Connect with us

ATP Tour

Andy Murray loses a match but wins hope

Matt Zemek

Published

on

Aaron Doster -- USA TODAY Sports

First things first: Dominic Thiem is no longer carrying a virus. Thiem played some “sick” tennis on Friday in Beijing — not in a literal sense, but in the positive sense of the term. Flying around the court with ample stick on his shots, Thiem was too much for Andy Murray.

Thiem announced himself as a threat in the stretch run of the season; his big goal will be to make a run at the ATP Finals in London.

Andy Murray needed Thiem to be the sluggish, health-affected performer he had been for the previous few months. Thiem recovered, which is bad luck for Murray.

Yet, while Murray ran into the wrong version of Thiem, relative to the goal of winning this match, Murray should probably be thankful to Thiem for raising his game. Thiem, by playing a high-level match, showed Murray exactly how far the 32-year-old must travel to lift his game back to a major-tournament standard.

That is information Murray can use… and to be clear: Murray did not look bad in this match.

Murray and Thiem played at least 10 highlight-reel points in the first six games of the match. They unfurled dazzling, prolonged, nuanced, all-court exchanges which recalled Murray’s best attributes.

Thiem, however, was locked in, and Murray hasn’t played enough tennis at a high level since his return to the court to be expected to handle Thiem’s fastballs.

Murray has to be thrilled not only with how he played an in-form version of Thiem, but that he did so in a quarterfinal after having beaten a quality opponent, Matteo Berrettini, earlier in the week in Beijing.

Murray grabbed a significant win; didn’t suffer a letdown; showed appreciable stamina; and got to measure his game against a top-10 opponent.

Could Murray have asked for more in Beijing? Yes: a win and a semifinal berth.

However, he truly can’t complain with the productive nature of his week.

This doesn’t cement or guarantee a rise to the very top of men’s tennis for Andrew Barron Murray. It does, however, make that ascent a lot more possible and realistic.

Not bad, Andy. Not bad.

Follow @saqiba’s Tennis With An Accent Podcast. Listen to Saqib Ali’s show at our five main outlets:

RedCircle is here.

Stitcher is here. 

Google Podcasts is here.

Radio Public is here.

Apple Podcasts is here — subscribe, rate and review.

It takes just five minutes and helps our placement on search pages, which gives us a better chance of being noticed by advertisers who might sponsor our podcast and help us remain in business on a long-term basis.

We will be here covering tennis in 2020, but our long-term future depends on a long-term sponsorship which will provide a long-term revenue source. 

If you want to support Tennis With An Accent in the short term, in appreciation for the year-round writing and podcasting produced by this site, go here.

Catch our longreads TENNIS ACCENT PREMIUM series, with examples here and here. 

Matt Zemek is the co-editor of Tennis With An Accent with Saqib Ali. Matt is the lead writer for the site and helps Saqib with the TWAA podcast, produced by Radio Influence at radioinfluence.com. Matt has written professionally about men's and women's tennis since 2014 for multiple outlets: Comeback Media, FanRagSports, and independently at Patreon, where he maintains a tennis site. You can reach Matt by e-mail: mzemek@hotmail.com. You can find him on Twitter at @mzemek.

Advertisement
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Advertisement Big Savings for Big Fans at Fanatics.com

Trending