Andy, if not now, when?

Nadal and Murray who lock horns again in Melbourne

So it’s the game we have been looking forward to for well over a week. Both players are in good form heading into this match. Murray has made mincemeat of his opponents with his trickery and consistency. Hes won 4 games and every set hes played, 12 from 12. Not a bad return, hopefully he has plenty left in the tank. He faces Nadal, the defending champion, the King of Clay. Game on. It’s the most eagerly anticipated tennis match for quite some time!

Can he win? I think most certainly he can, hes no longer an inexperienced youngster with potential, hes a grandslam finalist, the winningest player on the tour last year and has an arsenal to rival anybody in the game. His consistency from the baseline is awesome, in his 4th round match he made one UE in the first set, Nadal levels of consistency. Maybe some will say he needs to improve his second serve especially coming into the latter stages of a slam.

Will he win? Entirely different question. Both players will feel the pressure for different reasons, Nadal as the defending champion and Murray keen to get the monkey off his back of a first grandslam win. On paper and on the court both players match up well, both run like cheetahs at the baseline and are don’t make many mistakes. Both have a great return game and the ability to run and run and run. In Nadal, Murray is facing his first real test of the championships, sure Isner hit hard and served bombs, but Nadal puts so much top on his shots that it sure to cause Andy problems. Power wise, Nadal would have a little more bite from his groundstrokes. I think he key to beating Nadal lies in the tactics used. We have seen how the hard flat hitting or Soderling and Del Po have taken away Nadals time on the ball in the past, Murray doesn’t have that type of game. For Murray to win, it wont be enough to run Nadal ragged, he needs to up his service %, at the moment for the tournament its sitting around 55%. The more cheap points he gets the better! Both players like rallies to go on and on, settle in and manoeuvre each other, both play from the back of the court and scrape winners back. This could very much be a 5 setter. If we look back at recent history, we can see Murray has exited the last four slams at the expense of big hitting forehand dominating players, Verdasco, Gonzo, Roddick and Cilic, Nadal isn’t as big as the aforementioned but he should still have too much for Andy ( unfortunately)

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