Monday, 30 June 2008
The come back kid
Wow! What a game, what a come back. I missed most of Murray - Gasquet as I was playing a match in the box league I'm helping to set up for the tennis courts round the corner.
It was a game against an opponent who was probably 30 years older than me but in the first games everything went wrong and the pressure of having to beat someone I really should beat started to creep in. The first point of the match set the tone, with his shot hitting the net court and dropping over the net.
Before I knew it I was 4 games to love down. Four edgy, tight games later it was all square. And then I broke and served out 6-4. The second set was as it should have been and I ran out 6-0. It's the oldest cliche in the book but so much of tennis is in the head.
And we saw further proof of that with Andy v Gasquet. Murray showed unbelievable fighting spirit and mental toughness. Whilst, perhaps unfairly, more questions will be asked about Gasquet's character.
I'm watching the highlights as I write and Murray showed it all today. Belief, emotion, breathtaking shot making, inappropriately timed drop shots, and incredible athleticism - watch him run down the ball in the third set tie break.
This was the defining moment. As he ran off court on the ad side to chase down a volley and somehow from the acutest of angles, hit a stupendous backhand passing shot on the run.
Murray ended up almost in the crowd, standing on a ledge in front of the first row, and his emotional celebration of the point will probably be the back page photo in tomorrow's papers. (Either that or him flexing his muscles at the end.)At this point the momentum swung Murray's way and the match slipped through Gasquet's fingers.
When we look back in a few years time I'm sure this will be the moment when the centre court crowd and the rest of the British public finally accepted Murray as their player.
Rafa is up next and Murray must feel like he can beat anyone but I just worry about how much this 5 setter has taken out of him. Either way I can't wait for Wednesday.
You can see the tie break shot here