Possible reason(s) why Murray plays so well against Federer.
Posted by tennisplanet on October 18, 2010
For rock people Murray enjoys a winning H2H of 8-5. Against Nadal? 4-8. Djokovic? 3-4.
Is it because of ‘most bang for your effort’ theory? Federer’s near-universally acknowledged status of GOAT (at least as of now) and that just one more mortal has a winning record against him so far, makes win over Federer bigger than even winning a Slam – in Murray’s world. If that’s the case why has he not defeated Federer at the two shots he had at US Open and the AO finals? Could it be that the transition from the first plane to the next requires bridging a gap that’s still not worth the effort for Murray to exact the same ‘bang’ – comparatively? Maybe.
Murray lost both Slam finals to Federer in straight sets while smack in the middle of a run where be beat Federer routinely albeit close matches. The five set format coupled with Federer’s 16-Slam experience and Murray’s home country pressure demands lot more time and discipline to pull off than the three set Masters events – fact Murray has not reconciled with on the ‘pay and reward’ plane.
Additionally, each win over Federer and the winning record so far has been able to effectively deflect from his Slamless career – in Murray’s eyes. It provides him a reasonable rebuttal when faced with Slam questions at age 23. It’s like close to retirement players winning a major tournament to gain a new lease of life – momentarily. Logically that cushion should have worn out by now opening the gate for a full on Slam assault preferably by beating Federer en route.
But most careers don’t take a logical route, do they? It’s when the clock inside begins to churn uncontrollably setting in motion series of events mentally that the physical machinery starts the delivery van. Sampras won his first major at age 19 but didn’t hit the ‘clock’ until the next three years had passed. Rest is history.
Murray clearly has the game to be among the greats of the game as has been admitted by nearly every tennis pundit – but that’s not enough. Remember my famous saying “The difference between ordinary and extra-ordinary is that little ‘extra'”? Murray is still not ready to put in the work for that ‘extra’ for whatever reason and may not ever. But if and when he does the game and the winning will become so routine and easy that he will wonder why he didn’t go for it long long long time ago.