Andy Murray had a bad 2014 tennis season in terms of winning tournaments. Late in 2013, he had his back surgery that kept him away from competitions for a while. When he came back in the beginning of 2014, he didn’t do all that bad but failed at times. The 2013 Wimbledon champion didn’t create waves as did Roger Federer after a bad 2013. He struggled with his game and kept improving in his own way. Slowly he saw his confidence coming back. Regardless, his Grand Slam performance in 2014 looked good for someone, who came out of the operation theater only a few months ago. In each of the Grand Slam, he went at least up to the quarterfinal stage and made it to the semifinals at French Open. Then he parted ways with his coach, Ivan Lendl, who had been present, when the Scot won Wimbledon and the US Open. Then Murray put the critics and tennis media ablaze with the announcement that he was hiring Frenchwoman and former women’s no.1 Amelie Mauresmo as his coach. Murray faced hard time in downplaying the fact that sex had nothing to do with coaching but since he failed to win some tournaments, the reasoning of his failure continued to be attributable to the choice of the female coach. Despite the barrage of accusations, Murray continued with Mauresmo. Brad Gilbert, who once coached Murray, feels that Mauresmo’s refraining from digging Murray during practice sessions suits her ward quite well. At least the Scot is not wary of a male coach telling him something acidic. On Thursday, Murray kept looking at the box, where his coach was sitting and eye contacts continued all through the match. He lost the first set to Berdych and then he came back to bagel him in the next. In the third too, it was a dominant 6-3 before he broke the penultimate game of the match to cruise through the final. It was as powerful a performance as the Scot has been delivering all through the tournament.
Playing superb tennis, Andy Murray ensured that he would play the final of the 2015 Australian Open. Murray practically dominated over Czech Republic’s Tomas Berdych in his 6-7, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5 win. The match began between two talented guys with wind influencing the flight of the ball in the first set. At 4-3, Berdych broke Murray and led 5-3. But Murray broke back immediately and then held his serve. At 5-5, Berdych saved two chances and prevented the Scotsman from breaking yet again. The set had to be decided on tie-break and Berdych’s serve helped him take the set despite Murray having an opportunity earlier. Murray came back like a rocket in the second set and playing a fiery game, demolished Berdych 6-0. The momentum continued in the third set, which was also dominated by Murray. After losing 7 games in a row, Berdych finally won one to make it 1-1 in the third set. Regardless, Murray continued with precision and Berdych was surprised. On his serve in the sixth game, Berdych was 40-0 up but two double faults and an unforced error allowed Murray to break his service. After that the Scot served out at love to lead 5-2. Berdych got one game on his serve but Murray produced another thundering service game to take the set 6-3. Berdych didn’t surrender completely and fought hard in the fourth set. In the fifth game, Berdych held two break points but Murray survived to level the score 3-3. It was a crucial set for Berdych and he continued to fight but he couldn’t free his game off errors. In the 11th game, Murray went ahead at 6-5 by breaking Berdych. Now all the scot had to do was to hold his serve. He did that with remarkable alacrity and closed the match at 6-7, 6-0, 6-3, 7-5.
Murray’s opponent in the final will be decided on Friday after Novak Djokovic and Stanislas Wawrinka finish their semifinal match. But if the Scotsman’s performance against Tomas Berdych is any barometer, then he is capable of toppling any of these two. In the game of tennis, however, predictions don’t work. It is the form on the day of the match that is the governing factor.
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