NY Sports Day

Murray’s Loss Clears The Finals Path

Well you can consider him Scottish again.

Ok, Andy Murray was always Scottish, but the way the British media treats him, he is British when he wins and Scottish when he loses.

And after losing to Stan Wawrinka in straight sets, 6-4 6-3 6-2, the British media was peppering with questions, because after all how can this happen to the reining, US Open and more importantly Wimbledon champion.

“I mean, it’s been challenging both ways for different reasons,” Murray said.  “I mean, physically I played some extremely tough matches in that period.  You know, mentally, as well, it was very challenging for me to play ‑‑ you know, Wimbledon, the last few games of Wimbledon to you guys may not seem like much, but to me it was extremely challenging.

“Mentally, in terms of the matches I played, I mean, with Novak in Australia, last couple of years we have had some big matches here obviously.  So, you know, a lot of work goes into not just those matches but the work you do to get yourself ready for them, as well.

“Yeah, that’s tough.”

So maybe Murray wasn’t ready to defend the title and maybe it was tough to be a champion. So what. He has nothing to be ashamed of.

That said, Murray’s departure changes things this weekend. It looks like Novak Djokovic will be facing Wawrinka on Saturday while Rafael Nadal will be lining up with Richard Gasquet.

All things being equal, you have to think Nadal will be taking on the Djoker on Monday for the crown.

It’s a bit disappointing, since it takes some wind out of the Super Saturday sail. Both look like mismatches on Saturday, and anything but straight set advances from both the No. 1 and 2 seeds will be a disappointment.

Furthermore, much like the Super Bowl – where the Conference Championship Games – are considered better draws – this weekend, you may want to just skip Saturday, pretty much knowing Monday will be the big two.

And that’s the disappointment.

Of course, a match can turn out different. Djokovic can break his leg or join the seminary or something like the, while Nadal can get lost in Brooklyn.

Not likely.

However, Wawrinka isn’t giving up yet.

“A match can change quickly,” Wawrinka said.  “I had the feeling that I was ‑‑ maybe it changed by playing much more better than only today.  I had the game in control, that I can choose whatever I want to do during all the matches.

“Also important for me to stay focused on that and to stay with him and not trying to change anything, try to be more aggressive or try to go more for the lines or something.”

And that’s great. It’s also good to know that he will have the Swiss Master, Roger Federer on his side as they exchanged text messages today showing his fellow countryman support.

All of this is fine and good, but it probably won’t matter.

The clear path to the Finals is now set and both Nadal and Djokovic’s final showdown is all that is left at the Open.

You can bet St. Andrew’s cross on it.


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