BBC Sport tennis


Related BBC sites

Page last updated at 17:08 GMT, Tuesday, 30 June 2009 18:08 UK

Henman on Murray

Andy Murray
Murray is bidding to reach the Wimbledon semi-finals for the first time

By Tim Henman
Former British number one

A five-set match was maybe what Andy Murray needed at this stage of the tournament.

His tough opener against Robert Kendrick was followed by two straightforward matches so it was great for him to come through that epic match against Stanislas Wawrinka.

It was a long four hours, but that won't hurt Murray as he is in such good shape that I don't envisage it being a problem for him physically or mentally.

If you have two or three of those matches then it might have an impact, but I think it will serve him well for his quarter-final with Juan Carlos Ferrero on Wednesday.

In actual fact, Ferrero is the perfect match-up for Murray as he doesn't have the same firepower as Wawrinka.

The Spaniard deserves serious respect as you don't get to world number one and win a Grand Slam title without being extremely good, but Murray has weapons to hurt him.

Murray did get parts of the match with Wawrinka tactically wrong

Murray played him at Queen's Club and was a class apart so hopefully it will be the same on Wednesday.

That said, he did get parts of the match with Wawrinka tactically wrong.

I felt, to begin with, Wawrinka made the adjustment to playing under the roof a little bit quicker than Murray.

Closing the roof doesn't do anything to the grass surface itself, but it really affected the movement of the ball through the air.

When the humidity is high, the air is a bit denser and a little bit thicker and the ball doesn't go through so quickly.

I think that was reflected in how aggressively they both played from the baseline.

You can really go after your shots and you never have the feeling that ball is going to fly long. Wawrinka really did a good job of this because he served so aggressively and hit the ball so hard.

Murray struggled to make this adjustment on his serve. His percentages were down and the cheap points that he normally gets from it were not there.

I'm sure he has been working on his serve a little bit and going through a few routines, but he only needs simple, minor adjustments.

Murray plays his best when he is a little bit more pro-active.

He has got the ability and the technique to really take the ball on.

Both players on Monday were very successful when they came to the net and were winning three-quarters of the points when they did so.

You have to be selective when coming to the net, but it is a tactic Murray should bear in mind.


His baseline game is so good and he is a great counter-puncher, but he does have the option of shortening the points which is a nice string to add to his bow.

The two most important things Murray can take from playing the Wawrinka match under the Centre Court roof is that it gives him a complete day off and he now has experience of playing under those conditions.

Although he has had a slight moan about it, for me there are 99% positives about him being part of the first match to be played in full under the roof.

I was lucky enough to play the first match on the new Court One in 1997 and it is those types of things that go down in history.

I'm sure the atmosphere made it a match that Murray will remember forever.

The noise with the roof closed was phenomenal and the support for Andy is growing all the time.

That can only help him as the matches get tougher and tougher.

Monday's game and the attention it got has sent the hype machine into overdrive.

From my experience though, it is nothing to worry about as by the second week you are in a pretty good routine and you just worry about your own preparation and performance.

All the other stuff that is written and said doesn't mean anything.

It is not a popularity contest out there, you've got to win seven matches and it's four down, three to go.

We all hope that a final against Roger Federer will be the seventh as that is a match that everyone wants to watch.

Has Murray got Federer's number, who knows? He has a 6-2 winning record against the Swiss, but a Grand Slam final is a different kettle of fish altogether.

Tim Henman was speaking to BBC Sport's Paul Birch.

Tennis on the BBC

Print Sponsor

see also
Order of play
23 May 09 |  Tennis
Murray targets place in last four
30 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Wimbledon defends roof decision
30 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray surprised by roof decision
30 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray wins late-night thriller
29 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Roof is welcome Wimbledon addition
29 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Roof rolled out at Centre Court
29 Jun 09 |  Tennis
11.8m tune in for Murray battle
30 Jun 09 |  Entertainment
Murray stays cool to win opener
23 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Murray plays down Wimbledon hype
15 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Classy Murray wins Queen's title
14 Jun 09 |  Tennis
Stars play under Wimbledon roof
17 May 09 |  Tennis
Henman on Federer
08 Jun 09 |  Tennis

related bbc links:

related internet links:
The BBC is not responsible for the content of external internet sites


Sign in

BBC navigation

Copyright © 2017 BBC. The BBC is not responsible for the content of external sites. Read more.

This page is best viewed in an up-to-date web browser with style sheets (CSS) enabled. While you will be able to view the content of this page in your current browser, you will not be able to get the full visual experience. Please consider upgrading your browser software or enabling style sheets (CSS) if you are able to do so.