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AO Day Eleven: Melbourne Again

Posted by gauloises1 on January 29, 2010

Roll out the barrel, stick up the bunting, and start polishing up the medals; Andy Murray is in a Grand Slam final.

Bring him the finest haggis and deep-fried Mars bars in the land.

Andy Murray ensured himself a decent shot at Greatest Living Briton by defeating Marin Cilic 36 64 64 62 to make his second Slam final. Move over, your Majesty. And that’s just making the final. If he wins, he will officially be the Greatest Briton Ever. Shakespeare, Churchill and King Arthur will be swept on to the dustheap of history and Westminster Abbey will be replaced with a giant tennis court. And frankly, I’m all for it. What has Edward the Confessor done for anyone lately? Not this:

OK, seriously now. It actually was far from Murray’s best performance. He came out flat and passive against an aggressive and fired-up Marin, who totally dominated the first set and a half. It was a sobering reminder that he isn’t going to play with the same focus, intensity and attack that he brought to the court against Nadal.

I was desperately hoping that Andy would find some way to get into the match and get fired up for it, and then this happened (the shot I mean is around 0.15). Murray hit a ridiculous blind winner on break point, had an American werewolf moment, and picked up his game from that moment on. Marin stayed with him, but the sheer volume of tennis he’s played so far began to clearly tell on him physically and mentally, and by the time the match was into a third set it looked like a done deal.

I was really sad to see Marin go. OK, that’s not quite true but I would have been sad had I not been busy singing WWII songs under my breath and booking flights to Melbourne (not, I hasten to point out, for me). He’s been such a highlight of this tournament, finally putting it all together on the big stage against Wawrinka, Delpo and Roddick; tactical nous, forehands that actually go in, composure at the biggest moments and huge amounts of heart. I can’t wait to see more of this Marin.

But I’m so thrilled that Andy Murray is in the final. After his generally disappointing Slam results last year, questions were being asked ad nauseam (by me as much as anyone), and it feels so great to be reassured that his potential at the highest level was not the usual mirage. OK, he turned in a less than stellar performance today, but he did what he had to do and hopefully it will have reminded him that he can’t start on anything less than top form in these big matches. Whatever happens in the final, he’s done so well to get there.

Go on, my son.

Celebration face needs some work though.

Team Murray roars for a nation.

Except Miles, who is far too cool.

This guy has no personality.

Get in.

5 Responses to “AO Day Eleven: Melbourne Again”

  1. kefuoe said

    Glad you included that Courier shot. It’s delightful.

    I’m ready for Murray to win the AO, but how crazy will that make Wimbledon for him?

  2. FortuneCookie said

    Someone needs to help me with my realisation that Courier’s not a bad looking dude,like seriously,weird crush anyone?Oh I did *not* just say that…
    And even making the transfer from that ‘Most Annoying Briton’ list would be an achievement for Muzz! 😛

  3. Ela said

    well done Andy dear 🙂 best of luck in the final… and yes you have my blessing to kick that Fedex ass 😉

  4. lauren said

    I’m late to the comment party again, but that was a great tennis moment. Not only was that shot (and Andy’s reaction) pure tennis theatre, it also turned out to be a true turning point of the match.

    I’m always fascinated by Andy’s mouth size. He reminds me of those egg-eating snakes who dislocate their jaw to swallow their prey.

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