Andy Murray Loses to Nikolay Davydenko in Dubai

Andy Murray turned the Dubai centre court blue today as he was out classed by Russian 5th seed Nikolay Davydenko. Murray was beaten in straight sets 7-5, 6-4 after he led 3-0 in the second set.

I would like to say that I meant that Murray bled blue “Scottish” blood in his efforts today, unfortunately it was his foul language that let the British number 1 down.

It was a return to old form for Murray, shoulders slumped, screaming out loud at every point that didn’t go his way, the majority of those screams a different profanity. The Centre court at Dubai was full with young kids but it didn’t stop Murray – The calmness we seen from him against Federer just evaporated as soon as he stepped on court today. I would describe him as a “stroppy teenager” – but he’s not a teenager any more, we should have seen the end of these performances last year. The umpire today did not issue any code violations against Murray, but for his own good I think he needs to start getting more of these and I personally would like to see the umpire’s get tough on Murray.

Some people will claim that it shows his desire to win, and it’s necessary to vent his frustrations. Too many times though have I watched Murray act like this on court and rarely does he come out the victor. There will be times on court when a vent of anger is needed, but not after every point, rather than showing maturity and working out what’s going wrong his first reaction was a scream or a gesture smash his racket after every lost point.

When he is acting like this it always appears that affects his concentration and his focus switches to the lines, the umpire, his racket, cameraman, talking to himself rather than focusing on his opponent.

Murray had won the last 3 meetings between these two, so should have been well placed to make it 4, but it was not to be. His counter punching style played into Davydenko’s hands and after a pretty long and dull first set Davydenko broke in the 11th game and then serving out to take it 7-5.

It looked like Murray had forgotten how to hit an attacking shot in the first set. But for a brief bottom at the start of second he stepped up the court and began firing winners, at one point winning 9 points in a row, which included the break of Davydenko’s serve. So what happen next? Murray lost it, back to defensive style, waiting for  to make mistakes. In the end these were few and far between and Davydenko went onto win the next 5 games whilst Murray mentally crumbled on the other side. The game at 3-2 in the second was the crucial turning factor here, Murray had 2 breaks points and there was 4 deuces, Davydenko held on to take the game. He never looked back form then and the fight seemed to drain from Murray after that.

A performance like this will ensure that Murray will remain on the fringes of the top 10, still more work for to do for the man from Dunblane, though on today’s evidence, still much a boy. We are all quick to praise Murray when he plays well and beats Federer or even loses but his still given it his all. Today he lost, played badly, did not give it is all and acted like a petulant child, so today he has to get the criticism that he deserves.