Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Murray regains old spirit

A two set deficit and a painful looking ankle injury are two fairly hefty obstacles to overcome in tennis. The fact Andy Murray has done just that in 24 hours is testament to his determination and fierce will to win.

Add to that the fact he was 2-5 down in the final set against Viktor Troicki, his progression though to the quarter-finals is even more remarkable. Those placing French Open bets would have been surprised.

It is certainly something he perhaps wasn't capable of just a few months ago. In the wake of his crushing defeat against the all-conquering Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open in January Murray's form and mental toughness deserted him, with a flurry of first round exits and sluggish, sulky performances.

But with the start of spring came a re-birth in Murray's form, the stubborn obstinate body language was still there, but it was channelled the right way and that fierce will to win - combined with the undoubted the Scot possesses - bore successful results. Those looking at the French Open best bets will be wondering how far he can go.

He now moves on to play unseeded Argentine Juan Ignacio Chela, a kind draw at this stage of the tournament. If he shows the same levels of performance against Chela that he did against Troicki, then a semi-final berth -and a potential clash with Rafael Nadal - is certainly on the cards.

Only then would we get a true sense of Murray's recovery from Melbourne. After all he has reached semi-finals before as well as three Grand Slam finals, and on each occasion he has fallen to one of the leading lights, usually Federer, Nadal and now Djokovic.

Plus it can't be forgotten than Nadal is usually unbeatable on clay, his favourite surface by a distance.

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