The most difficult question to be asked before the start of the third-round encounter between the American comeback hero and the British US Open wannabe (do names need to be mentioned?): On whom does the pressure lie?
Is it on Taylor Dent, who is facing the billowing and the full-steam onslaught of Andy Murray, or is it on Murray, who is facing not only a single opponent but also the countless American fans who will be rooting for their resurgent star—till the very last?
This is a Creature vs. Creature analysing all aspects from Murray's point of view, while Rob York's article deals with the American's side of the story.
He is the second favourite entering the tournament and given the way he has taken the entire men's tennis fraternity by storm this season, he has proved that he has the ability to be what it takes to be a thorough winner.
At the US Open, he tasted his first success last year when he reached the finals before bowing down to Roger Federer eventually. This year, he will be hoping to repeat his performance, though with a different result; he isn't the player what he was this time around last year, he has traversed miles and miles...
Will Win If
Murray is an expert tactician who possesses the ability to both attack and counter punch the shots, whenever and wherever the situation demands; this particular trait of his is most effectively responsible for him flummoxing most of his rivals and cause upsets many a time in the season.
If Murray, against Dent, who is a great serve-and-volleyer, plays aggressive and turns on those lethal ground strokes of his and forces Dent to commit errors, then he could put the pressure on Dent, whose combined unforced error count has been well over the 90s in the first two rounds.
Will Lose If
Murray's serve is a bit of concern, when compared to his opponent's. Hovering around the 50s, if his first serve goes wobbly, then Dent could hope to garner points from his relatively weaker second serve.
Also, stamina plays a very important role; Taylor Dent has shown that he possess the ability to withstand five set matches. His second round match against Spain's Ivan Navarro was an epic of sorts with two sets going down to the full quota of 12 games, while two sets went down to the wire in tie-breaks.
Murray on the other hand, has played just one five-set match (against Fernando Verdasco at the 2009 Aussie Open) and wasn't able to emerge as the winner on that occasion, and if today's feature, by any chance, extends to the best of five sets, then Murray does stand a chance to lose.
The crowd will play an important factor, as almost each and every American fan is longing to see Dent make a strong and resounding comeback to the world of tennis, and if toppling Murray proves to be a stepping stone to the same, then it will be nothing less than gung-ho for the boisterous crowd at Arthur Ashe, not to forget the ones watching it from the electronic box.
Andy Murray in a nerve-tautening four setter, though I wouldn't mind a straight set victory in his favour.
It would be worthwhile to mention, though, that, irrespective of the outcome of the match, the late-night session at Arthur Ashe is a must watch for, today, resilience will spark off against resurgence and, quoting May the Best Man Win, won't merely suffice at all!