Andy Murray dismantled Andy Roddick on the grass courts of Queen’s Club today, earning his 6-3, 6-1 semifinal victory in just 59 minutes.
“Keep it social!” Roddick cried late in the second, as Murray ripped another service return winner past him. It was an appropriate remark for such a genteel setting as Queen’s Club, and for a moment I wondered if maybe – just maybe – Murray would lay off a little.
Who are we kidding? This is no longer a gentleman’s sport. Murray broke Roddick’s vaunted serve one last time to wrap up the match. It was a whuppin’.
The press is already calling it a “masterclass” and even the best-played match of his career. No pressure, Andy. No pressure at all.
Murray via the BBC:
“It gives me the message that I’m in a good place now. I’m playing well. I struggled at times this year, and I feel like now I’m playing really good tennis again. Physically I feel good, which is important.
“My game is where it needs to be right now. That’s all you can ask for. Regardless of how the final goes, it’s been the perfect week in many ways and I’ll use the next five, six days to really work hard and get myself mentally and physically ready for Wimbledon.”
The American Andy says he’s not taking the loss – okay, it was a beat down – too much to heart (via Tennis.com):
“I think it’s about fine tuning more than re-inventing the wheel next week. I don’t think I did a whole lot wrong. It certainly does nothing to my confidence level going into Wimbledon. I just thought he played too good today.”
Murray will face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final. After scoring a big scalp in the quarters, beating Rafael Nadal in three, Jo had the unenviable task of killing the impossible dream when he took out a shock semifinalist, world No. 216 (and No. 2 Brit) James Ward on Saturday. Two Brits in the Queen’s Club final? I wouldn’t have been surprised if they’d moved it onto Wimbledon’s Centre Court and called the grass court season a wrap.
But the way Murray played Roddick today, I think the Brits aren’t too disappointed.
Before we move on from Queen’s Club, I thought this quote from Rafa after Saturday’s loss was pretty telling of his mental state at the moment (via the BBC):
“The negative thing is I lost; the positive thing is I have few days off and can stop a little bit mentally. I can be a little bit more relaxed, because every day I play with pressure. That’s what happened for me the last four months every day.”
The Germans are getting a dream final in Halle. Two Germans – both unseeded, both named Philipp – will play for the title at the Gerry Weber Open on Sunday. Philipp Kohlschreiber took out third seed Gael Monfils in the first semifinal, 6-3, 6-3 and countryman Philipp Petzschner followed up with a gritty 7-6(7), 2-6, 6-3 win over second seed Tomas Berdych.
See, Ralf, losing Federer isn’t that big a tragedy after all!
The ladies made their grasscourt debuts in Birmingham, site of the AEGON Classic. Saturday’s semifinals featured the guaranteed dramatics of an Ana Ivanovic vs. Daniela Hantuchova match-up. The final score was 6-7 (7), 6-3, 6-2 for Daniela, but Ivanovic was up 5-1 in that first set and failed to convert 18 break points. Dani out-nerving someone? Well, look at who was across the net.
“It was only in the last couple of games that I didn’t have the intensity I had previously.” Ana explained to the press afterwards. (via The Washington Post) “My mind was wandering and things happen very fast on grass. But it was the first time I have played four matches in a row for a long time, and that’s something positive I can take into next week.”
Hantuchova will face young German server Sabine Lisicki in the Birmingham final. Sabine took out Peng Shuai in straight sets in her semi.
I don’t really understand why there’s a hard court tournament on the WTA calendar right before Wimbledon, but I do understand why Caroline Wozniacki plays it – it’s in Denmark. A glance at the e-Boks Sony Ericsson Open website and it could be her own personal page. The top women’s player is following the script to perfection, making it to tomorrow’s final, where she’ll play Lucie Safarova.