Andy Murray's sad struggles are reminiscent of Fernando Torres'

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Could 2014 have been any worse for the beleaguered Andy Murray? Few would have predicted at the start of this year that the British no.1 would have fallen so low, he's almost unrecogniseable.

Make no mistake, there is no longer a 'big four' in tennis if indeed there was one to start with. No; neither Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal nor Novak Djokovic can look upon Murray with any sort of trepidation. Like a pest, he used to be annoying, but now they've found how easy he is to stamp-out. 

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Poor standards

The 27-year-old has featured in seven Grand Slam finals in total - six from 2010 onwards - and of course he's won twice. At that age and with that record Murray should - should being the word - be at his peak. Djokovic and Nadal are, at similar ages.

However, while the men he strives to compete with are packing their bags for London's ATP World Tour Finals having qualified a while - on the back of normal seasons - Murray is taking on a ridiculous workload just to get his name on the bill.

The Shenzhen Open, the Austrian Open and perhaps even the China Open, these are all events that should be below Murray, a two-time major champion. The former world no.3 should be in a position to turn his nose up at such events. Instead he must scrap with the lowly players, most of whom barely get past round one of the Grand Slams. 

Heavy workload

On the conclusion of the Paris Masters, when time runs out to get the ranking points to settle in one of the eight qualifying slots for the O2 Arena, Murray will have played six straight weeks of tennis, and there's no guarantee it will be enough either. Just imagine what Raheem Sterling would say to that.

The body language on-court, the diminishing quality and the situation in general; it's alien. 

This decline of Murray's is completely astonishing, remarkable and ridiculous, there aren't enough adjectives to describe it.

Although he'd have to tell you otherwise, signs of a revival are scarce for the now world no.11. Not many sports stars suffer in this way, although there is one high-profile exception.

Torres comparison

Fernando Torres. Do you remember him?

Of course you football fans remember him. But how? - The £50million flop who missed an open goal against Manchester United; yep, the guy became so anonymous that he became almost unpickable; yep, the guy that set Anfield alight in a blaze of blistering speed and deadly finishing; oh yeah...

For those of you who follow tennis exclusively let me explain if you didn't pick it up in that last paragraph.

Torres is a Spanish footballer, and was one of the best strikers in the world. He scored freely for Premier League side Liverpool before breaking a British transfer record by moving to Chelsea for £50million.

It was at Chelsea that he completely capitulated, looked like an impostor for club and country, before he was eventually booted out this summer under a cloud of ridicule.  

Murray's journey to mediocrity is certainly following on the same route as Torres. Will it ever end? - It hasn't for Torres, and now British tennis fans may soon have to accept that it won't for the 2013 Wimbledon winner either.

Cheer up, it has been a fun ride!

ATP World Tour Finals
Andy Murray

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