Jul 4, 2009

Murray disappoints home crowd, fails to reach first Wimbledon final

Andy Murray could have become the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final in 71 years on Sunday.

Sadly, British fans have to wait for another year.

Although Murray did not play poorly, his 6-4, 4-6, 7-6 (5), 7-6 (7) loss to Andy Roddick had done enough damage to crush Murray's Wimbledon dream final.

Here's an excerpt of Murray's press conference after the heartbreaking loss.

Q. You seem to have run into the Roddick of 2003. Were you expecting that?

ANDY MURRAY: You always expect your opponents to play well, especially at this stage of the tournament. And he served great. Served really, really well in the tiebreaks. I think he maybe missed two first serves. The second one wasn't until 6‑4 in the tiebreak. He was serving really well at the start.

And I had a few chances, you know, in the first tiebreak. I had chances early in the third set. I didn't take them.


Q. How do you rate your own performance?


ANDY MURRAY: I thought I played well. I mean, you know, if you look at the stats, I hit more winners, less unforced errors, more aces. I'm sure the points that we won were very, very similar. It just came down to a few points here or there on his serve.
And he served really, really well. You know, very close to the lines. Hitting at that pace, at such a high percentage, I think he was high 70s for a lot of the match.

You know, sometimes there's not a whole lot you can do with that. But definitely didn't play a bad match.


Q. Do you think you were playing too passive or he was playing too great?


ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't think I played that passive. I think I hit a lot of winners. You know, my game style against him is not always to sort of go on the court and try and blast winners, you know, all the time. Because he has such a big serve that you need to try and, you know, get into points and make returns.
I used my slice well. I didn't passes as well as I normally do. But he came up with some good volleys and big serves, and that is what happened. Like I say, it wasn't through being too passive or me playing a poor match.

Q. Were you surprised with the sheer quality of his play at the net?

ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, he came up with some good volleys. You know, the one when I had the set point in the third set, well, he apologized. He completely miss‑hit the volley. He was trying to hit it to the other side and it dropped very short and I couldn't get it.
I mean, he makes volleys. He doesn't normally miss a lot. You just have to make the passes, and I didn't make as many as I needed to. But I wasn't surprised by anything that he did. I expected him to play very well.

Q. Could you talk about Andy's return? And secondly give us an assessment about the final. Does he have a good chance against Roger?


ANDY MURRAY: His return of serve?


Q. Yes.


ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think a lot of people think that necessarily he doesn't return that well. But he has a decent return. It's not the best and it's definitely not the worst. But, you know, he makes quite a lot. He doesn't miss that many returns on second serves.
Because he serves so well, it makes it even more important for you to serve well. If you don't do that, then he's going to create chances. Because he came to the net a lot today. I think if he serves like that he's got a chance against anyone, 'cause it comes down to, like I say, a few points in each set.

So regardless of whether it's Roger or, you know, me or anybody else, if he serves high 70s with the pace he's got on his serve, he's got a good chance.


Q. Despite his record against Roger?


ANDY MURRAY: I had a pretty good record against him as well going into today. Like I say, if someone serves 130 miles an hour consistently throughout the match, and above, you know, in the high like 75s to 80%, it's very tough to break them, especially on a court like this that's quick.


Q. On that point, you went a round further than last year; you're 22 years old. You'll leave here more convinced that you can win Wimbledon now?


ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think I have a chance. And I think the way that I played this year, you know, it was very, very close to getting to the final. If I give myself those sort of opportunities and keep playing well, and my consistency in the Grand Slams the last year or so has been much, much better, you know, a final, a semi and a quarter, I'm going to give myself opportunities to do it. I believe I can win a Grand Slam, whether it's Wimbledon or US Open or Australia or whatever, I'm going to give myself chances.

Q. Will you be able to move on from this, or do you think, you know, I lost to a better guy on the day?


ANDY MURRAY: No, I'll move on very, very quickly and go and work on my game and improve and come back stronger. That's a pathetic attitude to have, if you lose one match and you go away and, you know, let it ruin your year.
You know, I've had a very good year so far. I'm very close to, you know, the top of the game. The US Open I've always said is my best surface, my best chance to win a slam, and I'll give it my best shot there.

Q. Talk about the matchup and shots between Andy's serve and Federer's incredible return of serve. How do you think that might work out?


ANDY MURRAY: I think Federer has a good return. I don't think that it's incredible. He doesn't break serve as much as a lot of the guys. But he'll make Andy play. And Andy gives him enough chances, Roger's gonna take them. That's the one thing he needs to serve very well, especially at the start of all of the games to try and get ahead, not give Roger that chance to sort of swing freely at balls. If he can always sort of stay 15‑up, 15‑Love, 30‑Love up in games, it's gonna be tough.


But obviously Roger is the favorite. If he plays his best and passes well, then there's no reason why he can't win.


The US Open is going to start end of this month, and Murray's dream to clinch his first Grand Slam is far from over.

(Images via Getty Images)

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