The saddest thing in life is wasted talent - Lorenzo
You may be wondering. What a bizarre title for a blog article. What exactly is a '2011 Andy Murray'? 'A 2011 Andy Murray' might be understandable, but why is it in plural form. Is this due to some grammatical error, or a lack of proficiency in the language of English? Well, 2011 Andy Murray is a metonym recognizable professional tennis players who, despite having an offensive capability that if utilised more often would lead them to reach greater heights (in terms of matches won and world ranking achieved), for some reason(s) (it all usually all boils to habit or comfort zone as will be discussed later in the article) do not or are not able to use more of such under match circumstances. These players have even reached the semi-final stage of grand slam level tournaments, and it thus feel tragic thinking about what they could have done, if they made some sort of switch similar to that made by Andy Murray from the start of 2012.
First, what happened to Andy Murray in 2012 that deserved such mentioning right above?
Andy Murray found a coach in the legendary figure of Ivan Lendl, whose notorious mental toughness was able to transform to phenomenal affect, the mindset and hence gameplay of Andy Murray. Despite having powerful offensive potential (although primarily the backhand his forehand also has such despite being comparatively more shy in displaying such offensive potential) Andy Murray before 2012 played a counter-playing style although brought him to the very top levels consistently, failed to win for him the most crucial moments (grand slam finals). Ever since he changed that, he was to win more points and also close out the most crucial points, and has won 3 grand slams as a result.
Now lets look at 2 players who we believe are in that position Murray was in pre-2011.
Monfils is one of the most strongest players on the ATP tour. If you notice carefully his forehand motions, there is virtually no follow through to them. We do not know the physics behind any of these, but whenever I hit a groundstroke without a proper follow through to the end, my shots tend to be weaker than the usual. This is most likely due to the whole process of the swing playing a huge part in power generation, which if not done whole, would not produce the ideal results. Monfils does not do it whole, but is still able to produce his powerful groundstrokes consistently ostenbily by making up for it with his incredibly strong upper body - do not be fooled by his leanness! In fact, such strength has allowed him to produce the fastest forehand ever recorded!
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Despite such strength, Monfils' typical game involves him 'playing it safe' and only striking the occasional spectacular offensive shots which he should be using much more often.
This may be a surprising choice given what we all know about Hewitt: he just can't play that offensive play, what has gotten him this far is his outstanding counter-punching abilities until the arrival of Federer, but he can go no further! Well, this was what I thought from the day since I learnt of Hewitt's existence, until I watched his match with Novak Djokovic at the 2012 Australian Open over television. See the video below
An Ivan Lendl, if not the man himself, was what Hewitt needed.
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