World No. 1 Andy Murray Out in 4th Round Stunner To Mischa Zverev at Australian Open
by Staff | January 22nd, 2017, 8:42 am
  • 54 Comments

If you still believe in the “Big 4,” then it was whittled down to the Big 2 on Sunday at the Australian Open, where world No. 1 Andy Murray crashed out against unseeded Mischa Zverev of Germany, while 35-year-old Roger Federer continued his amazing comeback run.


Murray was shocked 7-5, 5-7, 6-2, 6-4 by Zverev, the older brother of teen wunderkind Alexander Zverev.

“I don’t know how I did it,” the 29-year-old Zverev said. “I was like in a little coma and serve and volleying my way through it. I think you should tell me how I did it because honestly there were a few points where I don’t know how I pulled it off, I don’t know how I won some points but somehow I made it.”

Zverev took control of the net and pressured the Murray second serve, dominating the Brit’s points on his second delivery.

“I don’t think it’s so much someone necessarily coming in,” said Murray of his opponent’s 118 net rushes. “It’s the shots he was coming up with when he did come forward. He came up with some great pickups, reflex volleys especially at the end of the match when it was tight. That was tough because I was hitting some good shots, chasing some good balls down. Just wasn’t meant to be…But the first two sets, I had chances. I was up a break I think in both of them pretty early. Couldn’t convert my opportunities.”

Zverev will next face the No. 17-seeded Federer, who lost the first set before displaying his fitness and drive in upsetting No. 5 seed Kei Nishikori 6-7(4), 6-4, 6-1, 4-6, 6-3.

“It seems a bit unreal,” Zverev said. “Maybe playing Roger would be a dream to me because I always admired home growing up.”

Federer sent off Nishikori, his second Top 10 player this fortnight after No. 10 Tomas Berdych.

“I thought Kei played a great match. I thought it was a great match, a joy to be a part of it,” Federer said. “I wasn’t playing badly (in the first set), maybe I wasn’t hitting my spots well on the serve. It was about staying calm, after almost going down 6-0. I thought it couldn’t get any worse from there…This is a huge win for me in my career.”

No. 4 seed Stan Wawrinka and No. 12 Jo-Wilfried Tsonga booked a quarterfinal meeting when the Swiss defeated Andreas Seppi 7-6(2), 7-6(4), 7-6(4), and the Frenchman came from a set down to stop the run of unseeded Brit Daniel Evans 6-7(4), 6-2, 6-4, 6-4.

“It’s going to be a tough match,” Tsonga said of Wawrinka. “I know he’s playing really good. It’s going to be important for me to be good in this match and play my best level. I think I will be ready, so…yeah, it’s going to be a good challenge for me to play against Stan.”

Monday’s additional fourth-round play will see (8) Dominic Thiem vs. (11) David Goffin, (6) Gael Monfils vs. (9) Rafael Nadal, (15) Grigor Dimitrov vs. Denis Istomin, and (13) Roberto Bautista Agut vs. (3) Milos Raonic.


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54 Comments for World No. 1 Andy Murray Out in 4th Round Stunner To Mischa Zverev at Australian Open

RZ Says:

😥🙁😔😢😭


madmax Says:

It is not a shock, because after Novak, this can happen to anyone.

Andy is tough enough to come back and win the tournament, but Murray fans, in your opinion, what was it today that did not click for Andy?


Milos Says:

I keep wondering, did change of surface had something to do with this. I think both Murray and Novak don’t like faster surface.


J-Kath Says:

@ Madmax

I’m really not in a position to comment meaningfully as didn’t see the match – but what Andy said (and others) was that he could not find his serving rhythm – certainly Andy was taken by surprise. Perhaps both Nole and Andy are “safer” when they play higher ranked opponents whose game they know?


RZ Says:

Just disappointed as Murray has been in the final here so many times. But in terms of GS losses, this doesn’t annoy/disappoint me as much as last year’s gong show snatch of defeat from the jaws of victory at the U.S. Open.


rognadfan Says:

Apparently murray left his passing shots at the hotel when he left for theatch. Just could not pass even the easy ones, too many times, just dumping on the net. Credit to zverev he just played an exciting game all night.


madmax Says:

Okay J-Kath.Thanks. I couldn’t find his full interview, so I will watch it later.


Truth Says:

Nole was mentally ill for most of the last 7 months, no matter the surface.
Murray got beaten by the disciplined, much improved player and volley genius.
Most players since 2003 didn’t know how to play when facing many break points down, but Mischa is strong and has the tall flexible body and focus.
He reached his potential and Mischa trained harder and was inspired by his brother to continue fighting.


the_mind_reels Says:

All credit to Zverev, who stuck to his gameplan, kept coming forward, and didn’t panic. That being said, Murray definitely had his chances in this match but was, as we’ve seen before, way too passive on his forehand and was so reluctant to flatten it out and put balls away. He rolled approach shots into court and let Zverev have so many second and third chances to stay alive in the point and come forward. If you’re going to leave your passing shots at the hotel, as rognadfan said, this is going to be a poor strategy.

The path opens a bit for Federer now, who rolled Zverev 0 and 0 the last time they played (granted it was grass, and Zverev wasn’t in this form). Not a gimme by any means, but if his form is reasonably good, Federer should get through that and be mostly fresh for the semis.

I guess if there’s a silver lining for Murray, it’s that Djokovic crashed out even earlier in the tournament, so he’ll still put some distance between himself and Djokovic where ranking points are concerned.


skeezer Says:

Maybe Murray wasn’t prepared to play this style of guy? Weird. Murray is a great defensive counter puncher so this was a surprising loss to me. But a on song S&V player can take down most anyone on any given day. They apply relentless pressure coming in so you have to keep the ball low, pass and lob at will. Murray will be back.


kriket Says:

Will it be a fedal final? Or are they scheduled to play before final in the draw, if they both make it through?


skeezer Says:

They can meet in the final……..but…….there is A LOT of Tennis left to play for both.🎾


Daniel Says:

Agree Skeeze,

A lot to pe played. I’ll only count Fed in finals if Tsonga beast Stan. Stan is almost playing under the radar, and apart from Djoko who won 5 out of 6 times last AOs, Wawa was the only who won it here in this decade.

Raonic is still recovering from small decease, virus or flu, he may not be up to the part. Nadal can also make finals on experience alone and wearing out all players left in his draw. If he is to play semis against Thiem or Dimi (those are error prone), i would bet my money on him. But hfirst has t pass Monfils and Raonic. On fast courts as it is he can lose to all of them.

There is a sense of immense unpredictably in this Grand Slam as we haven’t saw in a long time in mens tennis. Basically anyone of Fed, Stan, Nadal, Raonic, Theim and Dimitrov can win it, almost same amount of percentage at this point.

On sheer status and former and judging past results, I will say, Stan (last HC Slam winner), Raonic (form), Fed and Nadal are now the favorites, in that order.


Daniel Says:

Alos, Fed has some good results in last Slams he played: AO 2016 semis, Wimby 2016 Semis and now minimum QF. Did not play RG and USO 16′.
At least he is putting himself in contention in later rounds, maybe this could be his break with the 2 dominant of late out.


Nits Says:

I am loving this year AO.


J-Kath Says:

Madmax:

The BBC re-played some of the matches this pm including Mischa vs Andy. Andy took too much for granted – always in the belief that he could reel it back. Eventually he realised Mischa wasn’t going away – but it was too late. Mischa did start to miss but his dip was small – overall he played some stunning tennis. He deserved to win. If you have a chance to see a replay seize the opportunity.


J-Kath Says:

Daniel:

Raonic always seems to be on the edge of a flu or slight injury – you will recall the O2 when he said he was a bit unwell and played without any sign of same. Certainly, less of a hypochondriac than Nishikori but….a pattern threatens to emerge????


Jenny shekersavva Says:

to be honest I hope the finals now will be between nadal and Federer it will be great to see them playing together again they are both fantastic player’s plus both gentlemen and very good sportsmen


kriket Says:

Don’t like to repeat myself, but this is by far the best and only chance in years to have a vintage Fedal final. I would like to see that very much. When Đoković lost I thought Murray would snatch it this time around, since Đoko was the ultimate obstacle for him for so many years. But I guess it was not to be.
Murray simply is not no1 material, I’m sorry to say. He did not win thw no1 ranking so much as Đoković let it go, unlike Đoković and Nadal who both won their ranking by outplaying Nadal/Federer (respectively).
Murray is just the second best who lived to see the day Đoković not caring anymore about ranking, for the time being at least.


J.S. Says:

I hope Rafa wins tomorrow, thinking Federer will get thru next round without a problem.
Wawrinka/Raonic are the only question on seeing a Fedal Final…EPIC

Both Roger and Rafa are playing amazing! Can they maintain it next round? I think so…they are champions and both feel they have something to prove.

Anxious for tomorrow – getting down to the nitty gritty!! :)


jane Says:

missed andy’s match as i was at a film but it sounds like zverev played s&v and upset the rhythm.

caught some of fed’s… he was serving very well, but kei was a bit chokey at times – like going from 5-1 up in set 1 to nearly losing that set. he’s so inconsistent kei. he’ll need things to go exactly his way to ever win a slam i think. sometimes he played sublime tennis though. fed was also inconsistent -except for his serve, which was brilliant.

still early… fedal final possible but by no means for sure imo.


kriket Says:

The only player who is unquestionably able and undoubtedly likely to spoil it is Wawrinka, in my opinion.


J.S. Says:

I don’t get the same feeling about Wawrinka, sorry! Maybe it would help if I watched him play, but not my fav :)
TY Kriket!!! Tomorrows a Big day!


Miles Says:

JS – I don’t know why you think Nadal is playing amazing – he really isn’t.

Oh, and Kriket, Murray most assuredly did win the number 1 position – by being victorious in virtually every match he played from Queens onwards, including beating Djokovic in the final at the O2 – or did Djokovic ‘give’ that match to Murray?! Unsurprisingly, after such an effort, he’s run out of steam, but I expect he’ll win RG and cement year end number 1.


kriket Says:

I meant to say that Murray did not win the no1 spot as much as Đoković lost it or rather did not care to maintain it after RG2016. Murray did not win the No.1 spot from an in-form Đoković, like Nadal won his No.1 from an in-form Federer and Đoković from an in-form Nadal.

That’s not to say that being No.2 is so bad, particularily in an age of Fed/Nad/Đok, only that Murray is not quite in their class.

And what does he do in his first no1 seeded GS? Loses to Misha Zverev in 4th round. Again not quite the class of “the big three”.
Murray really should be honored that he somehow got to be in the so called “Big 4″, when he doesn’t really belong there.


J-Kath Says:

OK Kriket:

We shall not honour Murray anymore than we shall honour Novak for not being interested in maintaining it.


J-Kath Says:

Agree Jane: Kei may stay in top 8 for a while. But also can’t see him ever winning a GS.


Zeke Says:

Like I had stated in an earlier thread last week, all eyes and attention would be on Djoker and Murray and Wawrinka will fly under the radar.


BBB Says:

Murray fans, I’m sorry! What a topsy-turvy event.


J-Kath Says:

BBB: Taa much – he’ll be back and will be wiser.


Chrisford1 Says:

madmax Says:

It is not a shock, because after Novak, this can happen to anyone.

===========================
Nah, what happened to Novak is unique. Top of the world for 18 months, perhaps the best 18 months considering level of competition any player in the Open Era has assembled.
Then he fell off a cliff. And no one outside his inner circle really knows all the reasons.
Andy, Stan, Rafa, Roger – all crash out from time to time these days. Though Andy seemed to be on track for consistency. But Djokovic? He didn’t miss making at least the QF in 2/3rds of the Masters he played since 2009, made all the QFs and above in Slams with an exception to Stan in 2014 at the AO, until he began unraveling at the 2016 Wimbledon.

A lot of tennis left, but with the two Great Rivals gone, Rafa and Roger are daring to think about their chances and getting GOAT stiffies…


Willow Says:

Miles OK Rafa might not be playing amazing, but sometimes you dont have to or need to, at the moment hes navigating his way through ….


Willow Says:

So happy for Jo Konta, bring on Serena, Jos playing well enough to give Serena problems, really looking forward to it, enjoyed watching Pliskovas match, my dark horse to win the trophy, moves so well, big serve, her game looks effortless ….


Navdeep Says:

Watch out for Dimitrov. He slowly but surely is getting better. 9th win on the trot!


Daniel Says:

Wake up and saw Thiem lost.

Good for Dimi, favorite for semis now.

Monfils seems not interested by the few games I saw, easy straight set win for Nadal to set a rematch of Brisbane with Raonic in QF


Willow Says:

Off topic nice gesture from JWT, with the ball girl, smiled when i saw that ;-) ….


Daniel Says:

Monfils lost it with a horrible 4-3 game serving a break up
Now Nadal back in the set and will close the match breaking him again at 5-4 Monfils serving down.


Daniel Says:

Hate being right😜
The moment Monfuls start believing he could force a fifth and got broken he let down.

Great win for Nadal to finally getting back to QF in a Slam again. Milos blockbuster next. Whoever wins that match will be in finals I think, unless Dimi really wants to prove himself.


Daniel Says:

Hate being right😜
The moment Monfils start believing he could force a fifth and got broken he let down.

Great win for Nadal to finally getting back to QF in a Slam again. Milos blockbuster next. Whoever wins that match will be in finals I think, unless Dimi really wants to prove himself.


RZ Says:

@kriket – Murray’s inclusion in the Big 4 is not a statement that he’s as good as Fed, Nole, or Rafa; and the point of the Big 4 isn’t to compare those guys against one another but rather against the field. The Big 4 name is a statement that these 4 guys are much better and much more consistent than the rest of the field based on their number of titles, appearances in semifinals and finals, and time in the top 4 of the rankings. Take a look at the career stats of grand slams and masters tournaments of the last 10 years and you’ll see that while Murray may not have the same numbers as the other 3, he’s head-and-shoulders about the rest of the field. That’s why he’s included in the Big 4. (And before anyone replies with a comment about Stan having the same # as slams as Murray – that is true, but Stan hasn’t been a reliable week-in, week-out player and has only 1 Masters 1000 title and 2 final appearances to Murray’s 14 masters titles and 21 final appearances).


J-Kath Says:

RZ: Doubt your expansion of what I said will be absorbed by someone unwilling to believe anything other than what they have set in stone and believe their own illogical logic.


RZ Says:

@J-Kath – I can’t believe how many times I’ve had to explain on this forum why the Big 4 was/is named the Big 4. But I’m going to keep doing it when needed!


Travis Bickle Says:

@RZ,

You are a reasonable poster and your Big 4 explanation makes sense. However, one can equally reasonably argue, following your logic, that the term “Big 5″ should be used, including Wawrinka.

You admit that Murrar is not as good as Big 3 but you include him in Big 4 because “he’s head-and-shoulders about the rest of the field”. Perhaps Wawrinka is not as good as Big 4, but he sure is head-and-shoulders about the rest of the field, hence we should be using the term “Big 5″ following your own logic. Should we not?

If you are not blinded by Murray fandom, (and I don’t think you are), you should realize that the “Big 3″ is most appropriate term since only the gap between those three guys and the rest of the field is large enough to merit the term. The gap between Murray and Wawrinka, although present due to Murray’s better consistency, is not that large, and is DEFINITELY smaller than the gap between Murray/Wawrinka and the rest of the field.
Therefore, we should either use the term “Big 3″ which is the most appropriate or the term “Big 5″. Using the “Big 4″ is nothing but creation of English-speaking dominating media desperately wanting to include a British player in the narrative. It seems that you have bought into it and it’s fine, but don’t be upset when you need to explain the term Big 4 to folks who see that something is ‘not right’ regarding that term.


Willow Says:

I Just wonder if Stan were to win this AO, would people think hes a better player than Murray, the reason i ask is some think its only the GS that matter, some thing all number of other things matter as well like Masters 1000s, and weeks at number 1 etc etc, career finals where Murray would still be the superior player in all but GS, no harm or foul, just curious ?? ….


J-Kath Says:

I don’t buy Travis’s suggestion. Andy is a twice Olympic winner; Davis cup no. 1; a no. 1 in the world (no matter how short that period may be) + plus the consistency pointed out by RZ….and there are various other pluses mentioned. The plain fact is that if there is to be a no.1, no.2, no. 3 (Nole, Rafa, Fed) – why ignore the existence of a no.4? To try to make the other players some kind of God’s as if they were the untouchables before the end of their careers is taunting fate.


RZ Says:

@Travis Bickle – I can see those arguments, but it seems to me that they are based more on either overall ability to play or slam wins only and not as much on career accomplishments. If you look at the time period when the Big 4 moniker was generated, it was due to the number of semifinals that these 4 guys made – and therefore all of the titles they won. To add Wawrinka into a Big 5 credits his talent and ability but would overlook the important factor that consistency plays in being part of the Big 4 (and why it isn’t a Big 5) and would focus it almost only on slams. Stan is an amazing player, but he hasn’t been in the latter part of a lot of the tournaments over several years week-in and week-out. His Masters 1000 record shows this.

The Big 3 argument is more compelling, but again I think it focuses on slams won and overlooks the totality of domination week-in and week out by 4 guys. Right now, there are very few holes in the number of slams and masters titles that have been won the last 10 years by the Big 4. Of course there are the slams won by Wawrinka, Delpo, and Cilic, and the masters titles (one each) won by Wawrinka, Cilic, Ferrer, and Tsonga (we could add Soderling and Ljubiciuc here too) – I may be missing a person or two here). But if you take out Murray, suddenly you are also missing 12 masters, 3 slams, 2 Olympic gold medals – i.e., the holes become glaring.


Travis Bickle Says:

@RZ and J-Kath
All valid points, but…

Like you said, the Big 3 argument is more compelling. The gap between the Big 3 and Murray is as large as the gap between Murray and Wawrinka. And I am talking not just slams. Masters titles, 500-titles, WTF finals, weeks at #1 (note that English-speaking media created the Big 4 term long before Murray became #1)…

One glance at the numbers should be able to convince you that the gap between Big 3 and Murray is too large to merit the term Big 4. Here are some compelling numbers that clearly indicate (to me) that the gap between Big 3 and Murray is much larger than the gap between Murray and Stan:

Slams:
Big 3 (17, 14, 12)
Murray (3)
Stan (3)

Masters:
Big 3 (30, 28, 24)
Murray (14)
Stan (1)

WTF:
Big 3 (6, 5, 0)
Murray (0)
Stan (0)

Weeks at #1:
Big 3 (300, 200, 150)
Murray (none at the time the term Big 4 was created)
Stan (none)

H2H:
Big 3 vs. Murray (56-29)
Murray vs. Stan (10-7)

So, based on the numbers above, it is clear to me (and many others) that it’s either Big 3 or Big 5. However, since Andy is my second favorite player, I don’t mind the Big 4 at all, but fully understand folks like kriket above questioning its validity…


J-Kath Says:

Travis:

There’s statistics and there’s statistics (I’m sure you know a no. of accountants) – that while nothing is a total untruth there are options as to how it is presented. (The no. of charity accounts and reports I prepare that fortunately relates only to one/two aspects and must be beyond question – is relative to analyses of aspects of tennis – the when, the why, the level of major surgery et al.)

PS: I think you may have made a mistake in your version –I thought Andy won the most recent WTF i.e. O2 this year.

Ah well, c’est la vie.


RZ Says:

@Travis – I’m enjoying this debate and think you have a right to view a Big 3 or Big 5 however you like. I stand up for the Big 4 because I think the meaning of it is usually misinterpreted when people say Andy doesn’t belong in the big 4, as I’ve stated in a previous post.

In terms of your numbers and figures though, I have to nitpick a little.
- You forgot to credit Murray for his WTF at the end of last year.
- It’s unclear what your baseline for some of these figures is – you have some that are overall (title counts), but then for weeks at #1 you don’t count Murray because he wasn’t #1 at the time. This seems inconsistent.
- By the same token, Novak hadn’t been ranked #1 when the term Big 4 was first being used, so this muddies up the numbers a bit.
- You have the stats for the Big 3 vs Murray, and Murray vs Stan, but not for the Big 3 vs Stan (52-11: far fewer wins than Murray has).

I could add some more stats to back up my point of view as to why Murray belongs in the Big 4 but I don’t think either of us will convince the other. I’m happy to keep debating or calling a truce. But I will pipe up if I think people are misinterpreting the Big 4 name! :-)


Travis Bickle Says:

@RZ & J-Kath,

I am sorry for missing Andy’s WTF title. Indeed he now has one and earned it the hardest possible way by beating the main rival in the final!

You are right, we are likely not going to convince each other. We could agree that Murray is clearly #4 of the current active players based on career accomplishments. We could also agree that Stan is clearly #5 using the same metrics. We can also agree that there are gaps between the Big 3 and Andy, between Andy and Stan, and between Stan and the rest of the field.
What is debatable is the magnitude (size) of those gaps, and where one draws the line to separate “Big ?” from the rest of the field.
I say the magic number is 3 as in the Big 3, but won’t be upset with Big 4 or Big 5…
Big 6 would be nonsense, and Big 2 would lead to heated arguments and likely be unfair to the one of the Big 3 ;-)


RZ Says:

@Travis Bickle – Enjoyed our discussion and it makes sense to agree to disagree. I’m sure we’ll have civil debates on other topics too.


Willow Says:

J-Kath / RZ did you see my post, just curious on your thoughts about that, seemed nobody cared to answer it ? ….


Margot Says:

Let’s hear it for RZ!
C’mon!


Danica Says:

Willow,
I’ll venture with my opinion.
Even if Wawa wins this AO, Andy remains a better and more accomplished player. WTF, masters titles, overall number of titles, two Olympic golds, 2016 World Champ, YE #1, weeks @ #1, consistancy, # of GS finals… clearly speak in Andy’s favor.

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