Last night in Montreal Andy Murray put on one of the performances of the year defeat Novak Djokovic for the first time since Wimbledon 2013 to lift the Rogers Cup title with some incredible tennis.
Follow the forehand!
Quite a few rallies between the two players were backhand to backhand however when Murray got onto the forehand side he was quite dangerous with the hooked forehand from the centre of the court.
In this position here many players would find it difficult to all but kill off a rally however if there is a player on the tour that can find incredible shots and immediately put their opponent on the back foot it is Andy Murray. Murray got to play the forehand after a slice backhand from Djokovic to take the ball away from the dangerous weapon which is Murray’s backhand however with Murray following in the forehand closing off the angles and covering the net well with a volley winner to win the point following Novak’s return.
One of the commentators during the match called the Murray backhand a bullet and the pace and power he generated off it was little playing video game tennis.
The power, pace and more importantly the control he has off the two handed backhand is incredible and he showed this throughout the match.
This graphic shows some backhands shot from Murray they all weren’t winner but it got Novak on the back foot and allowed to take control of the rallies. I said above quite a few rallies were backhand to backhand which you could say defending that side may be a slight weakness of Novak and Murray did exploit this hitting 13 backhand winners and 14 forehand winners which is a very good ratio compared to 17 forehand winners from Novak and only 6 backhand winners.
When Murray does get this backhand into play it is so dangerous to defend against. The only thing you can do try and defend it when it so powerful and deep on the court is try and get a good return on it but turning defence into attack after a very powerful backhand is difficult.
3rd set, 5th game
Quite a few times in a match especially in a deciding set there are games which set the tone for the rest of the match and this 5th game did. Murray held serve for a 4-1 lead in the set but had a lot of work to do to hold serve.
This game lasted 17 minutes and 46 seconds and to have to save 6 break points against the world number one and hold serve after such a long game is a credit to Murray and the tennis he played. During that game Murray also received a warning from the umpire for accidently walking into the camera at the back of the court with the umpire claiming Murray hit it.
Second serve improvement!
Murray’s second serve is always a talking point and I felt that it was very good in Madrid earlier in the year and an interesting graphic shown before the match shows the different in depth and variety Murray has been serving with the second serve this week compared to his previous meetings v Djokovic in Indian Wells and Miami.
Murray this last week in Montreal really did mix the serve up with about 50% going out wide on the ad court and the rest mixed up either through the middle or down the T. On the deuce side it was more mixed up with only about 25% going out wide this week and the rest mixed up around 37-39% either down the middle or down the T.
Against Djokovic in previous meetings the serve on the ad court went a majority out wide but into the strike zone of Djokovic and on the other side ended up going down the T for the majority of second serves.