I see our newshound was quick off the mark as usual. Wishing Andy and Kim all the best – good planning on their part to fit the arrival of their first child to fall between the Slams!! Do we know the name of their daughter yet?
For obvious reasons I was glued to the showdown between Andy and Nishikori yesterday.
I never cease to be amazed the way Andy delivers time after time. He has a special level reserved for DC but many people were wondering if he would be able to come up with the goods against Nishi after the long break from match play and having not followed his usual winter training block in Florida.
A lot of the credit for the GB success however is down to the role of Leon Smith who is one of, if not THE best team captains out there. Listen to him on the subject:
Interesting comments after the match from Murray….
‘I have played against players and thought, “They won’t go away” or “They don’t seem to be getting tired”,’ said Murray. ‘Have I ever been suspicious of someone? Yeah. You hear things.
‘It’s harder to tell in our sport as people can make big improvements to a stroke or start serving better because they have made technical changes. If it’s purely physical and you’re watching someone playing six-hour matches over and over and showing no signs of being tired, you’d look at that.’
This is not the first time Murray has made this sort of allegation. Way back in 2007, he said this:
Britain’s No1 Andy Murray has stated that he believes players on the circuit are involved in match-fixing.
Murray told BBC Radio Five Live that the financial incentives to cheat are too tempting for some players in the lower reaches of the professional game. “It doesn’t really surprise me,” he said. “Some guys have to come to tournaments like this every single week and the first-round loser’s cheque is only 2,500 (£1,700) and they have got to pay their air fares and it’s only a 10- or 12-year career so you have to make all your money while you’re still paying.”
Murray also raised concerns about the likelihood of the tennis authorities being able to single out those players who are guilty of throwing matches, explaining: “It’s difficult to prove if someone has tanked a match or not tried because they can try their best until the last couple of games of each set and then make some mistakes, a couple of double faults, and that’s it.”
Murray’s decision to speak out against such goings-on has not been met with great enthusiasm by the former British tennis player Andrew Castle, who criticized Murray for going public with his claims. “I think he has been unguarded and naive. If he has these claims he should take them to the ATP officials. Tennis has been thrown into something that doesn’t make the game look good.”
I wonder why Vasek Pospisil retweeted stevegtennis’s tweet saying that Rafa went over the time limit between the points during his match against Murray last Saturday.
The picture added (not by Vasek & stevegtennis) shows that Vasek was above the limit 70% and Andy 60% of the time during the match between them at Wimbledon last year.
Is Vasek supporting the idea of changing the rules?
His wording may be unfortunate but I think he is genuinely concerned about doping in tennis, and not just making excuses for not winning more. On another site the posters jumped to the conclusion he was talking about Novak or perhaps Rafa, but why does it have to be about a specific player or even top players? Top players are tested much more often than guys outside the top 50, so the problem could be there, not at the top. It is easy to check how often each player is tested annually on the ITF site.
I think he was referring to one of the two because the inference seemed pretty clear. Sure he could be referring to other long matches like Isner-Mahut but what is the likelihood of that? I highly doubt he could be referring to serve-fests. Having said that, I don’t necessarily believe that doping is the only explanation for players being able to sustain in long, gruelling matches. There are a lot of grey areas in the anti-,doping regime like that “egg chamber” which is banned in Europe but not banned in regions like Australia. And the WADA has been very ambivalent about it so far, so technically it’s not illegal. There could be many such techniques that are not doping per se.
I think the better thing to do would be to make it available to all players given that WADA has not banned it. Right now only the millionaire lot can afford it. And with the game becoming more and more physical, the lower ranked guys should be provided with the facility albeit at say, a usage and maintenance fee. I’m sure the ITF can afford it. To limit it’s use, it could be restricted to longer matches. At least that way, there is a level playing field. I did not particularly like the fact that Novak didn’t even have to practice after his match against Simon and was perfectly sharp in his next match.
Andy’s long term friend Jamie Delgado, who is now officially his assistant coach deserves a lot of credit for keeping Andy calm during his run to the title in Rome. So if Murray doesn’t appoint a new head coach before Wimbledon it is no big deal. Better he maintains the status quo than rushes into a hasty decision.
I feel sorry for Valverdu though being blamed for the double bagel fiasco and being unceremoniously dumped. He left the Murray team, I think because he was unhappy about the Mauresmo appointment, and I understand Andy felt somewhat betrayed by his old friend when he went to work with Berdych – particularly as Berdy had already tried to lure Lendl to his camp.
Simon Cambers (Sports Journalist): “Interesting comments from Amelie Mauresmo in L’Équipe [a French newspaper devoted to sports]. Hardly incendiary, nor surprising she found being shouted at a bit odd.” https://twitter.com/scambers73/status/734031849484390400
ed, do you read L’Équipe?