The US Open men's final has two familiar combatants in 2011: Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.
Once again, Andy Murray, the dour Scot is forced to sit out another Grand Slam final.
During his semifinal match against Nadal, commentators Mary Carillo and John McEnroe both made reference to Murray's whining and continuous stream of rants directed at the entourage in the player's box. They both suggested that the negative energy he expended after every missed point would be better directed at his opponent.
At triple set point in the second, McEnroe went so far as to say that maybe the ball boys should keep Andy's towel on the opposite side of the court so as not to give him a chance to vent to his coaches and family. Carillo's suggestion? "Murray needs to get out of his own way."
An inordinate amount of rain this past week has made scheduling a nightmare for the USTA but adversary tests all athletes and champions answer the call.
Both Nadal and Djokovic rose to the occasion.
Djokovic won a thrilling five-set match over Roger Federer. Federer, by some accounts, has passed his "best before date" and another Grand Slam victory may not be in his future either. The "Joker" seems to realize now that a match is never out of his reach and his new approach and positive energy allows him to dig deeper.
The disciplined Nadal stood in stark contrast to the erratic, screaming and self-defeating Murray. Rafa, who has admitted that his work ethic was instilled by his Uncle Toni after years of coaching and mentoring, presents a different image of control and exemplary court conduct.
Andy Murray needs to consider a total attitude change, one that emulates the two men who will play each other in Monday's final. Behavior dictates results and Murray's present conduct will keep him from the winner's circle.
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