Will Andy Murray Ever Win a Major Tournament?
Many who didn't see the match would assume he was overawed, out powered by Nadal, in the three-set apparent whitewash.
The reality is actually very different. For much of the match, Murray was actually the better player. The difference in class came on the pivotal points- Murray seemed to be fighting himself as much as he was Nadal.
In the first set, he had break points but, having failed to capitalise, Nadal made him pay. In the second, not only did Murray have yet more break points – he was on top for most of the set – but he also passed up set points in the tie-break to level the match, allowing Nadal to reassert his dominance.
By that stage, his resolve was broken. Despite an early break in the third, Murray had lost his belief and duly succumbed to the Spaniard.
There is a question mark looming over whether Murray actually believes he can take that last step and reach the pinnacle of the sport.
He is certainly mentally strong, but so are his opponents. In Nadal and Roger Federer, he faces two of the most gifted and, just as importantly, determined players to have graced the sport.
In spite of Murray's failure to win one of tennis' litmus tests, he remains on the right track. Talk of his becoming another nearly man – à la Henman – is premature and ungrounded. One need only take a glance at his record to see how much he has already achieved in the game.
At Murray's current age, 23, Henman had only reached two quarter-finals at opens- both at Wimbledon. Murray, on the other hand, has at least reached the quarters in every slam, the semis in three and two finals in addition to his four Masters titles- Henman only ever managed one.
Murray's 14-3 record for the year means he will match last year if he gets past the first round at Flushing Meadows.
Murray enjoys the atmosphere at the US open and his game suits the hard courts. If he can just believe that he can go all the way this time, well, he just might.
The world number four was unlucky to be brought into an era where two of the greatest players of all time have been just that little bit ahead of him.
Federer, a Duracell bunny of a player, will inevitably decline eventually and, when he does, Murray should still be going strong. Along with the powerhouse that is Rafael Nadal, the man from Dunblane will have to fend off the likes of Djokovic, Čilić and Del Potro. If he can achieve that – by no means small – feat, a slam is within his grasp.
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