Congrats to Andy Murray on a solid win over my boy Nole. His 76 76 win earned him his first Masters Shield and finally put him in the running for the "Top 4" group of elite. All he has to do is prove that he can beat Rafa. A tough test, but with the upcoming hard court season he'll have his chances.
I'm bummed that Nole lost but Andy simply outplayed him. It shouldn't have been as close as 76 76, it really should have been a 6-3, 6-2 win. Muzza had so many chances to break but couldn't capitalize. But a win is a win and there is no doubt that he deserved it. But I was particularly impressed by Andy's hold at 5-6, after he had just gifted Nole a break back to even when he was serving for the match. He kept his head. I really didn't think he would.
I hope that Andy continues his run because it will make the men's draws so much more interesting. Up until now the question has always been "Which side of the draw is Nole in, Fed's or Rafa's." The common thought was whoever had Nole had the harder draw while the other guy had, for the most part, a cake walk to the final. But if Andy can continue his quality play he will be force to be reckoned with and he'll balance out the draw. We need that balance. Especially considering that Nole and Fed play the same type of all court, aggressive style, while Rafa and Andy play more of a scrambling counterpunching style. It would be good for the game to have him in the mix.
And what of Novak? He had a great run into the finals, beating Rafa soundly in the semis. That win should give him confidence. But what will he take from his second straight loss to Andy on hard courts? Were his unforced errors the result of Andy being in his head and therefore, he forced himself to go for too much? If so, that's a problem. But if his UFEs were just the result of him being off, then yeah, he should take some confidence away from the match. Murray beat him when he wasn't playing well. Not even close. What's disheartening is if he knows Andy beat him because he was better. Nole's losses to Rafa at Hamburg and Queens were much more heartbreaking because he actually did play really well in those matches. I'm not quite sure this one will sting as much.
Now onto Beijing. How crazy would it be if Muzza won the Gold? I'm fairly certain he would be knighted on the spot.
Sir Andy. Has a nice right to it, doesn't it?