Blogs & Opinion


More on Murray

Nadal's exit has not cleared the way for Murray, says Barry

Barry Cowan Posted 29th June 2012 view comments

There is only one place to start and that is with Rafael Nadal's amazing exit.

Actually I should say Lukas Rosol's amazing victory because it was one of the most spectacular performances I have seen for many a year.

I thought Nadal was very average for the first three sets and Rosol sensed that and just grew and grew in confidence. The delay after the fourth set did not do Nadal any favours either - he had played a really good fourth set but when they came back out Rosol knew that in effect it was just one set and the physical side had kind of gone out of it.

Nadal: farewell to SW19

Nadal: farewell to SW19

Once Rosol had got the break in the fifth he just went for it. I think he said to himself: "If I am not going to win this match it is because I am going to be too flamboyant and not because of being tentative." And Rosol was just awesome.

Overall I was happy with Andy Murray's win over Ivo Karlovic and I think it will hold him in good stead for the rest of the tournament. I think he came out and looked really sharp.

I think that Nadal's loss has heaped even more pressure on Murray as a lot of people are saying that he is in now in the final but he has an incredibly tough draw.

Barry Cowan
Quotes of the week

I know he lost the first game but he got the break back and looked really focussed. In the second set I think he lost half a yard from the first and when you play against a player like Ivo Karlovic with such a big serve it is those half-chances that count.

He got a little anxious in the fourth set as I think he was desperate to close it off in four sets but he came through it well. This win will help him as he came through a match that had no rhythm and he had to come up with some winning shots at the right time. His returns and passing was very good.

I think that Nadal's loss has heaped even more pressure on Murray as a lot of people are saying that he is in now in the final.

You have to realise he has an incredibly tough draw. He faces Marcos Baghdatis and then potentially Milos Raonic if he comes through his match against Sam Querrey, and then potentially he will face Juan Martín del Potro, so it is not easy.

Murray still has a lot of tennis to play. He just needs to focus on what he needs to do and ignore everything else.

Watson in with a chance

Apart from Murray, Thursday was not a great day for the Brits and let's hope today is a better one.

Heather Watson takes on Agnieszka Radwanska on centre court and I really think she has a shot. If she can lift herself and get really competitive then she can make life difficult for Radwanska.

There is a lot of pressure on the number three seed as she has never made a Grand Slam final and really wants to do well. Watson will have the crowd behind her and I would not be surprised if there is one close set - and if that happens then who knows?

Novak Djokovic will get the centre court crowd warmed up for Heather when he takes on Radak Stepanek. This will be a tricky match for Djokovic as Stepanek is an interesting character and he won't be afraid to wind the number one seed up.

Conditions were very fast yesterday but I don't think they will be as fast today and I think that will help Djokovic. It should be a really interesting match.

Roger Federer is also in action on centre court when he takes on Julien Benneteau. I remember seeing Benneteau beat Federer indoors in Paris a few years ago. It was not dissimilar as to how Rosol played yesterday against Nadal.

There is the potential for a difficult match for Federer but I think he has been class all tournament. He may drop a set but I think he is going to have too much quality for Benneteau.

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

Federer creates Swiss history

A Roger Federer masterclass against Richard Gasquet helped Switzerland clinch their first Davis Cup title.

Gasquet named to play Federer

Richard Gasquet will replace Jo-Wilfried Tsonga for France against Switzerland's Roger Federer in the Davis Cup final.

Swiss close in on first title

Switzerland moved into a 2-1 lead over France in the Davis Cup final thanks to a straight-sets doubles win.

Fed and Wawrinka partnered

Roger Federer will team up with Stan Wawrinka in the doubles contest at the Davis Cup final against France in Lille.

Honours even in Lille

Gael Monfils levelled the Davis Cup final between France and Switzerland with a 6-1 6-4 6-3 victory over Roger Federer.

Features

Davis Cup final 2014: France take on Switzerland at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille

Davis Cup final 2014: France take on Switzerland at the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille

Switzerland, spearheaded by a fit again 17-time grand slam champion Roger Federer, take on France on the clay courts of the Stade Pierre Mauroy in Lille in a tantalising finale to the tennis season.

Tennis in 2014: Djokovic's genius, Federer's flawlessness and a host of new talent

Tennis in 2014: Djokovic's genius, Federer's flawlessness and a host of new talent

As 2014 rumbles to a close, the usual suspects stand tall. The year belongs to the imperious Novak Djokovic and his evolving methods of keeping the chasing pack at an arm’s length, but critical to his ascension are the rebirth of Roger Federer and the relentlessness of a group of young pretenders.

Stars in the crowd at ATP World Tour finals

Stars in the crowd at ATP World Tour finals

We look at some of the famous faces and sports stars who attended the ATP World Tour Finals at London's O2 Arena.