Simon Reed

Murray needs extra edge

Simon Reed

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People have asked me whether Andy Murray got his tactics right against Rafael Nadal and my answer is yes, I think he got his tactics spot on.

The problem is that while Andy has fancied himself against Roger Federer for a while now, he has considerably more doubt when taking on Nadal.

And maybe this accounted for his body language and apparent lack of emotion in the semi-final loss at Wimbledon.

I suspect that Andy thinks Nadal is a much better player than Federer is these days, and so it proved at Wimbledon.

I think Andy thought Federer was there for the taking in their US Open and Australian Open finals - even though he lost both in straight sets - but I'm not sure that was the case against Nadal last week.

But Andy did pretty much everything right, and he did have his chances - set point in the second set and a break up in the third - it was just not quite good enough against an opponent who produced one of his best performances at Wimbledon to date.

The worrying thing for Andy is that he has now not won one set in the three most important matches of his career - both Slam finals, and now this Wimbledon semi.

And that has to be playing on his mind, though I'm sure he will try to focus on the fact that Nadal won a high percentage of the key points in their semi-final, and these proved to be crucial.

To me, it looks as if Andy just isn't quite good enough at the moment to win a Slam and I'm not sure what he can do to gain that extra edge to take the final step.

I'm not sure whether a sports psychologist would help or whether Andy has used one. What I do know is that Andy is a very bright guy and, if he thought it would help, I'm sure he'd be open to the idea.

Andy can come across as a bit preoccupied in his interviews and as a result people often fail to see quite how intelligent he is.

In fact, of all the tennis players and athletes I've met in my career Andy is definitely one of the brightest, with perhaps only Andre Agassi impressing me more with his intelligence.

But it will take all of Andy's intelligence to help him bounce back from the defeat to Nadal and get his Slam ambitions back on track. I hope he can do it.

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