Blogs & Opinion


Wimbledon 2014: Andy Murray impressed as he blew away Roberto Bautista Agut

Barry Cowan - Barry Cowan Posted 28th June 2014 view comments

Andy Murray faced what could have been his first real test of this year’s Wimbledon on Friday night – and he came through with flying colours.

The first two matches he played were very good draws and never going to cause him any problems, and I was impressed with the way he focused and put those opponents away.

But against Roberto Bautista Agut, he was excellent; really, really good. It is everything that you would want from your defending champion. He looked composed and he looked at ease. He is playing well and moving well. It has been a near-perfect opening week for Andy.

That said, you don’t necessarily learn that much in the first week. It is more towards the end of the second week, obviously, when you need to play well to beat the big players. I still feel Andy’s first big challenge will be in the quarters.

He will play Kevin Anderson in the next round and Kevin has had a really good year, and has a big serve. But I like the match-up for Andy and I think he will cause Anderson problems.

In terms of which of the top four will win, I have always thought this was the hardest one to call for a long time. You can make arguments for any of the four to win; you can make arguments for any of the four not to win.

So it is not until Andy gets to those big matches next week that we will really know just how well he is playing. I think he is ready.

I have yet to notice any changes Amelie Mauresmo has encouraged in his game. If Andy had lost in the first round it would not have meant Mauresmo had done a bad job and if he wins it will not mean she is the greatest coach in the world.

If Andy feels good on and off the court then it is not just Mauresmo who is responsible, it is the rest of the team as well. When you are that good - same with Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer - the coach plays a part but a small part. It is the player who the ultimate deciding factor on how far they go.

Aggression

Roger Federer like, Andy, has had a great draw. And he has got another great draw on Saturday against Santiago Giraldo, who is streaky. Giraldo has played some good tennis this year but playing on grass against Federer – I don’t see any difficulties for Roger.

Roger was under the spotlight this year due to his early exit from Wimbledon last year but that was never going to happen again because he was too confident and too fit this time. Again we won’t know exactly how well he is playing until the quarter-finals. That is when the pressure is on and can they come up with the goods then? So far I have been really encouraged with the way Roger is playing.

The question is whether, when the pressure is on, he will continue being aggressive and coming forward or will he revert to type. Roger will not win Wimbledon playing from the back. If he still comes forward under pressure then he has a shot.

Order, Order

I think the tour as a whole has a duty to, not only put the big guys on the show courts, but also to showcase the future stars. We need to be very careful that it is not just a given that every round Nadal and Federer on centre court.

What they have done with Grigor Dimitrov this week has been great but there are a lot of other players that warrant showcasing. Milos Raonic as far as I am aware has not been near a big court and Kei Nishikori has not been near a big court. These guys are not only great players but they are also characters.

For example I thought that Jerzy Janowicz and Lleyton Hewitt should have been centre or one. For me it was likely to be an epic, a five-set match, and it was out on court two.

Post to your View!

Be the first to post a comment on this story

back to top

Other Tennis Experts:

Latest Posts in Tennis:

Barry Cowan

Opportunity knocks

Barry Cowan reflects on a good start for Andy Murray and an Australian Open draw that has opened up....

Latest News RSS feeds

Australian Open - Latest

Score updates from day seven of the Australian Open in Melbourne with Andy Murray in action against Grigor Dimitrov.

Sunday at the Australian Open

Andy Murray will be hoping to avoid another Grand Slam exit when he faces Grigor Dimitrov again at the Australian Open.

Dimitrov set for Murray test

Grigor Dimitrov is braced for a tough battle against Andy Murray when they clash at the Australian Open on Sunday.

Today at the Australian Open

Serena Williams joined resurgent sister Venus and men's defending champion Stan Wawrinka in the fourth round.

Australian Open: Order of play

Order of play on the main courts for day seven of the Australian Open on Sunday.

Features

Australian Open: Andy Murray's early performances impress Barry Cowan

Australian Open: Andy Murray's early performances impress Barry Cowan

Andy Murray's half of the Australian Open draw has been opened up by Roger Federer's exit, according to Barry Cowan.

Australian Open: Order of play

Australian Open: Order of play

Order of play for Sunday 25 January

Australian Open: The likely contenders, chasing pack and Andy Murray debated by Barry Cowan

Australian Open: The likely contenders, chasing pack and Andy Murray debated by Barry Cowan

The world's greatest players have scattered around the globe in recent months, sharpening their skills across multiple continents and competitions, but the Australian Open finally marks the beginning of the 2015 major season.