Murray’s meltdown in Melbourne

By Louise Belcourt

The tennis world has been rocked again, as world number 1 Andy Murray lost to world number 50 Mischa Zverev 7-5 5-7 6-2 6-4 in round 4 of the Australian Open.
In a warm afternoon, Zverev piled on the heat attacking the net 118 times in their 3 hour and 34 minute battle.
Both aged 29, the credentials of the 2 could not be more opposite. No one expected the German to trouble the 3 time grand slam champ. Before this week, Zverev had only advanced past the first round at a grand slam in 5 out of 18 attempts, and had never gone past the second round in the Australian Open.
However today was to be a different story. Murray had his chances in the first set, up 5-3 serving for the set, but 2 forced errors turned it around, and back on serve Zverev was able to break the Brit and take out the set.
The second set saw numerous breaks of serve. At 5-5 the tide seemed to turn in Murray’s favour, winning the next 8 points and taking the set.
You would expect this to change the momentum and Murray to run away with the next 2 sets. But it was not to be. Relentless pressure from the German, particularly to the Murray backhand, which seemed to crack with many hit into the middle of the net. Zverev was at the net whenever he could, taking time away from his opponent, not letting him get into any rhythm, and making stellar volleys, clearly frustrating the world number 1. Yet today Murray wasn’t his usual vocal self. Only occasional yelling directed at his box, but not the normal agitated Murray you would expect in this situation.
Surprisingly, when asked if he was “low on energy”, Murray responded “I don’t think I was flat.” “Sometimes at the end of the sets I was trying to get a little more energy, you know, show more sort of positive language.”
The quality of the match showed with Murray’s 71 winners to 28 unforced errors, and Zverev’s 52 winners to 26 unforced errors. Although the telling stat was Murray’s 66 forced errors. Evidently, the pressure was too much for Murray to bear.
Of Zverev game, Murray said “He deserved to win because, you know, he played great when he was down, and also in the important moments.” He added, “Every time it was close points, I put Mischa under pressure, he came up with great stuff”.
Naturally, Zverev was elated at the victory saying “Yeah, definitely the best match of my life, not only because it was a best-of-five set match, it was at a slam. I don’t know. It was just incredible.”
Asked how he won Zverev said “Well, I believed in myself. I believed in my game. I believed that playing serve and volley against him and slicing a lot, trying to destroy his rhythm was going to work, which it did in the end.”
How he maintained his drive after being injured and not winning many matches, Zverev said “I can tell you it wasn’t easy when I came back from wrist surgery two years ago. It was my brother who said, you can make it back, you can be top 100 again, be a great player.”
He added, “But having such a great family where, like, my brother’s doing well, the whole family’s there to support you, it was a long journey, but it was a fun one. When you see him doing well, there’s a lot of positive emotions in the family on the court, off the court.
What next for Zverev? Only the most Australian Open quarter finalist (13), only the most Australian Open match winner (84), and only the most prolific grand slam winner of all time (17). Roger Federer!
So who will be the next top seed casualty?

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  • Scoop Malinowski · January 24, 2017 at 4:51 pm

    Jg: Hingis and Coco played US Open last year and lost a close one to Garcia and Kiki on new grandstand – They haven’t exactly lit it up together – Hingis was supposed to play with Lisicki again this year but Lisicki is hurt – Can’t see Coco playing the subordinate to bossy Hingis as Coco is an alpha type player now -

  • Andrew Miller · January 24, 2017 at 7:36 pm

    Scoop, apparently Coco learned a ton playing alongside Hingis! She and Kardon welcomed Hingis’ feedback!

  • Andrew Miller · January 24, 2017 at 11:49 pm

    Raonic’s game looking good and his movement is superior under Krajicek. Moya really helped, but Krajicek, who to my eye moved well, seems to have Raonic in the right place at right time. I’d say he’s playing better than last year.

  • catherine bell · January 25, 2017 at 3:03 am

    Kerber will come back – she was paralyzed with anxiety about being No 1 – when she surrenders that it will be better.
    And she’s only a youngster at 29 :)

    Players will figure CoCo out before long.

    I never seriously saw Konta in contention – Serena is a far better player overall.

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 25, 2017 at 7:16 am

    Dr Hingis the tennis guru can only help a player and surely since Coco hooked up with Hingis in the second half of last year it’s no coincidence she is a different player now -

  • catherine bell · January 25, 2017 at 7:32 am

    Oh the line forms around the block to Hingis now ?

    Sorry Steffi/Andre you are so last year :)

  • Scoop Malinowski · January 25, 2017 at 9:31 am

    Catherine: Wouldn’t quite say that yet about Hingis as she has worked with Lisicki and Putintseva (3-4 yrs ago) and Bencic but yes I believe Hingis’s tennis brain and tutelage would benefit Giorgi considerably -

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