Andy Murray & Brits Outlast Wawrinka

30 Jun 2009 by Hiland in Wimbledon 2009

Andy Murray defeated Stanislas Wawrinka at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships.I suppose it is not embarrassing. After all, it is the greatest venue for the greatest tennis tournament on the planet. And, is was only fitting that one of their own win the first match ever played under the roof at the world’s oldest tournament.

So, the Brits got their wish. Their man and clear crowd favorite moved on. But, to be completely honest it was 19th seed, Stanislaus Wawrinka, whose stock rose by leaps and bounds.

The 24- year old took on the world’s third ranked player on his home court and came ever so close to sending fifteen thousand courtside spectators as well as thousands watching on Henman Hill’s giant screen home to sulk.

The Brits are pretty anxious to win this one. For those Wimbledon neophytes, it has been 72 years since Fred Perry kept the trophy at home. This year, the Brits have reason for optimism. Murray is a good player. He has defeated the best player to ever pick up a racket four straight times.

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The problem for Murray is not his ability. It is what is between his ears. He is unconvinced that he can win Grand Slam Championships and all the fuss and media focus seems to weigh upon the youngster. Andy Murray could use a lesson or two from the Williams sisters. Now there are two high profile competitors that set their eyes on a goal and go for it. Mastering the media is just one of those things great players learn to do. Murray needs some work on that, but he does get points for astute companion selection.

Wawrinka reached the 4th round at Wimbledon last year. He followed that up with a 4th round appearance in the U.S. Open. The guy has some game, but the resume lacks real quality Grand Slam wins.

Give the man his due. He showed. He was composed. He played aggressively. He stood in the Lion’s Den and performed well, very well. He shocked the pro-Murray crowd with a 34 minute thrashing (6-2) of the Scotsman in the first set. He did everything right. His aggressiveness stunned the crowd, stunned Murray and showed just how fragile Murray can be.

Andy Murray celebrates winning a match point against Stanislas Wawrinka at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships 2009.To his credit, Murray clawed his way back. He captured a big break in set two and served out the set for a 6-3, 45 minute turnabout. The crowd roared back into the match and the Centre Court knew their man was ready to claim the match for Queen and Country, or something like that.

Murray had the momentum and went for the juggler. He held off several key break points late in the set and made a break at 3-3 hold for the 6-3 win. When Wawrinka replays the match, he will bemoan the fact that at this point he had only converted 2 of 11 break point opportunities.

Stanislaus Wawrinka was apparently the only person who did not know the match was over. He played on and got better and better, feistier and feistier. It seems like Stanislaus was not buying into the Murray is infallible thing. Wawrinka battled through set four. He matched shot for shot with the three seed. When the pressure was on, Wawrinka out-served and out-strategized the Scotsman. Murray appeared shell-shocked looking to his mother and to his lady friend for help. At times, it seemed Murray was trying to bring the crowd into the match. At 5-5, Wawrinka got the break he needed and then held serve to force the fifth set.

If Andy Murray is to win Wimbledon, he had better keep his eye on the ball and his mind on the moment and off the women in his life.

At 10:39 at night, Murray quieted the fans on Henman’s Hill, gave his mother something to cheer about, earned an admiring smile from his lady friend and allowed the 15,000 Brits under the roof to celebrate his 6-3 final set win.

Stanislaus Wawrinka congratulated the winner. Tonight he will remember that on this day, in the first complete match played under the roof, he could very easily have pulled off the event’s biggest upset.

As it is, Murray moves on to put his legions through another raucous, nerve-wracking match against unseeded Juan Carlos Gerrero. I mean, really!

At the top of the bracket, two former Grand Slam Champions will slug it out when Lleyton Hewitt and Andy Roddick go at it again. Roddick recently beat Hewitt 7-6, 7-6.

The other Swissman, Roger Federer will take on heavyweight serve specialist, Ivo Karlovic while Novak Djokovic tries to hold off Tommy Haas. Haas is playing well and will give Djokovic plenty of chase.

All the gentlemen’s quarterfinal matches will be played on Wednesday. Monday was a long, great day of tennis. It is fitting that Murray won. But, it does raise questions about his ability to put matches away. He did not appear a Grand Slam Champion on day one of week two.

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2 Comments »

  • well, the crowd played its part yesterday, just like last year in the match vs Gasquet.
    Andy has yet to learn to win a crucial match by himself.
    as for his beating Federer last year, I would not be so confident: apart from Andy’s huge defeat in the only slam final they played, and that is the only match to be compared to an aventual final in wimbledon, Roger is not the same man who lost to him; no back problems, no pressure. he also has no fear of the crowd… last year all the brits were shouting “rafa” during the final he was not intimidated by it, so they can now shout “andy” ’til their throats burn, he will just shut his ears and do his magic.

    Comment by KellyAnn — June 30, 2009 @ 11:47 am

  • Andy Murray & Brits Outlast Wawrinka…

    Murray needs some work on that, but he does get points for astute companion selection….

    Trackback by newsmarking.com — June 30, 2009 @ 1:11 pm

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