An Open Letter to Andy Murray
Oh, Andy Murray. How I used to love thee. How I currently loath thee. What is a fan to do? Since Murray graced the cover of Tennis Magazine in the summer of 2007, I have been your fan, even if I am criticized for being so among my tennis-fan friends. Well, I love the way he plays, I say.
Seriously guy. What is happening? For two weeks in late January and early February you were the talk of the tennis world. It wasn’t like the 2008 US Open when you were still a pup going up against a giant in Roger Federer.
The 2010 Australian Open was your tournament. You dominated like Federer used to. Did you watch men’s final at the US Open last year? Remember that Argentinean? The one who dominated Federer in the final two sets. Oh, what’s his name? Oh yeah. Juan Martin “I have a Grand Slam and you don’t” del Potro.
In route to the 2010 Aussie final Murray lost just one set and dominated a weary Rafael Nadal. But then came Federer.
Even with the Swede on the other side of the net, I still believed. I had the same feeling for this final that I did back in 2003 when American Andy Roddick dominated the US Open. He went on to dominate the final match as well. History would not repeat.
Well, in some ways it did.
Federer dominated you like he did back at the 2008 US Open. Last year he cried. This year you whimpered. You were a broken man. For 13 days, Australia was yours. But you forgot one thing: Day 14.
Your game plan was solid, but terribly executed. Yes, players must attack Fed’s backhand and make him get out of position, but that also means you must hit at least a few shots to move him around. Give Federer any amount of time and he’s going to beat you. You hit one backhand winner the entire match. It was on point two. That is your shot dude! Backhand up-the-line. Game. Set. Match. That’s what got you there.
I hate to say it, but you out-thought yourself on this one. You had him.
And no, you may think it, but you can’t cry like Roger. And even if you could, the last two months is no excuse. You’ve had two months you’d like to quickly forget. Well, here is your chance.
Remember this: When Roger lost the 2009 Australian Open to Nadal, he came back to win Roland Garros and Wimbledon. So maybe there is hope.
But the time is now. You said it yourself years ago. 22-24 was going to be your prime. If you’re not careful, you’re going to become just like Andy Roddick: A one-hit wonder, except you’re not even a hit.
Yeah, you’ve won a few Masters 1000 events, but never defended. Heck, you’ve never reached a final a year after winning a tournament. Now it’s clay court season. A surface you’ve never won a title on. Then its onto the grass.
Oh, Andy Murray. How I want you to win. Please.
About Richard Dedor
Richard Dedor is a writer, speaker and personal coach dedicated to helping each person achieve their dreams. He ran for political office at age 18 and recently published his first book, Anything is Possible (https://anythingispossiblethebook.com). You can find him at his blog Finding Focus (https://www.richarddedor.com/blog) and on Twitter @RichardDedor (https://twitter.com/richarddedor). He also works for the USTA and this column is his personal opinion, and not that of the USTA’s.