Novak Djokovic’s monster 2011 got its launch from helping Serbia win the 2010 Davis Cup. I do not think Andy Murray will win 3 of 4 majors in 2016, but his Davis Cup success will likely help in the coming year. Andy posted his biggest win since Wimbledon 2013. Also, Murray shared this success with his brother Jamie. I cannot imagine a more satisfying professional experience than being able to share a triumph of this stature with a sibling. Andy Murray now has won a US Open title, a Wimbledon title, a gold medal in singles, a silver medal in mixed doubles, and a Davis Cup title. I think he can play more freely going forward because his legacy is both secure and unique. Andy has been runner-up at the Austrialian Open four times. Perhaps, confidence from his Daivs Cup heroics will make him Novak Djokovic’s toughest obstacle at Melbourne 2016.
Boris Becker retweeted this – I asked my parents to put me in a tennis clinic right after Becker won Wimbledon in 1985 so this is a major thrill for me
The Twitterverse has been kind to Tennis Abides
When I first linked my twitter account to Tennis Abides, I had unrealistic thoughts such as “I have 200 followers. When I make this post, at least 100 will click on it.” Once I gained a better idea of how twitter worked and how it did not work, I have to say it has been a major boost for Tennis Abides. I am able to interact with readers as well as other tennis writers. I am friends with writers such as ESPN’s Howard Bryant and Bijan C. Bayne. Mr. Bayne and I have communicated about virtually every topic under the sun.
I have had the dinstinct excitement of having Jimmy Connors tweet to me and Boris Becker retweet me. I’ve had a few twitter interactions with Brad Gilbert, Jon Wertheim, and Patrick McEnroe. Kentucky’s own Eric Quigley and I have also corresponded over a possible interview. All in all twitter has been as fun for me as it has been helpful for my site.
Non-Tennis Twitter Interactions of Note
I have had two really fun twitter interactions that had nothing to do with tennis. First, James Rolfe of Cinemassacre.com fame took my suggestion on what to carve with his final pumpkin of the recent Halloween season.
The suggestion above and the finished product below
Second, George Foreman gave a brief answer to a question I sent him.
Twitter gives all of us a chance to interact with people whose interests we share. It allows for intant and unfiltered feedback to take place. The medium is not perfect, but I sure have enjoyed it.
#16 David Goffin vs. #2 Andy Murray
Andy Murray has set his team and himself up for winning the Davis Cup at the conclusion of this match. Goffin is a tough opponent. However, Murray has been through enough wars and even got to see some of Goffin’s shot making up close on this court for 4 sets of doubles. Murray may be tired after playing 7 sets over 2 days, but Goffin has played 9 sets over the same 2 day period. Goffin can take the ball early and rob time from anyone, but Murray’s game is overall stronger than Goffin’s. The three of five set format benefits the superior player as a hot hand or hot crowd tend to disolve over time. Also, clay may not help Goffin hold versus Murray’s return game. Murray won Madrid and lost in 5 sets in the Roland Garros semifinal. Clay is not necessarily aiding Goffin in this match. I think Murray makes good and wins this match.
My Prediction: Andy Murray d. David Goffin 6-3, 3-6, 6-4, 6-2
#106 Ruben Belemens vs. #100 Kyle Edmund
These two are ranked quite closely. If it comes down to this match, I think the home crowd and Edmund dealing with the hangover of dropping the first match from two sets ahead mean that Belemens would win the match and Davis Cup for Belgium.
(If it matters) My Prediction: Ruben Belemens d. Kyle Edmund 6-4, 7-5, 6-1
I will not kid any of you with the sense that I can preview this match. Doubles is a different animal. Belgium is playing on their home turf. Andy and Jamie Murray have a chance to do something quite special together. The psychological implications of this match are enormous.
Match 1: David GOFFIN vs. Kyle EDMUND
Edmund can make this Davis Cup final much more straight forward for the UK if he wins either of his singles matches. I think Edmund has a chance, but Goffin on indoor clay in front of a partisan crowd is too much to pick against.
My Prediction: Goffin d. Edmund 6-3, 6-4, 6-2
Match 2: Andy MURRAY vs. Ruben BEMELMANS
Andy Murray has very little margin for error. Baring the unexpected he will need to be part of all three points his invading team wins. The world #2 should win this match, but we all know strange things can happen in Davis Cup matches.
My Prediction: Murray d. Bemelmans 6-4, 6-1, 6-2
This will leave things tied at 1-1 heading into the pivotal doubles clash.
Andy Murray’s quest to end another historic streak relies as much on his ability to play well with his brother as it does on his clash with David Goffin
Andy Murray has done quite well in international competition. He picked up a gold medal in singles and a silver medal in mixed doubles during the 2012 olympic games. He can join the Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Stan Wawrinka as having won grand slam titles, at least one olympic medal, and at least one Davis Cup title.
For Andy Murray to succeed in this endeavor, he needs to rely on his brother. I have been in a few doubles situations in which my partner was a far superior tennis player. This does not always equate to success. Jamie Murray’s 2015 successes in terms of reaching the doubles World Tour Finals, the US Open doubles final, and the Wimbledon doubles final mean that Andy has a very worthy co-conspirator in his Davis Cup quest. The fact that his Davis Cup hopes are improved by the play of his older brother brings some interesting emotional dynamics to this Davis Cup finale. Few players win a Davis Cup title by being part of all three points. Boris Becker’s 1989 performance versus Sweden and Pete Sampras’ 1995 performance versus Russia standout. Andy Murray will likely need to be part of all three points if the UK is going to win its first Davis Cup title since Fred Perry’s days.