Andy Murray Beats Rafael Nadal at His Own Game

NJMCorrespondent IIISeptember 7, 2008

Watching Andy Murray play the last two days has been awe-inspiring. He beat the best player in the world, in Rafael Nadal. More impressive, is that he beat Nadal at his own game.

If you read my last article on the match, I thought Murray wouldn't play as well the second day. Like Tim Henman before him, I thought the rain delay would give  Nadal an advantage going into the match today.

First, I thought Murray would begin to realize the magnitude of the moment, in a negative way. I thought he would tighten up and not play the game naturally, but try to force it on the court.

Second, I thought the larger crowd and their support of Nadal would be detrimental to his playing. I was obviously wrong.

Murray's serve was still great. He was hitting aces like he did the day before. His serves were never returned well. Nadal would either return weakly or he was completely overwhelmed. It was a sight I had never seen before.

I can't believe I am saying this, but Andy Murray outattacked Rafael Nadal. I thought Nadal's attacking ability would win him the match. However, the greatest offensive game in all in the world was beaten by Andy Murray's offense.

Andy's passing shots were nearly perfect, which completely negated Nadal's net game. I guess its true that the best defense is a good offense.

Andy Murray also was able to create offense from what looked like defensive positions. There were shots where most people would have simply returned it, but Murray was unloading and making what should be defensive shots into winners. His return of serve was solid as well. He even got some winners directly off the serve.

Nadal looked like he was constantly on the defensive. He could not turn points around to his favor. He also couldn't wear down Andy Murray through long rallies from the baseline. His footwork looked horrendous on the hard court.

He was constantly out of position and reaching for balls instead of cleanly striking them. The only thing that prevented him from losing in straight sets was the service break.

Overall, I was amazed at the young Scot's performance. I can't definitively say who is going to win the final, but the way Murray has played throughout this tournament, it will take an almost perfect game from Federer to beat him.

I am going to predict that Murray will be the US Open champion in five sets.