What is happening to Andy Murray? Where is the brilliant and strong tennis player that, in 2016, achieved incredible and historical goals? The Scot, for these first six months of the season, has not covered well (to use an euphemism) the role of leader of the ATP rankings. In fact, he risks being overtaken by Rafael Nadal within a few weeks.
At the Aegon Championships at the Queen's club in London, Murray was surprisingly eliminated by Australian Jordan Thompson in two sets, in just 103 minutes. Considering that he was the defending champion, his fall was ruinous.
Not only. Now for him Wimbledon becomes crucial. Andy will have to defend 2000 points he earned last year, by Rafa, Federer and the assaults of the other contestants. Considering the current state of things, it seems difficult to think the Scots will be able to win again at the Championships.
Murray seems to have physical and psychological problems. More or less the same difficulties experienced by Novak Djokovic and Angelique Kerber. Even the return of Ivan Lendl doesn't seem to (at least for now) succeed in stifling this hemorrhage of bad performances.
Analyzing grass statistics of 2016 and 2017, interesting things emerged. Last season, the Scot, during the whole lawn swing, shot 110 aces. It is clear after the elimination in the first round of Queen's, it will be very difficult to repeat or exceed the same number. As for the service, last year Andy made 80% of points won with first of serve, and 54% with the second servs. In 2016 Murray saved 67% of break-points in the whole grass season.
Against Thompson he lost twice his service. With the 1st serve return points won, he achieved 33%. And 56% of 2nd serve return points won. If in the match against the Australian, he wasn't able to convert any break-points, in 2016 he converted 43% of break points, in 117 opportunities.
His 2016 physical level was enviable. Murray came to London (between Aegon Championships and Wimbledon) in almost perfect physical conditions. Rallies, indeed, were a true marathon, guarantee of his incredible shape. This year, we could only see old Murray in the French Open semi-finals, against Stan Wawrinka. In the match lost against Thompson, the Scot's physical condition was unacceptable.
There is something that is not working well in Murray's tennis, as highlighted in the first six months of his shocking 2017. In 2016 he had a series of wins on the grass of 12 matches. He was champion at Queen's and Wimbledon. Losing the first round in the Queen's club, his grass fortress (Murray's most successful tournament), it seems to be a bad sign for the Championships.
After all these conditions, it seems difficult for the Scot to confirm himself champion at Church Road, but in tennis never say never. And Murray was never able to win the same Slam for two years in a row, another not very reassuring sign. Psycho-physical conditions are not ideal, and the comparison between his 2016 and his 2017 remains negative. Will the most beloved Scotsman (?) in England reverse this trend?