Murray, Venus Try Tennis on Roofs of Cars in Miami
by Staff | March 24th, 2009
  • 70 Comments

The WTA Tour Sony Ericsson Open loves stunts. Last year it was Rafael Nadal and Serena Williams rallying in a pool — or rather on top of the pool, on a clear sheet that made it look like they were walking on water.


On Monday, Venus Williams and Andy Murray introduced the patrons of South Beach to “Traffic Tennis,” rallying with each other while standing on the roofs of slow-moving cars on Ocean Drive.

“Traffic Tennis was set against the signature art deco backdrop of South Beach while onlookers marveled at the sights of tennis being played where they would not naturally expect it,” explained the WTA release.

What says glamor more than playing tennis on top of a car? Nothing!

“The Sony Ericsson Open is one of the most entertaining and glamorous tournaments on the calendar,” Venus explained in her promo pitch. “This is not only due to its location but also the activities that surround the tournament, taking tennis off the court and increasing the excitement.”

Excitement was also Murray’s theme for playing in Miami.

“I always look forward to coming back to Miami and playing in the Sony Ericsson Open,” Murray said. “It’s one of the most exciting tournaments on the calendar and events like these help generate a tremendous amount of exposure for our sport.”

Corporate Vice President and Head of Global Communications and PR Aldo Liguori then upped the level of corporate speak, and confusion, adding, “Sony Ericsson is known as a challenger brand recognized for its passion and innovation. ‘Traffic Tennis’ perfectly shows we were able to take the game to a new scenario and audiences simultaneously, thus energizing the total experience of the Sony Ericsson Open.”

“Challenger brand”? OK.

Two SUVs with platforms and safety harnesses were modified by a “stunt rigger” on the roofs of the cars for the players, who probably should have been told to smile in the promotional photos, rather than looking confused and disoriented. 

In corporate-speak summary, “Sony Ericsson is able to activate the ‘lifestyle factor’ through the tournament, which in turn help to widen its appeal in the multimedia age and take tennis beyond the confines of the court to new audiences.”

Or in other words — tennis on car rooftops. Maybe it will catch on, something to do when stuck in traffic.


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70 Comments for Murray, Venus Try Tennis on Roofs of Cars in Miami

Shan Says:

Honestly, Andy Murray and Venus hitting a ball back and forth on the roof of a car? I mean it was a great marketing idea in theory but couldn’t they have chosen more charismatic players for their media event?!?!?


jane Says:

Cars aside, interesting that in the press Murray is purportedly after the number 1 spot – by the end of this year! He’s not just after Novak’s number 3 spot, but says if he serves and returns like he has been he should “win almost every match [he] plays.” So he figures he “can finish number 1 in the world.”

Anyhow, here’s a couple of articles:

http://www.dailyrecord.co.uk/sport/2009/03/25/andy-murray-vows-to-become-world-number-1-by-end-of-the-year-86908-21226291/

AND

http://www.littleabout.com/2009/03/25/britains-andy-murray-eyeing-no1-spot/

I’m certain there are more articles; I haven’t read the original presser so I am going to search that out.

I think in order to finish #1 he’d have to win a couple of slams or most of the other events he enters, given Rafa’s point spread. He also has a lot to gain in the clay season, since he did little on that surface last year, so it’s not out of the world to say he could finish number 1. But it does come as a bit of a surprise to me that he’s after number 1 and hasn’t yet won a slam. Anyhow, we’ll see right?


angelrose Says:

no story here unless andy and venus are dating, otherwise its tennis grasping for publicity in a terrible economic situation.


I like tennis bullies Says:

madd dog: federer isnt top two anymore

http://nbcsports.msnbc.com/id/22825103/vp/29840989#29840989

lol


Shan Says:

Interesting tangent Jane.

Murray on “vowing to become #1 in the world this year”:

“If I win that percentage of my service games during the whole year I think I can finish No.1 in the world.”

“If I’m breaking serve around 40 per cent of the time and getting broken 13 per cent I’m going to win pretty much every match I play.”

Sounds like the usual press exaggerations to me.


jane Says:

Shan,

Most definitely could be the usual press exaggerations – probably is in fact. I couldn’t find the actual presser, though those comments were in quotations, so I assume he said them. Mind you, the press notoriously take things out of context and that’s why I was searching for the presser. I am assuming it’s his pre-Miami interview because it’s not what he said after the final loss at IW (I’ve read that interview).

I just thought it was an interesting story – surprising but yet certainly not impossible to imagine Murray doing it! That’s more striking than the press’s pandering don’t you think? If he wins, say, Wimbledon and the USO he could take number 1, I’d assume, particularly, as I say above, if he picks up a lot of points on clay.

He is certainly the player to watch at the moment, in many ways. And he has tremendous talent and now ambition and focus to match it. I enjoy him a lot, so I hope he can continue to do well.


grendel Says:

“But it does come as a bit of a surprise to me that he’s after number 1 and hasn’t yet won a slam” – jane.

I think Murray thinks strategically. Some years ago, he opined that he wouldn’t be at his best until he was 22. Nearly there. To be consistent – for he has always belived he will one day be #1 – he should believe that the number 1 will be his soon – perhaps concurrent with winning a slam. I wonder whether, also, he does not consider that the window will only be open for a short time. That, for obvious reasons, he hasn’t speculated publicly about, but it wouldn’t surprise me if he does privately. He is a thoughtful young man, and he must be looking with particular interest at Federer’s current struggles. Since he has contributed mightily to these struggles, there is a piquant element here. But the detached, observant side of Murray will have made a particular note that time waiteth for no man.

Perhaps Murray is a man in a hurry.


jane Says:

Well it’s making things interesting, him in the mix there with Rafa and Fed, and also maybe Djoko and Roddick if the former can get back to his best and if the latter can keep up his momentum. And there are a trail beneath with a load of potential as well. If Murray can thwart the dominance of Rafa, he’ll have achieved something special since Rafa seems so unbeatable right now.


Duro Says:

Hi, Jane.


Duro Says:

Two years ago, Djoković won 6-0, 6-1 match in IW against Murray. They are literally a generation, 7 days difference between them. What can you tell by this result? This is a difference in class between them, Djokovic is simply more talented than Murray. Right now, the situation is significantly different, because of many reasons, Murray is in a far better form, got physically stronger, he is a great defender, covers the playground impressively, very hard to be beaten etc etc. You can learn and gain all of this, muscles, form, game-vise… but you can never learn class. Talent and class is something that you can never learn, you’re born with it or not. Murray being No 1? Hardly.


sar Says:

“If I win 86 per cent of my service games
throughout the year, I think I finish No 1 in the world.”
http://www.timesonline.co.uk/tol/spo…cle5970223.ece

Sorry Murray but I don’t buy it.


Duro Says:

Sar, even he doesn’t buy it.


Duro Says:

Janie, Janie… Take a peek in your lap top between classes! When I post, you’re working, when you’re posting I’m sleeping… What to do, what to do?


Shan Says:

All predictions aside I do agree with Grendel that Murray is a thoughtful and strategic thinker. I find him much more analytical and firmly grounded than any other younger player that I’ve heard in recent times, at least on the record.


margot Says:

Did Andy M really say this, cos he’s also said he thinks Rafa’s getting better and Roger could get back to No 1. Please God he’s not getting like Tony Blair and saying whatever he thinks people want to hear!


Von Says:

Margot: You sound very upset there. But, if Andy M. is emulating Tony Blair, I don’t think that’s such a bad thing. Sometimes it’s necessary to keep the opposition guessing.


Duro Says:

Oh my God, if Novak have said that they would crucify him for sure… What a stupid statement…


grendel Says:

Margot – The world of Tony Blair is the world of nightmare, where things mean anything you like them to mean. You couldn’t really even say he was a liar, since concepts like truth and falsehood have no objective meaning in Blair land. Arguing with Tony Blair must have been like arguing with marshmallow; you would have come out of the discussion wondering who you were or whether you even existed: perhaps you were just a product of somebody else’s dream – Tony Blair’s, perhaps.

But I see nothing inconsistent in what you and others report Murray to have said. His speculations on his own game, especially his serving, are forthright but defensible. It is not at all inconsistent to then suggest Nadal is getting better. First of all, Nadal clearly is; but secondly, it may be Murray’s view that he, Murray, is also getting better, but more dramatically so. He may be incorrect to say that, but it is not unreasonable. And finally, about Federer possibly getting back to #1. Strictly speaking this is true, however implausible. But I should like to have seen Murray’s facial expression when saying it. Sure there wasn’t a “Ho, Ho!” element to it?

b.t.w., Andy Murray is exceptionally talented. Of that, there is not the slightest doubt, and I’d bet my life’s blood that all the top players would give a right oldfashioned look to anyone suggesting otherwise.


grendel Says:

Of course, Andy Murray is not really a “Ho,Ho,Ho!” sort of person – unless you look very closely. The lefthand corner of his upper lip twitches slightly, his right eye undergoes a minute contraction, and Murray is one of the few people in my experience who can manipulate right eye and left eyebrow simultaneously. The eyebrow (left only) is raised to a degree bordering on significance. The skilled observer, when able properly to monitor these signals, is generally moved to pronounce: “Andy Murray is currently experiencing hilarity”.


Von Says:

Sometimes, it’s not bad to toot one’s own horn. As the saying goes, ‘if you don’t do it, who else is going to do it for you’. Props to Andy M. for having the courage to call it as he sees it. And, there’s nothing wrong with that kind of mentality, as long as he remembers and lives by the ‘all things in moderation’ way of life.


Von Says:

Duro:

“Oh my God, if Novak have said that they would crucify him for sure… What a stupid statement…”

I don’t think it’s a stupid statement. It’s good to have that kind of self-confidence and the chutzpah to speak it out aloud. Andy M. is cognizant of his potential and is willing to put it into action, except I would hope he doesn’t make a habit of so doing. Kudos to him.

No one would crucify Djoko for saying that, but there would be disagreements because realistically Novak has a lot of points to defend this year, coupled with the fact that he’s not playing as well as in 2008, and it would be seen as wishful thinking on his part. And yes, there would be some negative comments too in that instance. However, when Djoko gets on a roll and is beating the top guys, he’ll be in a position to speak up and toot his horn also, and no one would be able to state anything to the contrary, because the results would be his proof.


jane Says:

Hi Duro,

I have to disagree with you about Murray, in the sense that even Novak himself has called Murray a top class player. When Murray was playing juniors with Novak, they were friendly and Novak knew of Murray’s potential and talent; he was merely waiting for Murray to translate it to the pro-tour. Murray was struggling to find the right coach (or now, team) and now he has it so everything is clicking for him. I believe both Murray and Novak could have a shot a number 1 at some point in the future, but surely right now Murray looks like the more likely candidate doesn’t he? What doesn’t he have? He’s got touch, speed, smarts, offense, defense, variety, fitness and confidence against both Nadal and Federer (Federer more so). He has a winning record over Federer, which is more than Novak has. Providing he can keep this up, there’s no reason to suppose Murray couldn’t get to number 1. My only caveat is that he has yet to win a slam and he will need to (I would think anyhow; this isn’t the WTA) in order to reach the top spot.

Plus he can manipulate his right eye and left eyebrow simultaneously, as grendel tells us.

Murray does seem to recognize the moment may just be soon.


grendel Says:

They say beauty’s in the eye of the beholder. You know how it is, you’re nuts on someone and you think the boil on their bum’s pretty special. You can’t understand why everyone else isn’t enthusiastically agreeing with you.

Well, looking over this site, I think “talent” must be a bit like that. Your robot is my genius. His journeyman is her conscientious worker. There is no consensus, although there are tribal groupings. Is all taste in these matters just subjective? You wouldn’t think so, judging by the tenor of some peoples’ comments, where pronouncements are made in tones of priestly authority.

Of course, some people’s preferences are based purely on emotional, or patriotic, or other factors unconnected with tennis expertise. But why is person A so utterly convinced that his man is a tennis natural, simply oozing class, whilst person B contemptuously consigns the same player to the ranks of solid and unimaginative orthdoxy. All the shots but doesn’t know what to do with them. Basically, a glorified whacker of the ball.

People will virtually go to the stake rather than recant their views on these matters. No doubting their sincerity.

All very curious, and somehow mirroring the world we live in, “where ignorant armies clash by night”. Me, I am as confident in my own prejudices as anyone else, although your prejudices of course are stupid, whilst mine are subtle, take strict account of the facts and are above all correct; on reflection, they aren’t really prejudices at all, that is what other people have.

I have knowledge.

Puzzling, though, all the same, and diverting too in a manner of speaking.


Duro Says:

Jane, ok, but he said number one in the of the year! Come on!


margot Says:

Grendel: Thanks for the instruction manual on Andy M’s humour, I shall watch closely for the twitch of the…left eyebrow was it? Completely agree re T. Blair and to think he’s Middle East peace envoy, ye gods! It’s like John Prescott giving lessons on self control.
Von: yes and no, as usual re Andy M. Confidence good, but unrealistic over-confidence bad. Does he really think he’s gonna de-rail Rafa from his place at the top of the greasy pole this year? cos if he does I suspect he’s in a minority of
one.
Jane Von: Welcome to the Andy Murray fan club! Subscriptions are very reasonable and payable straight to me! Seriously though, glad you think he’s as talented as I do.


jane Says:

Okay Duro – maybe saying he’ll reach that goal by the end of this year is a bit of a stretch, especially given the point spread that Rafa has over him, but certainly by this time next year it’s not out of the question. Anyhow, it’s not a bad thing when a talented player sets his or her sights high; it’s kind of admirable really.


Von Says:

Margot: We’ll see about Andy M’s forecast. is it fair to cloudy with a few intermittent showers, or sunshine all the way?

BTW, re: the subscriptions, I’ll pay you with a bottle of fine champers which I’ll share with you. I’m sorry but unchartered clubs collecting subscriptions is breaking the law, and I don’t think I’ll look good in those shapeless chambray looking dresses serving time, not to mention the mug shots– so champers is all I can give. LOL.


Duro Says:

Von, about “stupid” part, I have to admit that I wanted to provoke some of the Murray’s supporters and definitely to emphasize how that would be received if Novak have said that… Anyhow, for Murray to be the number 1 in the end of the year, mission impossible. He is 7600 and some, Nadal 14000 and some, Murray get real! Nobody believes in it, even you. If I have 86%…


Duro Says:

Jane, touch he’s got, speed definitely, smarts very much, offense not much at all, especially for someone aiming to the number 1 ( without offensive play I even don’t consider a player as a respect worthy one), he is emphatically defensive player, fitness more than anything, variety in certain degree cause his play is stereotypical, and confidence (something which comes and goes depending on the results, form etc etc.) couldn’t be attached to him exclusively. All in all, there’s a big part missing, the most crucial one. He has a limited play, already framed, with no offense and risk required for number one player. Rafa will last for some time (Until physically can), Roger never again, Novak has it all (but definitely not at the moment), so all in all, Murray ideal number 2 player, a paradigm of it!


Von Says:

“Of course, some people’s preferences are based purely on emotional, or patriotic, or other factors unconnected with tennis expertise.” grendel.

And, what’s wrong with that? First and foremost, we won’t be here if we had zero tennis expertise, and as long as we’re humans we’re going to be emotional.

I’m one of a majority or maybe a minority that’s reeled in by first impressions. I first have to like the player for his personality appeal, and then I begin to analyze his game. If they both are in sync, I then become a supporter. It’s hardly ever the reverse with me, and I’m sure there are many who are of that same mind-set.

Then there’s the matter of patriotism, which is what Davis Cup is all about — nations competing against each other for the Cup. This is where, IMO, we separate our love for a certain player and root for our country. Unfortunately, some are not patriotic and all they care about is their player wining, regardless of his nationality, and if he happens to beat their country, then that’s too bad for their country, just as long as the player wins. This is where I become befuddled. On the other hand, many are proud of their country’s athletes’ achievements, e.g., Nadal, Djokovic and Roddick, and root very fiercely.

This is what life’s all about though isn’t it — diversity? It would be pretty boring if everyone sang the same tune. And, when is a topic ever 100 percent pure — devoid of extraneous factors? It’s extremely rare and practically an impossibility. How many people actually answer the question asked? I’ve seen instances where people are so way off topic that I’ve had to watch the program again, or re-read a transcript to ensure I hadn’t imagined hearing or reading the answer.

The problem that some fans posting on this site are encountering presently is one of segregation. In the past this site was predominantly a Federer site, and they controlled everything. All other non-Fed fans were outcasts or untouchables. It was a ‘we’ against ‘them’ mentality and the battles were fierce. The non-Fed supporters were silenced by the group of Fed fans. However, that has slowly changed with the advent of Nadal’s domination, and to a lesser extent Djokovic’s rise. Now we have a domination by three groups and this has posed a huge problem for the Federer fans, who cannot dominate and silence their opposition by numbers. As a result, quite a few Fed fans have been posting rather infrequently because there hasn’t been much to rave about, except his ’08 USO win, then they showed up en masse, but have again retired into hibernation due to his losses. What I’ve found to be very hilarious is the gnawing of the two groups at each other’s throats. Unfortunately, this is very uncomfortable for the Fed fans, who’ve had things their way for a long time, but it seems to be happy days for the Nadal fans, who’ve had to be kept under thumbs by the Fed fans, and are indeed gratified by this newly-found freedom, to the point of gloating.

In view of the foregoing, I’d say we’ll see a reversal of fortunes. It’ll be the Nadal fans calling all of the shots and the Fed fans fighting to defend and/or retain what’s left of their stronghold, which is a very new position for them, hence a lot of disgruntled posters. I personally like the diversification, because in all of this chaos, the handful of Roddick fans and fans of other players are able to let out a little squeak now and then on behalf of their guys. It’s also hilarious to see the verbal wars.

And, this too, shall pass.


jane Says:

Duro – If I were you, I’d have another look at the match between Murray and Djoko at the Roger’s Cup in Canada last year; the reason is that in that match Murray was more aggressive than Djoko. I realize Murray has a tendency to be more defensive, more of a counter-punching style, but he can be aggressive too. He was also pretty aggressive when he took out Gasquet at Wimbledon. So anyhow, I can see your point, but I wouldn’t say he has NO offense. Maybe this is one area in which he could improve, however.


jane Says:

Von, good post. I don’t have much opportunity to be patriotic in tennis cheering since we have so few players, so usually for me it’s game and character. I can’t say I am always drawn to one or the other first, but I do know that character matters to me on some level.

About all the in-fighting, your comment reminded me of this:

“And all shall be well and
All manner of things shall be well.”

T.S. Eliot “Little Gidding”

It’s just tennis, after all, not WWII bombing.


Duro Says:

How can you improve something like that, he simply doesn’t have these strikes, it’s coming from the grip, from the mentality, from the talent for it, from your skills you’re used to. You only mentioned couple of matches which certainly don’t make him offensive in the end. He’s smart, oh he’s smart, no unforced errors, taking advantages of someones faults, limited risk, returning balls… very secure play. I simply don’t respect it. His biggest quality is his moving and athleticism right now, no exceptional strokes.


Von Says:

Duro: Well you got away with the provocatoon because there aren’t too many murray fans around and even the few of them here agree with you.
_______________
jane:

Loved “Little Gidding”.

“It’s just tennis, after all, not WWII bombing.”

Are you kidding, it’s WWW”III”. Try telling that to the warriors. This is serious stuff, just in case you don’t know. LOL, and LOL again, and sometimes I’m ROTFL because of the intensity. Heck, if I’m in need of a good lawyer, I’ll choose one of them to defend me. LOL.


grendel Says:

Murray is a brilliant offensive player – watch him against Federer; he knows exactly when to turn it on. His backhand down the line in particular is one of the most powerful weapons on tour. But above all, his mastery of change of pace is what makes his offensive play so outstanding.He gives his opponent no rhythm, has them scratching their heads, or lulls them – and then suddenly strikes. He’s not a ball basher, he’s a magnificent player, with tremendous defence, and now a wonderful attacking game. The comparison with Nadal, in this respect, is remarkable. Another player who used to be almost entirely defensive and who is now one of the most effectively aggressive of players on tour. And, of course, Murray has a very fine attacking serve. Only a couple of years ago, that was his albatross.

Some people are a little out of date where Murray is concerned. And he’s still developing, I’d say.

“And what is wrong with that?” asks Von, re emotional, patriotic etc stuff. Who said anything was wrong with it? It was just irrelevant to the question I was, more or less humorously, asking. A question, b.t.w., which almost certainly doesn’t have an answer but which nevertheless presents certain curious features….Of course we are emotional, that’s why it’s kind of funny to pretend one could engage in tennis or anything else with emotions as optional.

As for patriotism, different matter. Dr.Johnson thought it was “the last refuge of a scoundrel”, so not everyone agrees with you – but most probably do. Patriotism is generally regarded as a virtue. I think it can be,and it can also be productive of evil. It is, in any case, the modern form of tribalism which is deeply embedded in human nature – a Darwinian inheritance, and therefore extremely difficult to uproot. That might, in the end, prove to be catastrophic for our world – but this has nothing to do with tennis. I see no intrinsic virtue (or the opposite) in supporting your country in the davis cup, and it is certainly not either selfish or unselfish. It is a matter of choice. I still feel a certain patriotism, I’m not proud of it, nor am I ashamed of it. On the whole, I regard it as irrational and dangerous and productive of much of the evil in the world, but I don’t think there is any answer to it, for I am as contaminated as anyone else. (I think it is definitely true that socialists, for instance, who abandon patriotism simply put other forms of collective tribalism, perhaps even more dangerous, in its place). That’s a point of view, Von, and I am putting it quite mildly. I am aware that you find such views anathema. But you have a way of putting your point of view as if it is the obviously moral position, as also for example, your belief in God. That is your entitlement. But plenty of us take an opposite view, on both God and country, and do not feel one whit less moral for it. Indeed, many atheists regard religion, and God based religion in particular, as profoudly evil and immoral. I think that view is simplistic – I’ll leave it at that.

So far as your stuff on Federer and Nadal, it’s a drum you’ve often banged. There is some truth in what you say, but you put it too forcefully, you draw the lines too dramatically imo – you forget your position is hardly neutral, since you have had extremely hostile things to say about both Federer and Nadal. Furthermore, the last thing I personally would ever want is to silence people with different points of view – as a matter of fact, one of the very few things I’d go to the stake for is the right for unpopular views, in particular views I loathe, to be heard. It is partly for this reason, that I don’t go along with the battlelines you adduce. Personally, I have always been an instinctive nonjoiner of any club, including a club which I might be thought to find sympathetic. It is a sort of historical accident that I have found myself as a Federer fan. Usually, I am an inveterate and instinctive supporter of the underdog – anywhere. That’s where my soul is, down in the underclasses where live the wretched and the beaten and the failures and the oddballs and those who just don’t fit. Nothing virtuous here, just an instinctive feeling that is where I belong. So – a sort of irony that I should, in my perhaps less than wholehearted way, support a rolls royce of a tennis player in Federer. But we seem to have no choice in these matters, and besides, why not a little bit of luxury in one’s life. The cardboard box sort of looms – I wonder if you know what that means – but never mind, my man’s Federer. Pity he’s gone off.


Von Says:

grendel: I won’t answer and/or defend what you’ve stated, because if I do, another argument would ensue, and I don’t want, except for one tiny point, I was NOT hurling any accusations at you personally, I was speaking in general.


Von Says:

PS: I don’t think any of us are without blemish, we’ve all had wagged our tongues without restraint regarding other players. I like that litle inclusion of Nadal though, why not seek an ally when fighting the battle.


Duro Says:

No 3 miles posts allowed!


grendel Says:

Von

I wondered what this could mean:”I like that litle inclusion of Nadal though, why not seek an ally when fighting the battle.” And then I saw. You are quite wrong, you know. I certainly was not seeking an ally. Your post was largely about the Federer/Nadal duopoly, and it was to that I was responding – one couldn’t not bring Nadal in.

That said, I admire your restraint. That takes balls – if you, er, will pardon the expression. I know what it must cost you to remain silent, and I salute you for that.


Von Says:

Duro: Sorry about the mile posts. That’s the way I used to calculate distances whenever I went on a long trip, as a kid, with my parents. I like your humor though, LOL.


Duro Says:

Imagine my position: I have 7 kilos dictionaries on my lap, how could I possibly answer if you continue like this! Plus you’re 7 hours behind… It’ll take another day to compete with you guys! Have mercy!


Duro Says:

Good night till tomorrow.


Von Says:

Goodnight Duro. LOL, Download the google toolbar, as I mentioned previously, and use the dictionary button. There’s also a Wikipedia feature. If you did that, you won’t need the 7 kilos of dictionaries. How heavy is one dictionary?


jane Says:

Well one way that Murray is particularly on the offense is when he uses cat-and-mouse techniques, which has something to do with pace-mixing, as grendel mentioned, which relates to the lure. He’s a hoaxster. He goads a player into the net with some weird loopy shot and then boom, he hits a calculated passer or lifting lob which lands squarely where it was meant to. Yep, he is a shot-maker. He really is special, in his unique style of play. It’s not about power, it’s about variety and brains. Gotta like it. I do.

And speaking of feisty underdogs, the Scots have some knowledge of that, aye.


Ezorra Says:

Zola, have you watch the latest pictures in Tennis Planet? Nadal looks very skinny (I mean, scarily skinny) and Sharapova looks like the evil queen from ‘Snow White and 7 Dwarfs’ but the women players… phewwwww… They are HOT!!!


tenisbebe Says:

Duro says” “Jane, touch he’s got, speed definitely, smarts very much, offense not much at all, especially for someone aiming to the number 1 ( without offensive play I even don’t consider a player as a respect worthy one)…..How can you improve something like that..”

Am I missing something here? You are insisting that Murray, being a defensive player, has no chance of becoming #1 (or winning a GS) in spite of his other attributes: speed, good court sense, physicality (I would debate about this one), etc. Who is the #1 player now? I believe Rafa is accepted to be a predominately defensive player, albeit, one who is in the process of adding more aggression to his current game. So why is this impossible? Nadal has already shown that it is, in fact, possible.


Ezorra Says:

I mean, have u seen…


Duro Says:

3,5 kilos Von, of course. Tenisbebe, you’re comparing Nadal with anyone on earth and come to a conclusion? Biiiiig mistake…


tenisbebe Says:

Duro – thought you were in bed, all tucked in. I am aware of your suspicions where Rafa is concerned – let’s not go there tonight.


Duro Says:

Tenisbebe, I was, but my baby tennis genius awoke me up (5,5 months). You got me wrong about Rafa, these were not the suspicions, I was suspicious re Murray being compared with Rafa. No comparison there. Murray’s defensive style couldn’t possibly achieve the same results, so, all in all, Murray may eventually be number 1, but I will never respect and admire defensive players to be in that spot, that was the whole point of my statements.


margot Says:

Duro: you have woken up and “provoked” a “Murray madam,” wow that’s a good one, think I’ll re-name myself! Andy has one of the best and most effective backhands in the game, his first serve is also coming along nicely. How can you say he doesn’t have any shots? Also, do not like your use of the word “respect”. Andy M. has worked so hard at his fitness, his serve, his mobility, and achieved No 4. What’s not to respect?
Von: it would be a very reckless woman who predicted sunshine all the way for Andy, I’ll settle for mixed weather with sunshine predominating!


grendel Says:

Murray is not a defensive player. He is a player who understands the use of defense. The point about defense is to keep you in the point until such time as attack is appropriate. Then, you attack – if you can. Murray can. Noone has a better attacking backhand than him except the great Nalbandian. Expect his forehand to catch up. He has proved that he is that sort of chap. Again and again, the comparisons with Nadal are uncanny, particularly since their games are completely different.

Ezorra – have you seen a rather good drama series called Damages, starring the excellent, truly excellent Glen Close? The thing is, there’s a woman there who plays the sister of the geezer’s who’s been murdered – the one who was, before death unfortunately claimed him, the lover of the woman who can’t make her mind up whose side she’s on (sorry, can’t remember any of their names, they’re all exactly the same, the younger ones anyway). Anyway, this woman, the one who – well, I don’t need to run through all that again, she’s the spitting image of Sharapova. Know who I mean?


jane Says:

Murray’s long had that reputation of being a more defensive player; maybe “patient offense” is a good way to describe his play.


zola Says:

Duro

***Tenisbebe, I was, but my baby tennis genius awoke me up (5,5 months). ***

OMG! you have a 5.5 month old! how cute! Please a cuddle and a kiss from me!

Ezorra,
I noticed the same thing with Rafa. I think he has lost weight. Then I read somewhere from Maymo ( his physio) that he has lost about 10 pounds and is now 81 kg instead of the 85 on ATP page.

I know last year he tried to lose weight to reduce the pressure on his knees. Maybe that’s the reson for this year’s weight loss too. It also helps him move faster.


jane Says:

zola, I actually commented during the AO that I thought he looked slimmer, and this especially because so many people at the time were having the “doping” conversations at this sight, so I thought the fact that he looked leaner kind of went against that theory. Anyway losing weight has clearly helped Roddick’s movement, I’d imagine it could help even Rafa’s, not to mention lightening the load on his knees. I think Tsonga is another player who could be a bit lighter on his feet – he’s clearly muscular and fit but maybe a little lightness would help him move quicker at times.


jane Says:

sight s/b site


Duro Says:

Margot, where did I say he doesn’t have any shots? Take a look at my post to Jane march 26th, 3:58 pm. I was very very clear.


Duro Says:

Zola, thanks a lot. It explains how I can chat with you guys 3 o’clock in the morning!


grendel Says:

“very very clear”. True.

Thus: “offense not much at all” – quite wrong.

Thus: “he is emphatically a defensive player” – completely misleading. He was that once. He was a baby once, too. But time moves on. Now, he is emphatically a tennis player, who employs defense for a purpose, as do all the great players. When the situation is ripe, he turns smoothly and devestatingly to offence.

Thus: “variety in certain degree cause his play is stereotypical” – actually, this is not at all clear. What can be meant?

Thus: “He has a limited play, already framed, with no offense” – just as “stereotypical” is just about the last word you’d use about Murray, so is “limited”. Few players have more variety.

We must be living in parallel universes.


margot Says:

Duro: hey man, am getting really anal here but on 26/03 4.49 you said, “his biggest quality is his moving and athleticism right now no exceptional strokes”
I beg to disagree, his backhand is exceptional.


jane Says:

While Baggy is hitting a number of aces, his first serve percentage in this match is below 50%. If he scrapes out the win, and gets this break back, this kind of serving won’t get him too far. He’s been able to capitalize on Mathieu’s second serve so far.

Youz and Berdych have exchanged sets, Tsonga’s about to begin his match, and when Fed is done, which will be momentarily, then Roddick will play soon. Man-o-man!! I wish we could WATCH THIS.


Duro Says:

But you accused me that I said he didn’t have any shots! I never said it, I said no exceptional strokes (shots)! His backhand is very good, but comparing to ones of Fed, Gasquet, Henin… No comparison really.


Duro Says:

Margot, what does it mean you’re getting really anal!?


grendel Says:

Murray’s backhand is better than Federer’s. It is not as beautiful as Gasquet’s, but probably more effective. You have to go to Nalbandian and Safin of yore to find a better backhand.


Duro Says:

The most perfect backhand in the world of tennis is the one belonging to Justin Henin! The most beautiful one – probably to Gasquet, Murray’s is definitely more effective than his, but not as beautiful and technically correct, and about Fed’s, what to say… Almost perfect. All in all, I stick to what I said. At the moment, Murray has more effective backhand even then Roger, but not better.


grendel Says:

I wonder how one defines “technically correct”. Federer, I think, invented that strange squash shot which many players now use, although noone is as adept at it as Federer. Presumably, it has yet to make into the coaching manuals. At some stage, then, we we will be presented with the “technically correct” version, which implies that there will be unorthodox varieties of it – a strange thought.

If a particular stroke of a player is more “effective” than that of another player, why is it not “better”? Are we to infer that the shot which is better (despite being less effective)is that more likely to make into the coaching manual? Might we not, then, be tempted to say: so much the worse for the coaching manual?

Or is the argument that the better shot is currently less effective because its possessor is ailing? Well, Federer is ailing generally, but his backhand actually is doing rather well, and is probably better (or at least shall we say more effective) than it was in his heyday. I maintain, therefore, that Murray’s backhand is simply better than Federer’s. Federer’s backhand is actually a puzzle; he can, it is true, do shots with it which nobody else can, but these come pretty rarely in the course of a match. Not like Nalbandian or the old Safin, endlessly and effortlessly pounding the corners from all positions of the court. I think I’d like to say that Murray has a consistently much more dangerous backhand than Federer’s – but Federer can still pull out the surprise like nobody else can. Wonderful to watch, but not so significant in a long match.


Duro Says:

Ok, if Henin plays against some mail player, and she hits the ball using backhand (beautifully, perfectly) she will eventually lose to, lets say, Murray anyway. He has a more effective stroke even if she owns the most perfect one (technically). Now you got it?


grendel Says:

So you’re saying Murray’s ascendancy is about muscle? But that doesn’t do it, because muscle without skill is useless. You still have to show that Henin has more skill than Murray. And what is the evidence? Beauty, you say. But we are back to Gasquet. Of course, it was me who raised the idea of beauty, and I think it is legitimate to do so if you want to describe your feeling about a particular shot. But as an explanatory concept, it seems to be too vague. What is beauty? We think it’s obvious – until you try to explain it; then it seems oddly elusive. Some people say Nadal’s game is very ugly, fans of Nadal that is, it doesn’t bother them. But actually, there is a case for saying that all that channelled ferocity has a claim to beauty. Looks like “beauty” casts a wide net.

If not beauty, then – too lacking in any sort of precision to be used as a criterion which we can all agree on – what? “Perfectly” you say. Apparently, we are back to the technical (plus the fact that “perfect” carries, at least subliminally, hints of “beauty”).

Why is Henin’s backhand technically better than Murray’s? Are you really saying anything more than that it is easier on your particular eye? If not, what? Coaching manual again? There is a tendency to assert that a one handed backhand is, in some mysterious way, technically superior to a two handed one. But is this anything more than a kind of nostalgia, snobbery even? Of course, you might prefer to watch a one handed backhand – but we’re back to “beauty”, taste and so on. Personally, from a purely aesthetic point of view, I think you have to play it person by person. In the right hands, a doublehanded backhand can look pretty awesome. And, whilst I am not equipped to discuss this, I know there are pros and cons for both styles of play. I don’t think there is any general consensus that one is by definition better than the other.

In the end, I should have thought that a stroke, a grip and so on is deemed technically sound because experience has shown it to be the most effective stroke, grip etc for the greatest number of people. But this notion doesn’t work with the very best. Just because they are so exceptional, they are able to bend the rules to suit their temperament, style, build and so on to a degree which would be very damaging for an ordinary club player.

So we are still left with the query: Why is Henin more technically sound than Murray? And even if she is (and personally, I have no idea whether she is or even whether the notion makes any sense)superiority that does not translate to Federer, who is not outmuscled by Murray. In the end, it seems reasonable to say that the more effective you are, the better you are. It might even be tautologous. In which case – you turn out the light and go to sleep.


jane Says:

Whirligig I’d say, or tautologous. Sleep tight.

(pssst…trying to define ugliness is just as hard as beauty; you know the ole saying “beauty is in the eye of the…”. Anyhow, goodnight.)


zola Says:

Sorry to jump in,

I think Murray’s success is because of two reasons. First he improved his fitness, so now he can stay in those critical 5-setters and is more confident in his ability to do so.
secondly , he stopped with most of his on-court outbursts. That helps him a lot to remain concentrated on his game.
Technically he always had a perfect game.

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