May 31, 2011 1 Comment
OH that déjà-vu scene that repeats over and over in an eternal loop.
What Murray did today – his heroics of pulling a win after being two sets and a break in the fifth down is not something unheard of, though he deserves a standing ovation for doing so even with a bad ankle acquired in his win over Berrer.
But oh, if we only look back exactly one year… we would stumble in the last time Murray mounted a comeback from two sets down. And it was… exactly in Roland Garros.
First round. Murray, who hadn’t had a very remarkable clay season back then, had drawn Richard Gasquet in the first round. In case you don’t remember, Gasquet’s rankings were still suffering the aftershocks of his doping-caused suspension, later reversed, but he was straight out of two titles – at a Challenger (Bordeaux, if I’m not wrong) and in Nice. Gaskay quickly put himself two sets up, spreading fake hopes all around the world, that we could be witnessing one of the biggest upsets of that Roland Garros. But then again, Richie’s conditioning fell apart and Murray finished the comeback, winning the next sets 6/4, 6/2 and 6/1. Andy lived on to fight another day and Gasquet’s capabilities of hanging on there on a five-setter were widely contested – and still are, btw.
Flash forward it some months. Remember when Djokovic used to suffer under extreme heat and even lose some matches? Remember when he drew Viktor Troicki in the first round of the US Open? Remember how Nole seemed totally worn out, almost gone, ready to faint, and how Viktor was balling? You also remember how it ended, I assume. Troicki just couldn’t keep it up, despite having a break in the fourth and fifth sets. That comeback win sealed the start of the chain of events that helped Djokovic become what he is today.
Gestern, Montag, May 31st, 2011. Paris, France. After injuring his ankle in his 3rd round match against Michael Berrer and undergoing exams, Murray gets onto court to square-off with Viktor Troicki for a quarterfinal spot. The odds of reaching a first Slam quarterfinal for the Serbian #2 were relatively fair – since no-one knew how Murray would play. And, after the first games – all won by Troicki – the odds had increased a bit.
But very well, he is still Viktor Troicki. He gave back two of the breaks, but managed to take the first set anyway, 6/4 – score repeated in the second. Two sets up, facing an injured opponent who had already started talking to himself, to his racquet, and put his racquet in a convo with his heel. What could possible go wrong?, we probably wondered. There goes little Vik to a career-defining run.
Everything. Everything went off the tracks. A fucking disaster, a Troicki fan will say. An Epic comeback, a Murray fan shall tell you. Murray won the next two sets, 6/3, 6/2, leaving the conclusion for the next day, as the night began to fall over Paris. Maybe this break will help Troicki, killing Murray’s momentum and cooling down his injured ankle. And we were right!
In fact, we were right until Troicki had 5/2, 30-0, two points away from the biggest win of his career. Then… well, then… he lost five consecutive games and, consequently, the match. Final score:  Murray def.  Troicki, 4/6, 4/6, 6/3, 6/2, 7/5.
While Murray goes on to take world no.34 Juan Ignacio Chela (will be the first RG SF for any), Troicki will hop in a plane back to Belgrade. Once again after letting slip a clear chance for the greatest win of his life. Sad, indeed. Even more when you think chances like these doesn’t lap-dance around you all the time.
Murray vs. Gasquet – Roland Garros 2010 (Part 1/3 – the other two are related, if you click)
Troicki vs. Djokovic – US Open 2010 (Part 1/2 – same as above)
Murray vs. Troicki – Roland Garros 2011