TENNIS : Andy Murray knows he must start finding first serves on a consistent basis if he is to keep alive his hopes of winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on home soil at London’s O2 Arena.
Andy Murray knows he must start finding first serves on a consistent basis if he is to keep alive his hopes of winning the Barclays ATP World Tour Finals on home soil at London’s O2 Arena.
The British number one described his serving as “pants” following Tuesday night’s 3-6 6-3 6-1 defeat by Roger Federer, in which he registered with his first delivery only 45% of the time and hit two games’ worth of double faults.
Of his performance, he said: “I just didn’t feel like I played well. If you give someone the opportunity to dictate, not only on his own service games but on yours, it’s very difficult to win. I served so poorly that anyone would have looked good against me because you get a chance pretty much every single point.”
Murray would have booked his place in the semi-finals with a victory over the world number one – and the result ensured Federer will definitely finish the year on top of the rankings – but instead he goes into Wednesday’s clash with Fernando Verdasco knowing even a win could see him go out if Juan Martin del Potro beats Federer in the evening match.
Murray has beaten Verdasco in seven out of the eight matches they have played, including on his way to the title in Valencia earlier this month, although the one time the Spaniard did come out on top was in arguably the most important clash at the Australian Open in January.
Looking ahead to Wednesday, he continued: “Against all the guys in the group I’ve got a good record.
“If I play well, there’s a good chance I win. If I don’t, then there’s a good chance I lose.”
Tuesday night’s match was the biggest of the tournament so far and a capacity 17,500 crowd certainly made themselves heard. A large proportion were cheering for the Swiss rather than the Briton – which was only fair, according to Murray.
“I thought the atmosphere was great,” he continued.
“To play in front of a crowd like that’s awesome. Roger’s record at Wimbledon, what he’s done in tennis, he deserves support everywhere he goes.”