If the ATP World Tour Finals have taught us anything so far, it is that there is gargantuan chasm in the quality of tennis between the world's supposed best players.
The results of Andy Murray go to show that he's at the wrong end of that chasm, but we should have realised that before.
The British no.1 - not exactly a tag that bestows greatness - had his progress in the Finals ended in less than the time it will take me to write this article. Roger Federer might as well have been practicing with his twin boys - less than six months old - as he yawned his way to a 6-0 6-1 win inside the O2 Arena.
Jose Mourinho was spotted in the crowd, but the Chelsea manager might have experienced a more enthralling contest on a chilly Thursday night by taking his table topping first team to the Stamford Bridge Academy's youngest squad.
Okay, you might think I'm being over-dramatic, but lest we forget that the Finals are 'fought' between the world's best eight players; results like this shouldn't happen, it's fact -- a question of statistics.
But wait, maybe I'm wrong - I know I am. How on earth could we have expected anything different, this was always going to happen.
- Murray = Coldplay? Tennis stars as bands...
- Arsenal stars watch Djokovic
- Sharapova & Dimitrov going strong, still
This morning I was reading about the various permutations needed for Murray to reach the quarter-finals, this was before Milos Raonic pulled out through injury and was replaced, two games in, by David Ferrer (stupid rule, don't get me started). Anyway, the pathways to the last four, at least most of them anyway, involved Murray beating Federer.
Banter. It had to be banter. To quote the great Han Solo: "don't tell me the odds", correct, don't tell me the odds - because it's never going to happen.
The way that Murray has his expectations swelled at the moment through the media and his fans is nothing short of ridiculous. It's time we faced facts and took the blinkers off; Great Britain no longer have a world class tennis player.
The build-up struck-up some resemblances with England's inevitably failed World Cup campaign from the summer. Back then, when Roy Hodgson's side lost to Uruguay and the pre-bite (pre-third-bite) Luis Suarez, their second defeat in as many games, Twitter and media outlets quickly got their calculators out and worked-out the sums needed to qualify with three points. Everybody forgot we had to beat Costa Rica, what gave us the the right to expect it?
Coming back to tennis, how could we possibly have expected Andy Murray to beat Roger Federer?
The Scottish-born star - that he used to be - had only beaten one of his fellow ATP Finalists, on one occasion, in 2014 before the action kicked-off; and that was Marin Cilic.
Cilic; the same guy that has never threatened the premier echelons of tennis, the guy who qualified on the back of the US Open title. To be fair, it was a great achievement - but even so, his semis win over a weary Federer was the only single result which made you say wow. Perhaps a little ignorant to say, but it was a fluke. And now, the Croatian has had his ineptness ruthlessly exposed in the other group in London as well.
Oh, sorry Murray fans, I forgot the former world no.2's miracle run to reach the Finals in the first place, that put him back on the map didn't it? - Of course, I forget how he amazingly battled past the legends of the 250 and 500-point events - that's something actually, why didn't Tommy Robredo qualify for London?
Then there was the win over Raonic earlier this week that gave Murray a fighting chance; a very good result over an injured opponent, score!!!
Some of you may translate this article as venomous biased bile directed at Murray. You probably think I'm in the anti-Murray brigade, it's not the case, I'm not even that angry that his mum Judy is still in Strictly Come Dancing, so I definitely cannot dislike the guy...
I just think expectations have to be lowered. The 27-year-old is a former Grand Slam winner, he's not a two-time winner anymore - there's a difference. Two years ago, maybe even 12 months ago, the Federer result would have been a shock - it can't possibly be that anymore.
Andy Murray fulfilled his current potential at these ATP Finals, lets celebrate that...
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