There once was a time when Andy Murray could be counted on to shut down mentally if things weren't going his way in any given match.
But, as Murray showed in the London Olympics and in Wednesday's quarterfinals against Marin Cilic at the U.S. Open, he's a different man now.
Murray was in danger of dropping the first two sets to Cilic on Wednesday before he righted the ship. After losing the first set, 3-6, he fell behind in the second set, 1-5, before storming back to force a tie-breaker. He went on to win the tie-breaker and capture the next two sets to emerge with an improbable victory (3-6, 7-6, 6-2, 6-0).
You may remember, Murray also battled Feliciano Lopez in the third round, winning all three sets that went to tie-breakers.
The 25-year-old Brit battled through two break points before taking it to Roger Federer in the final of the London Olympics this year, 6-2, 6-1, 6-4. That was after beating Novak Djokovic in straight sets in the semifinals, 7-5, 7-5.
Murray may be more in tune mentally than he ever has been. It was never a question of his talent level. He always had a shot against Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal. It's just that he would break down when he was so close, infuriated by a couple of bad points or games.
Murray is 45-11 this season, including his five victories thus far in the U.S. Open, with two singles titles. More importantly, he's no longer that "other guy" outside of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. He has a legitimate shot of capturing the U.S. Open this year and his confidence is sky-high.
The No. 4 player in the world said after his match against Cilic, via the Daily Record, "I've been in that position before when you're serving for a two-set lead and someone comes back and it's tough."
The difference is, Murray is on the winning side these days, the one frustrating opponents, not the other way around.
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