Andy Murray Is Still Winless v Big Three Since His 2013 Wimbledon Title

by Tom Gainey | April 6th, 2015, 11:01 am

The losses to the Big 3 continue to pile up for Andy Murray. After yesterday’s loss to Novak Djokovic in the Miami Open final, Murray has now lost his last 12 matches to the Big 3 (Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Djokovic) since his win over the Serb in the 2013 Wimbledon final, winning just 5 sets in those 12 matches.

Not long after his triumphant win at Wimbledon, Murray underwent back surgery in September of that year. But since, he has yet to beat the Big 3 (0-12).

Andy Murray v Big 3 Wimbledon 2013
v Djokovic: 0-7 (3 of 19 sets, lost two of last 3 in 60 last set)
v Federer: 0-3 (1 of 8 sets, losing last 5 sets)
v Nadal: 0-2 (1 of 5 sets, losing last 5 sets)

Murray was 24-33 v the Big 3 before his surgery. Overall he’s now 24-45 (5-15 v Nadal, 8-18 v Djokovic and 11-12 v Federer).

Right now, though, Murray admits he doesn’t have an answer to stopping the slide against Djokovic.

“I don’t know exactly why that is,” Murray said Sunday. “I know from my side that I’m training as best as I can. I can try to do more, but I do push myself hard. I obviously know that Novak is a very fit guy, and sometimes in these conditions has struggled a little bit in the humidity. He handled it extremely well today and deserved to win the match because of that.

“He serves well, he runs well, he moves exceptionally well. Physically he’s in great shape; he hits the ball well off both sides,” he said of the Serb. “He does most things on the tennis court well. That’s why he’s the No. 1 player in the world just now.”

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44 Comments for Andy Murray Is Still Winless v Big Three Since His 2013 Wimbledon Title

Ben Pronin Says:

He’s 0-3 vs Federer.

brando Says:

First of all: major props to Tom Gainey for actually producing a write up of note. Now the subject at hand: I’ll preface my following comments with the statement that I love Andy, he’s my 2nd favourite, my all time British favourite athlete and I genuinely believe he can win more grand slams in the future. In short: I don’t hate him nor believe he’s a done deal in the big time. I’m just a genuinely concerned fan. That said now I say: how can Andy’s current predicament not be of great concern? Ranking? I could not care less neither muzza. He ain’t gunning for top spot now is he? He ain’t. Nor do I care about whether or not he wins MS titles. Anything below is a berdych conversation, not Andy Murray. Now how can one REALISTICALLY expect Andy to win a grand slam ein he’s been losing to the top players for nearly 2 FREAKING YEARS! 2 years of a loss one after another. The how does not matter, the fact he has been doing so is what matters. Just look at the ground reality: its clay next who here genuinely believes Andy will do one of the following: win a clay title, reach a clay final or beat a Djokovic, Federer or Nadal? Anyone? Someone raise you hand please? Yep- no one. So he’ll likely go into grass court season without: A Master Series title in 2 years. No win v top trio for 2 years. Now how on earth can one expect him realistically to win Wimbledon- always his best slam bet- with that kind of fact next to his name. I just cannot see how Andy can lose 7 (maybe more) matches to Novak in a row and then suddenly end the rot by beating him at a grand slam he’s the defending champion. That seems like ridiculously wishful thinking to me. Hence why I feel great despair about his Miami loss. He simply had to win that final since it was his last real chance to win a big title, big match v a top player pre Wimbledon. And he blew it. Sorry but: Novak was a there for the taking, certainly not at his best. And Andy did not capitalize like he absolutely needed to. And what made it worse was how similar it was to the USO, AO match. Opportunity showed itself and Andy blew it. So with that kind of reality, I find it hard not to feel despair about Andy’s situation at the absolute top level. Says:

Also of note how many bagels he’s suffered at their hands recently. Its one thing to lose, but Murray has been embarrassed by Novak and Fed, each of whom he used to play very evenly.

It could be that he and Rafa are going through the same mental hiccups right now.

The good news is that, unlike Rafa, Murray seems to have strengthened himself against the lower-ranks. He is, for the last six months, consistently making semis and finals. Then he loses it. Rafa, on the other hand, is getting the yips against players up and down the rankings.

Weird times on tour! And call credit to Novak for maintaining an iron grip on the rankings when his main rivals are floundering.

jane Says:

i saw some stats on bagels and the ‘big four’ yesterday; here they are!

Bagels served by Big 4
Federer – 88
Nadal – 83
Djokovic – 80
Murray – 51
Bagels eaten by the Big 4
Federer – 4
Djokovic – 7
Nadal – 13
Murray – 13

Nirmal Kumar Says:

I pity both Roger and Rafa. They could not take advantage the way Novak is able to take against Murray.

jalep Says:

Seems a slim number of bagels eaten for Roger. All 4 served by Rafa?

Johnny C. Says:

Federer has only eaten 1 bagel due to Rafa at Roland Garros in 2008. It was his first in 9 years and has had none since. He suffered the other 3 in 1999, his first full year on tour while still age 17, to Spadea in Monte Carlo, Rafter at Roland Garros, and Byron Black at London/Queen’s Club. He has yet to be bageled on hard courts.

He has handed out a tour leading 88 bagels including 3 to Rafa, 1 on each surface, and 1 each to Murray and Djokovic on hard courts.

Brando Says:


I don’t get you?

What do you mean Rafa and Rog have not been able to take advantage v Andy?

jane Says:

brando, i am taking a wild guess, but i assume it means because they haven’t played murray as many times as nole has during this stretch?

of course it’s not nole’s fault that andy was repeatedly drawn in his half so many times in the past year or so: for example at the us open, bejing, paris, and indian wells they met before finals in quarters /semis. nor is it novak’s fault that rafa missed the last half of the 2014 season because he was injured, and even when andy and rafa were drawn on the same side, for example at AO, rafa has lost before they could meet.

to my mind, this is not called “taking advantage.” it’s called “doing your job.” :) nole has been consistently reaching the later stages of every tournament, and thus repeatedly meeting the highest ranked players.

Dan the Man Says:

I have nothing against Andy Murray, but I just don’t think he will be THE big challenge to the top 2 (top 3 if you include Rafa on clay) in the future. The new up and comers (and one old: Wawrinka) have the most potential: Nishikori, Raonic, Dimitrov and a few others like Cilic, Kyrgios and Tomic among others have much more upside to their games. None of them has done it yet (except Wawrinka and Cilic), but they have all shown flashes, and are improving much faster compared to the old guard that has been in the top 10 for the last 5 years or more. Murray is looking better than he has in almost 2 years, but both Djokovic and Federer have improved too, and it’s going to take more weapons than great defense to catch up to that. The up and comers (and Wawrinka) have those weapons. People forget, Nishikori and Raonic haven’t been half the years on the men’s tour that the old guard have, and they need longer to break through because the top players are lasting longer than before.

RZ Says:

The wins will come. There may not be many and could very well but far between, but considering that Murray has now put himself in the position of making the later rounds where he will play Djoker, Fed, or Rafa, it’s a matter of time (and luck) until he gets the occasional win.

Michael Says:

Andy did beat Rafa at Abu Dhabi which was a prestigious exhibition tournament this year. The truth is that he didn’t have many opportunities to play Roger and Rafa. First, he had to lay off for a while due to his back surgery and then on his come back, he was not consistent enough in reaching the final stages of tournaments. It is only now he is slowly re-discovering his groove.

However, against Novak, Andy has lost his midas touch and he is now looking highly vulnerable. The former is no more intimidated by him and is finding him an easy meat. The last 9 times they have played, Andy has managed to take just 3 sets and that tells the whole story about the overwhelming domination of Novak. I think Andy if he has to win against Novak must reinvent himself by being more aggressive on court. He has to make more visits to the Net and has to improve his volleying prowess by leaps and bounds. Although initially in every match, Andy looks the better player against Novak, as the match progresses, he becomes weary, tired and this has a bearing on his style of play. To overcome this, Andy has to preserve his stamina by making points short during the initial stages of the match to make things difficult for Novak later.

KatH Says:

A lot of good points everyone. But if the cup is half full, Murray is No. 3 in the world right now which is an accurate reflection of his level at this time.

Apart from ND & RF (+ Nadal should he overcome his problems) others are not as weighted as suggested. Kei (often brilliant) is not consistent and lacks physicality. Raonic – a tough competitor yes, but hardly steaming with talent; others mentioned eg Wawrinka – sometimes tough but not always. They’ll have their wins but so will Murray.

Also Jonas Bjorkman joins Andy the week after his wedding – so maybe we should hold off calling the fire brigade until we see if Jonas turns out to be the missing link?

Margot Says:

Lol KatH we certainly need the fire brigade to hose down some excitable people round here ;)
So No1 beats No3/4? Quel surprise! You gotta be in it to win it, as they say. And after a pretty average 12 months, Andy’s sure in it.

KatH Says:

Ah Margot – you’re a clever wee lassie.

stenelli Says:

I am not a fan of Andy Murray, but he has a lot of talent and a potentially huge upside if he can ever harness that space between his ears and get it to function properly in the big matches.

He should be fully fit this year, and while his results are better than last, I think he needs someone better able to help him stay focused than Amelie.

Daniel Says:

Even tough concerning, micro looking for the year, Andy is #2 in the race and lost 2 finals and 1 semis to the best playerof the last 9 months.
Had id not be for Novak, he could have a Slam an a Master right now.
Hope he can improve on clay but I think one of the main points he doesn’t deliver on clay is his inability to generate power consistently. He missed seceral sitter FH in the middle of the net when Djoko landed a short high ball and on clay you don’t have the speed of the opponent or the quicker HC to use it’s power. On clay you have to be explosive and have the kiklee shot something Murray do have but doesn’t know how to naturally and fluid apply consistently. His counter punch game doesn’t work there.

But I was very pleased by his return and if he kees this more agressive mindset on clay and go for it he may go deep. At least hos rabking is high so he will aboid meeting the top 3 before semis and id he reaches there is because he once again is playing good tennis. The problem is the 3 also will be playing great if reaching semis and finals.

Will see but he sure needs a win agaisnt either of them on clay to gove him extra confidence for grass.
Otherwise he must win Queens to built hos confidence for Wimbledon.
I think on grass he will be more dangerous.

KatH Says:

Daniel, whatever happened to your usual pristine scroll? No spell-check? Too many cocktails?

Didn’t he take 2 sets from Rafa last year at the French? In the semis or quarters…obviously that isn’t a win but it is further in a clay Grand Slam than he’s been before.

It is more likely that the other 3 will go further at the French than Andy will – but anything can happen…we won’t know till we know.

Daniel Says:

iPhone typing KatH, sorry for the spelling.

Do you mean Murray took 2 sets from Rafa last year at Garros?! Beacuse he lost awfull in semis.

I think it was 2013 that he played Nadal close on clay.

Murray is not losing to “lesser” playrs latelly, this year only Dubai he lost before semis so this is encouraging for his future.

KatH Says:

I was at my sister’s in Argyll having US friends for dinner WHICH IS WHY I REMEMBER we couldn’t watch the whole match just sneek views. But certainly Murray was up 2 sets to love v Rafa at Garros – then he lost. It was definitely 2014 because the journey from a small village s-w Scotland to a small village in Argyll by public transport with a disabled husband was a nightmare – not something I shall ever forget or try it again. Definitely 2014.

Wog Boy Says:

Well, you don’t remeber well: 6:3, 6:2, 6:1 Rafa won.

Hippy Chick Says:

KatH,Wogboys correct it was last year and in straight sets,one of the old dears in the care home where i work was watching that match and said how dissapointed she was with the result,i dont ever recall Murray been two sets up against Rafa at the FO,although people are free to correct me if im wrong,he was against Isner in 2011 i dont know if thats the match your thinking of?….

Margot Says:


Check here. Wasn’t RG 2014. I can’t remember any match v Rafa where Andy was 2 sets up and lost.

KatH Says:

Then I must be losing it!! Sneaking glances at the kitchen TV while entertaining – it was 2-0 at one point and both myself & sister assumed Rafa was up two sets. At the end of the evening we found Andy had had the 2 sets but Rafa shot him down in the end. I can’t believe that I got this wrong — given the circumstances of the visit (rather than the match).

You all seem so certain. So I must be wrong. I have a hospital run to make right down – so I’ll have to leave it and puzzle over it later.

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy i left you a reply to my post on the whos the pick thread just wondered if you had read it?no harm or foul i just think Andy was the better player in the first two sets,obviously not the third as you say because it was a bagel,Ben actually agreed with what i said,anyway all thats matters in the end is the win which Nole got,just wanted to clarify….

Wog Boy Says:

Andy was twice two sets up agsinst Rafa and won both matches 2008 USO and 2010 AO, AO one I watched in RL Arena, Andy played sublime tennis, Rafa retired in the third set but would have lost the match regardless.

Wog Boy Says:

HC, it is a matter of opinion, you had yours I had mine and that’s about it.

Hippy Chick Says:

Wogboy fair enough,but i rather get the sense that you didnt really appreciate what i said?….

KatH Says:

Margo et al.

Yes, it was 2014 Roland Garros. You were all right he lost to Rafa in 3 sets. Can’t say more except both my sister and myself ended up believing he took the first 2 sets (and that was before we imbibed!!!!).

Ah well, maybe Andy and Rafal can have a re-match this year at RG (I can hear you all muttering “it’ll be the same outcome”). Actually I had planned to go to RG this year as it’s the fortnight before a nephew gets married in France – however, common sense prevailed, unfortunately.

Hippy Chick Says:

KatH Murrays my second favorite after Nadal,so i would love to have that combination in an actuall final for a change, which is one we havent had as yet plenty of semis etc,but so far no finals….

SG1 Says:

It’s clear that Andy has the game to contend and win big matches against Federer, Nadal and Novak. He’s beaten all of them. At one point Andy even had a winning record against Roger. But, players have adjusted to what he did.

Andy has a 2nd serve issue and a “between the ears” issue. But, I actually think these two issues are related. Andy feels enormous pressure to serve well when he plays the top tier guys because if he doesn’t, they jump on his 2nd ball and him force to play in an almost completely defensive manner. So, Andy can serve well for a set or two but if he falters in the serving department, he ultimately loses against the Feds, Novaks and Rafas of the world. As the matches extend, the pressure to serve well wears him out mentally and he ultimately loses.

If Andy had a more formidable 2nd serve (which I don’t think he can escape from changing anymore), there would be less pressure to have to get that first ball in play. And for Andy, a high % on first serve would be 60% which is relatively low compared to Rafa, Federer and Nadal get into play on a regular basis.

SG1 Says:

Andy needs a really nasty Edberg-like kicking 2nd serve that pulls his opponent out of court and gives him some opportunities to play more on the offence.

Margot Says:

And Andy has had to adjust his serve since the back op. He’s not bending his legs so much, or bending backwards so much.
It must have been enormously difficult for him. His 2nd serve has always been problematic but When he won Wimbledon his first serve was clicking so the 2nd didn’t matter so much.

RZ Says:

@KatH – maybe you are thinking of the Murray-Nadal match at Rome in 2014? Murray won the first set easily, lost the second, and then was up a break for a 4-2 in the 3rd before losing 7-5.

KatH Says:

Thanks everyone – I’m going to check back and hopefully find the actual dates that I was in Argyll. Definitely May 2014. Likely 16th to 20th. Only so I can set the timetable correct in my head – not challenging what has been said.

RZ Says:

@Margot – thanks for the article link.

Margot Says:

Yep. you better start watching Andy v Nole. Of course it will turn you into an utter nervous wreck….but hey, whatever it takes!…;)

jane Says:

andy has apparently “shunned” rafa and nole, not to mention sean connery and sir alex ferguson, for not sending them invites to the wedding. what ridiculous press. mainstream journalism has become a bit of joke.

Hippy Chick Says:

Best of luck Andy for the big day,shes stunning….

Margot Says:

Very pleased for Amelie, but rather dismayed at yet more changes in the coaching set up.

jane Says:

now i know what humble rafa was talking about on the other thread, sigh. nice news for amelie, indeed. are you sure the coaching set up will change margot? the article is ambiguous about it.

Margot Says:

Well, inevitably a baby, due August, will change the amount of time Amelie can spend with Andy. Also, will she want to travel as much?
So many unknowns.

Sarkarmax Says:

Think the statistics do not mete justice to Andy Murray. His matches against Nole have been very close, and the latter prevailed due to his larger grit at the crunch moments. Against Federer, his overall career H2H is quite respectable. Post 2013 , his forced lay off needs to be considered. Rafa and Andy have not played much since 2013, but in all fairness given the dismal H2H that Andy has against Rafa and the mental stranglehold Rafa seems to enjoy over him, the results can be expected to have been similar to the majority of their past encounters. So pre and post 2013 its not been much different. There has been a change in our perception since Murray won his first GS in 2012 and we somehow have mentally placed him in the ” Big Four”, even though he would ideally be the quintessential fourth to the “Big Three”.

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