Tennis

Andy Murray shouldn't get too excited over Shenzhen Open title

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Andy Murray's first title in over a year, won in the searing heat of China, may have cooled some of the furore faced by the Briton in the last week or so, but lets not get too excited just yet. 

Perhaps more important than lifting any silverware was a triumph, and timely boost, for the world no.11's confidence towards the end of what has been a torrid season.

It's clear that the 27-year-old can suffer mentally on-court, themes of dropping big points at big moments have been all-too detectable this year. 

Vulnerable

A bit like Manchester United in the footballing world; I think it would be fair to say that not many opponents will fear taking on Murray now, like they would've done two or three years ago. He's vulnerable and there for the taking. 

For that alone, the resilient three set win over Spaniard Tommy Robredo will have come as a relief, rather than an indication that all is back to normal.

Lets not forget, after all, that Murray's toughest opponent on-paper, Robredo, isn't even ranked in the world's top 20.

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No test

His other matches - only three more - all came against players who are ranked no higher than 85th in the world. Simply put, somebody of Murray's calibre would be expected to win with his eyes closed, 92nd ranked Juan Monaco even took a set off the two-time Grand Slam champion in their semi-final. 

The main issues with Murray this year have been against the better players. He's reached the quarter-finals, as a minimum, in all four majors of 2014, but his record against top 10 stars has been nothing short of atrocious.

Beating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Flushing Meadows was the first time since 2013 that he'd beaten somebody in the top 10.

The evergreen and ever resilient David Ferrer was the only player in Shenzhen which could have tested Murray's record, but the Spaniard never made it to the final.

Tour Finals

The only way Murray can test to see if he's back to form will be in the Masters events in Shanghai and Paris before the ATP World Tour Finals contested by the top eight.

It's a sad indication of how low Murray is, however, that the 2013 Wimbledon champion took a wildcard entry into Shenzhen as he desperately scratches around for some ranking points that'll book a ticket to London's O2 Arena alongside the big boys. 

Once upon a time, not so long ago, the British no.1 was part off tennis' 'big four' alongside Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, but that is no longer the case.

Excuses

You can only allow minimal admissions for Murray's injury troubles which led to surgery following his SW19 win too, he said himself that he cannot make excuses before the US Open. 

The harsh truth is that you can no longer be vindicated in drawing comparisons of the Brit alongside Nadal, Djokovic and Federer. The big three have already qualified for the finals and can rest fairly comfortably for the next month or so.

Even if Murray gets himself to London, he may struggle, firstly, to find support after his recent independence controversy, and secondly to compete alongside the players he has been losing to all season-long.

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Topics:
Tennis
Andy Murray
ATP World Tour Finals

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