Grand Slam title in his fourth final – at 24!