Blogs & Opinion


Time to be ruthless

Murray must impose himself against fading Davydenko, says Barry

Barry Cowan Posted 26th June 2012 view comments

Today is all about patience for Andy Murray.

If Nikolay Davydenko comes out and plays great tennis for two or three games there is no need for him to panic and I'm not particularly worried about him losing.

Davydenko is not the player he was so I hope Andy is ruthless and instead of getting the Russian scurrying around the court, he imposes himself and finishes him off early.

Davydenko: Murray's opponent in the first round at Wimbledon

Davydenko: Murray's opponent in the first round at Wimbledon

I want him to play the sort of tennis that he will have to play towards the latter stages of the tournament against the bigger names.

Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal play the same way throughout the entirety of a Grand Slam and then just up their performance each round as their confidence grows. Andy needs to follow suit.

Nadal, who begins his campaign for a third Wimbledon title against Thomaz Bellucci today, will be pleased it is 2012 and 1992, when the transition from clay to grass was a lot tougher. Since then the courts, balls and game have changed.

I want Andy to play the sort of tennis that he will have to play towards the latter stages of the tournament against the bigger names.

Barry Cowan
Quotes of the week

Rafa may have had more problems if he was playing someone like Milos Raonic, a big-serving player who is comfortable at the net, in the first round.

Bellucci has a big serve but he has an allergy at the net and will remain on the baseline. That will allow Nadal to dictate proceedings.

Whimper

We have been waiting a while for Ernests Gulbis to claim another big win and he did that on Monday by knocking out Tomas Berdych on Centre Court.

It wasn't a shock to see him put in a performance of that quality but, because of his inconsistency, it also won't be a shock if he went out with a whimper in the next round, particularly if he is placed on Court Six with about 200 people watching and not inside one of the big two arenas.

Gulbis is a huge talent and an entertaining character, and should be much higher than 87 in the world rankings. Let's hope this win focuses the Latvian's mind and gets him to where he should be - inside the top 20.

The big story from the women's draw yesterday was the exit of Venus Williams.

I think with Venus it is a case of the game still being there, the heart still being there, the mind still being there and the body saying no; it was sad to see such a great champion so out of sorts.

She is talking a good game and saying she will be back at Wimbledon next year but I think there are big doubts. Would winning one or two rounds in 2013 be enough for Venus Williams, someone who was winning majors?

Petra Kvitova, Victoria Azarenka and Serena Williams are all in action today but I don't see any of them following Venus out of the tournament. If one was going to struggle, though, I guess it would be Azarenka, who has gone off the boil a bit of late.

I also think Laura Robson can defeat Francesca Schiavone as the Italian is not a natural grass-court player and Laura is, while, flipping back to the men's draw, I can't wait to see the always-dogged Lleyton Hewitt face Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.

Each day during the Wimbledon fortnight, Barry will be serving up his views. Check out his latest blog entry every morning on skysports.com

back to top

Other Tennis Experts:

Latest Posts in Tennis:

Latest News RSS feeds

Li Na out of US Open

Two-time Grand Slam champion Li Na is out of next month's US Open because of a knee injury.

Kohlschreiber's Kitzbuhel woe

Top seed Philipp Kohlschreiber was dumped out of the Kitzbuhel Cup after being beaten 6-3 7-5 by David Goffin.

Stanford shock for Radwanska

Agnieszka Radwanska suffered an early exit at the Bank of the West Classic after she was beaten by Varvara Lepchenko.

Nishikori forced to dig deep

Kei Nishikori survived a fightback to see off Sam Querrey in the second round of the Citi Open in Washington.

Safe progress for Erakovic

Marina Erakovic safely made it through to the third round of the Citi Open in Washington with a comfortable victory over Shelby Rogers.

Features

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Sky Sports News HQ: Breaking news... but not as you know it, says Mike Wedderburn

Now we are starting the countdown to Sky Sports News' relaunching as Sky Sports News HQ.

Roger Federer takes on Lindsey Vonn in Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

Roger Federer takes on Lindsey Vonn in Jungfraujoch - Top of Europe

Chocolate and Roger Federer - everything that is great about picturesque Switzerland. Throw in Olympic skiing gold medalist Lindsey Vonn and you get the ultimate challenge.

North American swing: Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov to star on hard courts

North American swing: Stan Wawrinka and Grigor Dimitrov to star on hard courts

With the US Open just around the corner, it is time for Stan Wawrinka to have another run.