Using speed for counter punching rather than aggressive play
Murray depends on speed but doesn’t exploit it efficiently to play a super aggressive game in the mold of Federer. I have often marveled at Murray’s propensity to wait like a cheetah at one corner of the baseline, when he could have easily made that trip to the center of the court. He just loves to lull his opponents into a false sense of security by making them believe that they have him out of position in one corner and then executes those impossible running ground shots for jaw dropping winners.
He uses speed to play cat and mouse games rather than dominate and therefore his speed has perhaps not been as productive for him as it could have. Can you imagine Stan Wawarinka with Murray’s speed? Stan would probably use that speed to reach super early on balls and bludgeon opponents into submission. There would be mayhem on the court if Stan had Murray’s speed!
Murray and the net rushers ….. Is it that easy to fluster Murray?
And what really is Murray’s issue with crafty and really good net rushers? On paper his cat & mouse style of play, propped by his Bolt like speed, seems tailor made to ambush net-rushers into a false sense of advantage at the net only for Murray to execute awe-inspiring passing shot winners. However, time and again I have seen those running forehands and laser sharp backhands crumble under pressure from a hard-core and dedicated net-rusher’s onslaught.
Is it because a classic net rusher or serve & volley player instinctively knows and follows his court geometry on way to the net thereby cutting the angles and reducing the court for the opponent? Or is it because Murray’s positioning himself five or more feet behind the baseline makes it easier for net rushers to read Murray’s shots? It probably is a combination of both and perhaps some other factors which go drastically against Murray while playing seasoned net rushers.
Federer for one has always exploited this weakness in Murray’s game to his advantage at crucial points. And, Mischa Zverev used his net rushing ways to beat Murray at the AO 2017.
Murray and his mind
Murray still has the tendency to go down upon himself and hang onto the previous point a little too much. He still needs a Lendl to keep him structured and focused on the positive and the next point. However, such mental ineptitude after tasting number one and so much success over the last 9 months is quite inexcusable and a little perplexing.
Murray has a small window to win a couple more slams. Neither he nor Djokovic and Nadal are Federer. They can only dream about playing at Roger’s level after crossing their 31st birthday. I believe Murray like Nadal and Djokovic would probably be done and dusted by the time he crosses his 32nd birthday, and therefore he has a two year window to amass whatever slams he can and then ride off happily into the sunset.