Andy Murray Says Roger Federer Could Return To No. 1 If The Courts Were Faster
by Tom Gainey | March 5th, 2012, 9:53 am

Andy Murray was full of praise of the man who beat him, Roger Federer, in Saturday’s Dubai Duty Free final.

Murray was going for a rare Novak Djokovic-Roger Federer double on back-to-back days but according to Murray, the Swiss star was too great.

Murray then added that if the ATP court surfaces were faster like Dubai, Federer would be a far greater threat on the circuit, and possibly would return to No. 1.

“I think that the indoor season and the surfaces like this one, I mean, if there was more tournaments on these courts, I think he could definitely be No. 1 in the world for the next few years,” Murray said. “It really suits his game well. Just so many of the courts are so slow now.”

After a good week, Murray now looks ahead to Indian Wells (slower courts) and he feels confidence and happy with where his game is.

“Overall it was a good week,” Murray said. “It was perfect preparation for the stretch over in America. Got through very tough matches against top top players, so it was good.

“I did everything pretty good. I was happy I managed to adjust to the court after a couple matches, because I was struggling at the beginning of the week. Turned out to be a very good week.”

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17 Comments for Andy Murray Says Roger Federer Could Return To No. 1 If The Courts Were Faster

racquet Says:

Now that’s the way to give a post-match interview! Just gracious, no excuses or snarky comments.

Brando Says:

Murray spoke the truth there. It’s a shame that the majority of the courts now, regardless of whether it’s HC/ clay/ grass, just play the same, with virtually very little difference other than the appearance of the surface. When did having variety become a bad thing for tennis’s administrators?

John Says:

Agree with both above posters Racquet and Brando. Fed is a true talent. A genius with the racket. That kind of skill is extremely rare to come by so now the focus has unfortunately shifted to making the game more physical by slowing the courts and juicing up the players, so that players with lesser ability can still rally and keep putting balls back in play for hours. The game is becoming boring. Its boring to watch Djokovic and Nadal keep bashing it from the baseline until one makes an unforced error due to eventual fatigue. The art of mixing power with finesse and variety will be dead after Fed unless Tsonga, Dologopolov, Monfils etc continue it and perfect it so that they can have more sucess with it. Those three are the only others with variety but really need to stay focused and hungry to win.

Mr. Larvey Says:

John, your comment is right on the money! For example, in my opinion watching the Australian open final was boaring because of two reasons. 1. There was no or very little variety between the points. 2. The breaks between the points are increasing all the time. The final lasted more than 6 hours and most of that was just bounching the ball and picking the shorts. The difference is huge, if you compare the Ausopen final to the WTF final between JW Tsonga and RF.

Sooner or later (hopefully sooner) ATP has to change the rules or courts or balls or something to increase the variety between the players and matches. Otherwise the popularity of the game will start decreasing.

Dave Says:

racquet: “Now that’s the way to give a post-match interview! Just gracious, no excuses or snarky comments.”

Did you read the interview and apply the same standards used for Federer to Murray? For example, had Federer suggested that his opponent broke him because of a “lucky shot” he would have have been lambasted for making excuses. I’ve seen Federer deliberately drop shot off a first serve return multiple times before, even though Murray tried to portray what Federer did as “unfortunate” and “lucky”. Frankly, there was nothing wrong in Murray explaining his point of view of what happened, but the same standards should apply to Federer as well. What’s worse is that Federer was criticized for referring to Djokovic’s 2012 US Open return as “lucky”, even though Djokoic, Nadal and Murray (in post match interviews that day) said similar things to describe that shot.

Nick Says:

Agree, wish more courts were as fast.

Would make the game much more thrilling and more of Federer’s genius and unsurpassed talent.

Joe W Says:

Pre-2001 Wimbledon was perfect. Slicers, blasters, movers, thinkers, the beauty and pace of the serve and volley game, the big serves, the sheer speed of the game… showcased as the pinnacle Sporting event of the summer (for the Americas and Europe anyway). Four distinct GS surfaces that played not alike. A tradition that seemed perfect, one that could run for ever and ever.

The homogenization of playing surfaces – a decision, not a progression – destroyed this perfect tradition while enabling the seemingly improbable: lengthy, quality matches of epic proportion (ex. 2008 Federer vs Nadal or 2005 Venus vs Davenport), a stranglehold on the coveted Silver Gilt Cup by two men, and the Rosewater Dish by two sisters. The all-time Men’s singles champ goes out with a whimper, not a bang. He must have been wondering who or what hijacked his tournament. Shouldn’t there be red clay caked on the shoes? This was not his Wimbledon anymore. Yet fastest serves are recorded, the longest match in history played, the media’s obligatory examination of every record, contrary to logic …perfect yet impossible? Grunting at the Grand Prix de SAR La Princesse Lalla Meryem, baseliners in Basel, BNP Paribas making it rain up in here.

If you are in love with the perfect, it’s been swept away. If you picture results that you never thought would happen, they just might.

harsh Says:

It’s paradoxical to say that courts ought to be faster…the whole purpose of making courts and balls slower was to counter the impact of fast advancing rackets (materials) and strings technology. Federer himself benefits from the advanced control strings compared to, say. what was availale during Sampras’ era. Had the courts been faster we would be seeing other monsters who would have developed unheard of power into groundstrokes and tennis would be even more boring than it is today. Federer’s game is about elegance – that does not necessarily and always equate to more skill or talent under all situations. Had all courts been faster, we would be seeing a different profile of strokeplay and more one dimensional tennis than we see today.

Peter Lang Says:

Federer is already obnoxious. I’m sick and tired of seeing his face for a long time already. I want to see fresh and new faces. please. He should start playing at the World Team Tennis!

harsh Says:

and think what Delpo would do to a tennis ball had the court been faster…Federer would have to select a higher string tension to reduce the ‘throw’ off his racket to try and control the ball further… similar to what he did against Roddick several times in the past…use tighter string tension to negate his big serve (block it back high and deep in the middle of the court) and start the rally from scratch… give everyone a wooden racket with old fashioned gut string and ask them to play outdoors on clay or grass…then we can see whose got how much talent…hard courts and indoors is also, in a way, ‘fast food’ tennis…:-)

Michael Says:

The Tennis Authorities should take the lead and emulate Dubai tournament to make the game more interesting and giving opportunities to the aggressor rather than the defender.

Colin Says:

I don’t entirely agree with some of the comments about “variety”. Variety of what? Andy Murray, in a long baseline rally, is constantly varying the pace and the spin. If you’re good enough, you can execute dropshots and lobs from the baseline. It’s not all about where you’re standing when you hit the ball.
Disappointed as I was that Murray lost the Dubai final, I have high hopes for the next few months – even on clay!.

Ezza Says:

I do personally find it disappointing that you now get clay court type rallies at Wimbledon. The whole point of fast grass was to encourage a different style of play where point were cut short at the net. A few years ago you rarely saw clay court specialists surviving the first week at Wimbledon. Check out the David Nalbandian/Lleyton Hewitt Wimbledon final where not one single foray was made to the net. Dull, dull, dull. By all means keep clay slow for the baseline hackers, but by the same token speed grass back up and re-germinate the all court game

John Says:

@ Harsh – speeding up the courts would not make for one dimensional tennis. It would bring out more finishing shots from attacking players, it would allow people to serve and volley, it would require better anticipation / planning / strategy / selection of shot from thinking players. Federer does well on fast surfaces not because he’s able to hit harder than other players (infact everyone knows that there are half a dozen players who can hit much harder than him), its because of his footwork. What we are seeing currently on the pro circuit is slow surfaces along with slow balls and waiting for an unforced error to win a point. You are correct that racket tech has made leaps and bounds progress but its not specifically in terms of power. Power is just a buzz word used to sell rackets to amatuers, its mostly to allow more spin. Most top pro’s don’t use rackets that are powerful as they can generate their own pop, they are always looking for control and spin based sticks. You mentioned “think what Delpo would do to a ball on a fast court” Did you see how Fed beat him in Dubai? On what the other pros call a fast court. Most of the big hitters like Delpo need the ball in their strike zone and need to have time to generate their power (which they don’t get on a fast court because not only are they bad movers, they are also bad at anticipation and foot work). When you have an artist like Fed working, he doesn’t give them the ball in a comfortable spot most of the time and defuses all the big hitters. If you give today’s pros wood rackets with natural gut, the artist would win every single match. Like another poster said, the media… specially American media is more focused on inane records like fastest serve, longest rally, longest match and trying to cater to the ticket buying public’s desire of watching a long grueling battle rather than art.

sheila rosen Says:

john: ur rite on about how boring it is 2watch nadal & djokovic, although i feel murray has the variety but doesnt always execute an aggressive game consistently. and peter lang u may be tired of federer, well that is how i feel about nadal. i hope other players start winning. i guess its who one is a fan of and obviously im a federer fan. i never get tired of is elegant style of play, whereas nadals, macho pounding, grunting style simply bores me. they are, however, gr8 players & i do respect them. just style of play is so different & i simply prefer federer.

Steve 27 Says:

Is funny that everyone is talking about the speed of the courts now, but 5,6,7 years ago when Federer was destroying all rivals less Nadal, the number of people talking was lower before, a coincidence now that the Swiss won a few tournaments and do not see in the majors, everyone talk all the time. Or is it that now are slower than in 2007?. The usual double standard: if your favorite player wins all shut up, but if he defeats more often, it screams all the time. Pathetic by fans.

jamie Says:

Unfortunately for Federer, the AO and USO(funny paint used in 2011) are blue clay now, Wimbledon is green clay and RG is red clay.

Houston, we have a problem…

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