Andy Murray: I Can Have A Year Like Novak’s!
by Tom Gainey | November 19th, 2011, 5:46 pm

Andy Murray is back in familiar ground this week in London for the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals. And the Scot isn’t shy of putting added pressure on himself.

Asked if he could duplicate Novak Djokovic’s incredible 2011 season, Murray, who has never won a Grand Slam, didn’t back down.

“You have to believe that,” Murray said. “Last year, [Novak] was losing matches, struggling with his serve a lot and trying to make some changes. People were asking if Djokovic was going to win another Grand Slam, is he was good enough to do it.

“It just shows that everyone is good enough to do it. It’s just whether you can play your best tennis at the right moments and gain confidence as he has done this year. No one can improve that much at this stage of our careers, it’s just a confidence thing because his game was always there.”

Last year in the Finals Murray lost an epic semifinal to Rafael Nadal. A loss, Murray says, helped his game for the better.

“In some ways it was a help,” Murray said of the match with Rafa. “Maybe it helped me that I lost, because it forced me to work harder and improve. Hopefully I can finish the year playing good tennis.”

Murray opens his ATP Finals campaign Monday afternoon against former finalist David Ferrer.

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28 Comments for Andy Murray: I Can Have A Year Like Novak’s!

jane Says:

“It just shows that everyone is good enough to do it. It’s just whether you can play your best tennis at the right moments and gain confidence as he has done this year. No one can improve that much at this stage of our careers, it’s just a confidence thing because his game was always there.”

I think Muzza contradicts himself a little here. I certainly don’t think “everyone” is good enough to do what Nole did. How many players in the Open Era have won 3 slams in a year? Six maybe? And how many added 5 masters to that? Only Nole I think.

However, I agree with Muzza that confidence can send a player on a roll, IF he already has the game/talent to be consistent amd be at the top, and Andy does have this in my opinion. So he can definitely have a great year, and who knows, maybe he can equal or top what Nole did. I will never say he can’t until he doesn’t. I like that Murray is being confident here, and optimisitic, that is awesome.

I know he is generalizing, but I think he overstates the case a little. Only some can have record setting years, not everyone. :)

jane Says:

Anyhow, go Murray! ;)

carlo Says:

He says “everyone” but we know what he means: ‘he,’ Andy Murray is good enough, he has the game, he’s been in the top 4 a long time, beaten all those above him and he has to turn the corner like Novak did.

Come On, Andy! Keep putting yourself in those finals! You can do it!

Stella Says:

Saying is one thing! Doing is another!

queen Says:

Ha ha ha Murry is so fuckin delusional. He may be got the skills but no guts. Go hide Murry!

queen Says:


jane Says:

Pretty much everyone, i.e., the pundits, writers, ex players, is picking either Murray or Fed to win it all.

Brando Says:

You need ALOT of luck to do what nole did this year, along with excellent form. I do not know ANYONE in any sporting field who is successful and did not have some luck going there way.

Nole could easily have lost, and probably should have, at rome (SF) and of course USO SF.

So, if luck and form is with Andy, then why not?

His skill set isn’t exactly inferior to many. IF ANY.

Ben Pronin Says:

He doesn’t exactly say he can replicate Novak’s year. Also, I don’t see how that match helped Murray. Is he better now than a year ago? Not really. Best results at the slams, sure, but some abysmal results at the Masters. And he still lost all the big matches to Nadal. So, yeah he might be a little delusional or just trying to make himself feel better.

Ben Pronin Says:

I think one thing people should keep in mind is that Djokovic started the year off playing absolutely ridiculous tennis. From the AO to Miami, he was really playing constant in-the-zone tennis that only Nadal came anywhere close to toppling, once. That’s where the confidence and aura was built for him.

I’m not sure Murray is capable of that. Certainly once in a while, but not for such an extended period of time, especially at the highest level. Let’s not forget that Djokovic was successful at the slams early on so he knew that his best tennis could get it done for him. How sure can Murray really be if it hasn’t happened yet?

Brando Says:

@Ben Pronin:

I completely agree with you re nole form.

From AO until miami he was streets ahead of everyone with his tennis. Very similar to the period he had at the start of 2008 season.

Only rafa at miami got close to him, and if im being really honest, i thought it was pretty close that day and maybe on a another day rafa would have won.

Post miami, in the clay season only rafa/ fed could beat nole in this form. He faced an intimidated rafa twice, simply put, spanked him on both ocassions. Faced an eager roger and finally lost.

As for andy, i think andy can also match nole’s form from AO till miami, but NO CHANCE on the clay, since the BIG 3 are much better on clay than him, i feel.

He can match nole on outdoor/indoor HC, and IMHO, i also think he is the better grass court player than nole also. Had he faced nole, instead of rafa, i think he would have made it to the final at wimby.

But he won’t match nole on clay i feel.

jane Says:

Brando, hmmm, I could see a little luck, or some luck, certainly but add in a lot of hard work too of course. But to my mind, a player just doesn’t put up the kind of numbers Nole did this year based on A LOT of luck. I will defer to mat4’s numbers here (from a different thread):

Number of matches against top 20:
Nole: 31,
Rafa: 30,
AM: 23,
Fed: 23

Number of matches against top 10:
Nole: 22
Rafa: 24
AM: 13
Fed: 12

Number of matches against top 5:
Nole: 17
Rafa: 15
AM: 10 (3)
Fed: 9


And a record of 10-1 versus Fedal.


I think Murray’s point is stronger. That in those moments where things could’ve went the other way, Nole’s confidence stepped in. It was a sort of “refuse to lose” attitude that helped him. And sure some lady luck. But plenty of players, for example, wouldn’t’ve gone for a winner versus Fed’s match point serve at the USO, and I would argue that many wouldn’t’ve even gotten that body serve on the second match point back. Nole’s “carpe diem” attitude helped.

So if Andy M adopts it as well, I believe it can help him too. Hang in there, keep fighting, wait for the opportunities. And grab the wins.

jane Says:

What do you think about this Brando: Delpo or Muzza on clay – who is better, more of a threat?

Ben Pronin Says:

True. Murray has a ways to go on clay, although he did almost beat Djokovic there. But I don’t know if Murray has the mental capacity to sustain such a streak.

Federer somewhat criticized Murray’s Asian run saying he didn’t face the best competition. I don’t entirely agree, Ferrer and Nadal are obviously top 10 players that he took care of in different finals. But there is some truth to it. Murray was certainly on a roll heading into Paris. And it’s not like he played a bad match against Berdych, he was just outdone at the end. And I think an asterisk could be put on that match because of the new balls that Berdych got when he was down break points. Unfair to Murray? Yes. Was he able to shake it off? No. And then Berdych picked up his play and won.

The point I’m trying to make is that, due to Murray’s style, he can be outplayed by a power player on any given day. The same can’t be said about Djokovic. Power players don’t trouble him the same way, junk ballers do. And how many players can junk ball? Federer and Murray.

jane Says:

Ben, Power servers / hitters can trouble Nole on some days too (e.g., Tsonga, Roddick, Delpo).

Brando Says:


Re murray/ delp potro on clay? Del Potro. He took federer to 5 in his FO SF, he took a set off nole when he was unbeaten and he has the firepower to potentially beat nadal too. Andy did reach FO SF, BUT his draw pre SF frankly was a walk in the park for him, i feel.

Whilst ben is correct re andy being a player who can be outpowered, i still feel andy can match nole on a HC. I would say between these 2 for me it goes:

CLAY: Nole. by a countrymile.
GRASS: Andy.

@Ben: I would also add tomic to that group of players who can trouble nole.

Kimmi Says:

ben – dolgo and tomic can junk ball pretty good too but not good enough yet.

Brando Says:

I have to say that i honestly cannot see either one of nole or rafa winning or dominating as they did in 2010/2011.

I feel andy shall be a greater threat next year, building on from his consistency from this year.

Roger shall still be a MAJOR threat at slams.

And, the player some seem to forget, Del Potro, shall be a major force by F0 12.

We should have a elite top 5 by wimby i believe.

grendel Says:

del Potro is a power player, and he certainly troubled Djokovic at RG. Then Djokovic had one of those little bits of luck Brando referred to, match was suspended and del Potro’s momentum disturbed. If they’d been able to carry on that night,it was surely anybody’s match. del Potro also troubled Djokovic recently – was it Davis Cup?

However, I agree with Ben’s comment on Murray:”just trying to make himself feel better”. Definitely not delusional. If you look at the language Murray uses, you get a strong sense of a man trying to gee himself up – think positive, and so on. But the confidence isn’t really quite there yet, you feel, although it must be growing, and a good performance this week (which means a final at the very least – the stakes are high) can only enhance it.

jane Says:

Yes, yes. Good discussion all. I am switching gears to hockey and then some fiction. Cheers. Cannot wait for WTF, come what may. And bring on 2012, whether the end is nigh or no.

Ben Pronin Says:

Of course big players can trouble Djokovic. Anyone can trouble anyone on any given day. But Djokovic doesn’t have a match up problem with them. Djokovic’s natural game is really good at blunting power thrown at him, usually. Murray’s game lets power hitters get into a zone.

I don’t agree with the notion that Murray is simply better than Djokovic on grass. Murray seems more natural, yes, but Djokovic has always performed well on grass. A final in Halle, a final in Queens, semi, quarter, semi, and win at Wimbledon since 07 (except that early loss to Safin, which, I mean cmon, it was Safin).

And honestly, a great example of Djokovic’s mental fortitude and Murray’s lack thereof is this year’s and last year’s Wimbledon semifinals. Last year, they both played well in making the semis. Murray couldn’t capitalize on key points in his match, and Djokovic played too passive in his. This year, both of them played guys who had great records over them. Murray had the pressure of being British, Djokovic had the pressure of getting number 1. Which adds more pressure is a matter of opinion. But whereas Murray collapsed in his semifinal (again), Djokovic grinded out a great win against a guy who was playing huge and great tennis.

No matter how close they may be tennis-wise, Djokovic is still miles ahead of Murray mentally on all surfaces.

margot Says:

I agree Andy is geeing himself up, and why not? But also agree with Ben, not in my wildest dreams do I think Andy could have a year of sustained brilliance like Nole’s. He IS far too fragile/inconsistent/whatever at the mo. But he can certainly have patches of extreme brilliance and let’s hope one of them coincides with, we all know what!

alison hodge Says:

to have a year like novaks had is almost impossible for anybody to repeat,however thats not to say he isnt capable of having a great year,with a slam in there somewhere,he has the talent,all the rest is between the ears,its just a matter of making that next step,winning the wtf could be the springboard he needs,anyway go muzza.

jane Says:

Nole on Muzza:

“It’s very hard for me to speak for him,” he said, “but I know the difference in my game was just that mental approach and maturity on and off the court, as a person as well – just figuring out things, how to do deal with the pressure, how to play the right shots at the right moment, using the experience I have had over the years playing Roger [Federer] and Rafa.

“My game is more or less the same, but it’s that mental switch, the self-belief that I can win the matches I have been losing in past years. Andy has played a few grand slam finals already and he’s been in the top four in the world the last couple of years, so I’m sure that he wants a grand slam title at this moment more than anybody. I’m sure he will make it because he has the quality to do it. He has won so many big events, he has won against all the best players in the world.

“He’s a complete player. He can perform well on this surface as well as all the other surfaces. That gives him enough reason to believe he can do it.”

scineram Says:

I don’t think MAndy has the necessary skills. His forehand is far too weak to be such a weapon as Nole’s.

Tony Says:

Andy has been world’s #3 and should be very happy with it. Tennis being a mental game, Andy is the weakest in top 10, so it is very unlikely that he could be the next Djokvic or Federal or Nadal. If he can get a coach who can help him overcome his negativity especially when playing those big points, Andy might be able to do better. But being a dominant #1 in the world; no way.

Wheeler Says:

This Murray guy talks too much nonsense instead of showing results that really matter.

Fred Says:

NEVER gonna happen.Murray has made 30 finals including 3 Grand Slams;ALL on Hard Courts and he has yet to make 1 final at a clay court tournament much less win 1.

Djokovic has NOW proven to be an ALL surface player unlike Murray so for Murray to say that “he can have a year like Novak’s” is delusional!

He doesn’t have the titles on ALL surfaces to back him up

Australian Open:
Karol Beck(101)W 6-3, 6-1, 4-2 RET
Illya Marchenko (79) W 6-1, 6-3, 6-3
Guillermo Garcia-Lopez(32) W 6-1, 6-1, 6-2
Jurgen Melzer(11) W 6-3, 6-1, 6-1
Alexandr Dolgopolov(46)W 7-5, 6-3, 6-7(3), 6-3
David Ferrer(7) W 4-6, 7-6(2), 6-1, 7-6(2)
Novak Djokovic (3)L 4-6, 2-6, 3-6

Yes he made to the semis in Paris but check this out
Eric Prodon(124) W 6-4, 6-1,6-3

Simone Bolelli(126) W 7-6(3), 6-4, 7-5

Michael Berrer(95)W 6-2, 6-3, 6-2

Viktor Troicki(15)W 4-6, 4-6, 6-3, 6-2, 7-5

Juan Ignacio Chela(34) W 7-6(2), 7-5, 6-2

Rafael Nadal(1) L 4-6, 5-7, 4-6

Murray should shut up;Win 1 title on RED CLAY in EUROPE beating the top 5 of men’s tennis;not the likes Mardy Fish;Andy Roddick;John Isner;Sam Querrey before talking out of his arse like that

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