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Australian Open Final: Two Murrays 6

Posted on January 31, 2010 by Claudia Celestial Girl

Andy Murray struggled in his second Grand Slam final against Roger Federer.

Andy Murray struggled in his second Grand Slam final against Roger Federer.

One Murray showed up to play Rafael Nadal on the Australian Open quarter finals in Melbourne this year.  He came out on fire, pouncing on short balls, using his versatility on every shot, and playing ‘circus shots’ as soon as the chair umpire said ‘play.’  As if he knew that was what it took to get by a player with the talent of Rafael Nadal.  And as if he was motivated to get beyond the quarter finals.  As if he was the same age as the guy across the net, and just as good a player.  This Andy Murray played without letup for two whole sets.  Relentlessly aggressive, and respectful of what he was going to receive from the other side.

Another Murray showed up to start his semi-final match against Marin Cilic this year. Listless. Nervous. But when it looked like he was going to be out of the tournament, he came to life. The ‘other’ Murray manifested!

Let’s invent an avatar for this other Murray, and call him William Wallace Murray. We even have a visual to to with the avatar – it is the roaring face of Andy Murray at break point in the second set of the Cilic match! With face painted blue!

The second Murray showed up to play the final against Roger Federer. We can invent an avatar for this player too. We could call him Bonnie Prince Charlie – Murray, but that would be cruel. OK, let’s be cruel. There’s a visual to go with this avatar too. I can picture it now, a moment in 2008 at the Roger’s Cup in Toronto against Rafael Nadal, when he missed a put away and slammed his racket to the ground and made a mock barfing face. Or we could use one from this final: a grimace as he missed, yet again, one of his famous forehands down the line , one that he makes all the time on other, less momentous, occasions.

BPC-Murray (let’s shorten it) is not a total disaster. Against players outside of the top ten, BPC-Murray is crafty, capable, confident, in control. A great example of the efficacy of this Murray is his play against American John Isner in the 4th round. Even an American football player, visiting in the stands, could perceive the scary, deliberate, craftiness of this Murray as he probed and found the weaknesses of Isner, and then cruelly (and beautifully) wrapped him up, like spider with a fly. Read the rest of this entry →

  • Vintage Athlete of the Month

    • Larry “The Zonk” Csonka
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      Larry Csonka

      The Sports Then and Now Vintage Athlete of the Month was the leader of a running attack that was the cornerstone of two Super Bowl Championship teams, including the only undefeated squad in NFL history.

      With his distinctive headgear and a body suited for punishing contact, Larry Csonka looked the part of a fullback and for 11 NFL seasons delivered and took regular punishment on his way to the Hall of Fame.

      Following in the great tradition of Jim Brown, Ernie Davis, Jim Nance and Floyd Little, Csonka earned All-American honors at Syracuse while rushing for 2,934 yards.  He began earning a name for himself as the Most Valuable Player of the East–West Shrine Game, the Hula Bowl, and the College All-Star Game.

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