Brad Gilbert and Darren Cahill (from ProTennisCoach.com) give us an exclusive preview of the round of 16 match up between Andy Murray and Novak Djokovic.
BG & Killer break down the epic battle to come between Murray and Djokovic in what feels like a semi or final at a major! Between first serve percentages and backhands, see who they pick to come out on top and who gets the edge going into this quarterfinal match.
Who’s your pick?!
Play with heart,
My doubles partner Ibrahim and I at the Yonex Cup.
Friday night brought the challenge of the quarterfinals of the doubles draw. My partner Ibrahim and I were set to play Rylan Rizza and Peter Lucassen, both good players and both still in the singles tournament. I had been pretty sore all day. To be honest after my long singles and doubles matches on Thursday night I felt as if I had been hit by a bus. When my feet hit the ground on Friday morning I was a little concerned about my match that night. I did, however, have the whole day to try to recover which I took full advantage of. I iced and stretched multiple times, rubbed muscle cream into my quads, hips and knees, and tried every trick in the book to loosen up. Thankfully it was Day 2 of the Masters golf tournament, so that kept me occupied for most of the day as I laid on the floor in my living room trying to expedite the healing process. By mid-afternoon I felt pretty good. I felt I was ready for another tough match that evening.
Thursday night’s match turned out to be a real battle. I started the match well. I felt confident and ready to cause a big upset. Again, I was fortunate to be in good serving form. The match went on serve until 4-4. I had been holding fairly easily and had created a couple of good chances to break. I held at love at 4-3 and knew that this was the moment to step up. I made a few deep returns and really put pressure on his backhand, coming into the net a few times and finishing the points with a volley, something I’ve always liked to do. These tactics worked and I had the break. I held to close out the set 6-4.
Winning the first set in such simple fashion took me by surprise and I started the second a little off my game. I sprayed a few balls in the opening game but then managed to regain my composure and hold in the second game of the set. The second set turned out to be a very frustrating one for me. I continued to hold serve easily and created many opportunities to break. I started every one of his service games up 0-30 but then I would miss a few returns, he would hit a few good serves and the game would be over. However, I tried to stick to my game plan and felt that a break was just around the corner. We went back and forth and finally at 5-5 I had 3 break points, and I thought it was my moment. Unfortunately he played a few good points, I got a little tentative and again he escaped with a hold. At 6-5 I suddenly felt the pressure. I hadn’t lost my serve in two days but all of a sudden I was a bit tight. I started the game with a double fault, which was not good. I managed to pick myself up and get the game back to deuce. Unfortunately, playing a no-ad scoring format meant that I had a point to take it a tiebreak and he had a point for the set. I hit a good kick serve right into his body, he tried to run around it and hit it up the line, but he completely miss-hit it and hit a frame winner inside out. I was not happy but I knew it was my mental lapse that had put me in that position in the first place.