Monday, September 08, 2008


Or the "Grapple in the Apple"as boxing promotor Don King has named it, quite how he has got involved I do not know, but once a publicist ......

In less than seven hours, weather permitting, Andy Murray will step on court Arthur Ashe and attempt to become the first British player to win a tennis Grand Slam event in over 70 years !

I am sure that it will be far from his mind, but the $1.5m prize money will be like pocket money, compared to what victory will be worth in off court earnings.

What am I saying ? Far from his mind ! He is Scottish for goodness sake, forget the trophy, where is my cheque ! Only joking, I have been incredibly impressed by Murray, the tennis he played against Nadal was out of this world. He has come a long way in the last 12 months and all the hard work is paying off. Not only has he bulked up, but you just do not see stamina, ever again being a concern about the pasty Scotsman. Murray's serve is now a real weapon, he has the tactical mind of a true champion and has matured, both as a player and as a man. He looked set to" lose it" at one stage in the fourth set yesterday, but composed himself and got his mind refocused, that would never have happened even 3-4 months ago and he must be getting professional help with this aspect of his game.

I feel that all the pressure is on Federer tonight, the greatest player of his and maybe any generation, has not won a Grand Slam this year and this will be his last chance for 2008. It is hard to see things getting any easier in 2009 and I am not sure that his motivation remains as great. He certainly has a little tummy on him now and covers it with a towel, when changing shirts. OK, that is a small thing maybe, but even a 1% reduction in fitness is going to work against him, with the hungry pack of Nadal, Murray and Djokovic, battling to dethrone King Roger.

I am already with Murray, having tipped him to subscribers earlier in the tournament at 20.0, but see little value in the final on either side, with the circa 1.55-2.80 quotes just about spot on, taking everything into consideration. Having said that, this the last time you will see 2.80 pre match Murray on a US hardcourt and he is 2-0 (4-1 sets) against Federer on the surface.

The best option ? Sit back, open a beer and enjoy !

Good Luck.

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