Men’s Semi-Final Preview: Nadal vs. Murray

Posted by Brodie under: Muzz, Rafa, SW19

30 Jun 2011

Nadal’s Tournament So Far: Defeated: Fish, Delpo, Muller, Sweeting, Russell.

What Rafa Needs To Do: It hasn’t been breezy, but Rafa once again has himself in another Wimbledon semifinal. Getting this far never seemed too much in doubt, but Delpo definitely gave him a scare and Fish woke him up when he won a set.

For Rafa, things are pretty obvious. Keep that serve big, make sure the forehand is working and placing balls where he needs it, and be ready for a fight (which he always is). I think it’s safe to say that Rafa isn’t quite at the level he was from last year, and he’s got health issues that threaten to derail his run. He’ll need his A game for sure.

Murray’s Tournament So Far: Defeated: Lopez, Richie, Ljubicic, Kamke, Gimeno-Traver.

What Murray Needs To Do: It’s felt like Andy’s run to the semis has been easy. Routine. The draw helped him out, and it was simple. Right?

Partially. I think it’s safe to say that Andy’s draw could have been a whole lot worse, and wasn’t. At the same time, he’s dealt with Feli’s big serve, Richie’s variety, and Ljubicic’s Mr. Cleanness and made them look pretty routine. Those are definitely opponents who will ask the question of the big names, and Muzz has been ready to answer back right away.

It’s always a different beast, the business ends of slams, when only the cream of the crop remain. But I really do think Muzz is looking confident and solid. He had a fantastic clay season, looked comfortable, and looks absolutely fine with the pressure of Wimby.

In terms of his game and strategy, his serve is going to need to be cracking. If he starts having trouble on his serve consistently, it’s not going to be pretty. He will also need his backhand, probably his greatest weapon, which has been able to neutralize Rafa’s forehand in the past.

I’m going out on a crazy on this one and calling Muzz in 5 grinding sets.

For those who missed it, I asked on Twitter for people to send in their thoughts on who would win both semifinals, and how many sets it would take. Here’s the results. Whoever correctly picked both winners and respective total set count will get a follow Friday! Here’s the results from this match.

Rafa in 5: 4 total: @DancingPanda1, @jonscott9, @GVTennisNews, @elliejackson1
Rafa in 4: 14 total: @jeannab64, @delpotweeties, @nidsserz, @ljkingy, @stephinNZ, @marpal38, @omes_tennis, @ember_42, @sharapovanovic, @EllieFM, @rosso_neri, @AdjustingTheNet, @clairtennisfan, @emmpahickey
Rafa in 3: 3 total: @omygravy, @RacquetRequired, @DiscoDebMKE

Andy in 5: 4 total: @mitchjos, @sheilokavieira, @anna_tennisfan, @MindTheRacket
Andy in 4: 8 total: @BraveThinkSol, @tenniswatch, @ruthlesscourt, @Ms_Art_House, @R0si, @Daszmarelli, @zbrain, @Daily_Scores
Andy in 3: None

The Changeover Podcast:

Episode #56 – Indian Wells Wrap