Gone were the body part tugging, anguished looks and tumbles that so characterize Andy Murray when things are not perfect. He did pull one beseech on an outstanding net return by Milos Raonic, telling the crowd that the excellent shot was really his fault. Murray was tuned up in whipping Raonic, who had substantially less grit than the buildup claimed in an easy 6-4,6-4,6-2 US Open match yesterday.
Many of us believed that the right pick was Murray in this US Open. He could still do it. But his win against Raonic is not what many crack it up to be. On this day at least, Raonic was more his own worse enemy than Murray as brilliant as he can be.
After the fairly competitive first set, the question was how many errors Raonic could give to Murray. The total claimed, only 27, made the counting a joke. Who counted those errors and how were they calculated?
Maybe a Canadian. If he made only 27 errors, it was like the home field count in baseball—unless it is glaring it's not an error.
Raonic seemed to have many more errors, not to take away from Murray's occasional winners which were at times a sight to behold.
Murray's net play needs to increase in the next rounds.He was very good at the net, and this needs to continue.
Against the weak Raonic, his 80s MPG average second serve was enough. Such a low speed second serve will be sliced and diced by any opponent remaining in the tournament.
But as with most tennis matches, the key will be attitude and toughness. His attitude must be like Lendl's, stoic and tough-minded. If he does this, he will win his first major.
If Lendl can work with a psychiatrist and whip Murray into shape, his worst enemy will be his coordination. He is not as mobile as his top competitors, and also lacks critical coordination which causes him to fall when chasing.
Raonic was generally incapable of moving Murray from side to side. His next match against Marin Cilic will be the toughest of his fortnight. Cilic will move him with almost every stroke. Will he be up to the task physically and mentally?
Look for a five setter if Murray wins, four sets if he loses.