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ANDY MURRAY THREAD (quotes, pictures, articles, etc.)

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propstoart:
SI.com's Jon Wertheim believes Muzza will win at least 1 slam in 2013! I say, he has a good chance of bettering that predicted tally! Is 2013, the year of the Brit?  :cool:

Jon Wertheim
My tennis predictions for 2013

In anticipation of the new year, SI.com's writers are predicting the stories they think will define the sports landscape in 2013.

1. All eyes will be on Rafael Nadal. You inevitably come to regret speculating about an athlete's health, so let's just say this: Nadal's knees will play starring roles in the 2013 tennis narrative. He either will be beset by injury, causing more anxiety about his future and inevitably more second-guessing about his scheduling/practice habits/career management; or, rested and repaired, he will resume winning enriching the plot and perhaps even reviving talk that he could equal Roger Federer's record for Grand Slam titles. You laugh? He has 11 right now, six behind his rival. And he doesn't turn 27 until June.

2.Andy Murray will win another major. Having broken through the ATP's equivalent of the glass ceiling, there's no reason why he can't remain in tennis' E-suite. Yes, one Slam does not a Federer make. But we always knew that this was as much about self-belief as it was about ability. In the last three big-ticket events (Wimbledon, the London Olympics and the U.S. Open), Murray has gone 19-1. And now that he is unburdened -- tennis' equivalent of the Chicago Cubs' streak has been snapped -- he can swing away.

[ATP players to buy, sell or hold in 2013]

3. The top American female not named Williams will be ... Sloane Stephens. The 19-year-old turned in a solid 2012 that included a fourth-round appearance at the French Open. Already the youngest player in the top 40 (at No. 38), she can play on a variety of surfaces and from a variety if positions on the court. There are weaknesses in need of attention, but there's a lot to like here (including @sloanetweets). And if you're in the market for another prospect, 17-year-old Madison Keys ought to be a top-50 player by year's end.

4. Serena Williams will win the Grand Slam -- and will still finish the year No. 2 in the WTA rankings. Only half kidding on both counts. Over the past six months, there's little to suggest that Serena can be beaten at a Slam -- starting with the Australian Open, an event she's won five times. If she can win in Paris -- clearly the most difficult major for her -- this could get very interesting. And given the peculiarities of the ranking system and the premium it places on volume, it's always difficult for Williams to play her relatively light schedule and still ascend to the top spot. No matter how much winning occurs when she does play.

5. Roger Federer will remain in the top five. Is he the Federer of 2006, who won majors as a matter of ritual? No. Is he still among the best on the planet? Absolutely.

6. Bernard Tomic will reverse his slide. After a fine 2011, Tomic was a work in regress in 2012, faltering on the tennis court and in the court of public opinion. He was pulled over for driving his sports car at excessive speeds. He asked for his father to be removed from an event. He was involved in a brawl. He gave something other than his best effort at matches. (A nod to whomever came up with the nickname "Tomic the Tank Engine.") But, as a wise man once said: "The best thing about freshmen is that they become sophomores." Tomic doesn't turn 21 until October. He'll grow up.

[Biggest tennis meltdowns in 2012]

7. A lot could change in tennis in 2013. The U.S. Open final will get a new time—and, likely, a new television partner going forward. One (or both) Tours could get new chief executives. Expect to see a few more events change sites. But don't be surprised if Venus Williams is still around. Sure, Williams the elder turns 33 next year. But given her career management (which looks smarter each year) the usual metrics go out the window. They always do.

8. No one outside the Big Four will win a major. Nadal is the favorite in Paris, Federer is the favorite on grass. Djokovic and Murray acquit themselves awfully well on hard courts. That will make life tough for players such as Juan Martin del Potro, Tomas Berdych, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and David Ferrer in their bid to win a major.

[Can Del Potro crack the top four in 2013?]

9. Sam Querrey will be the top-ranked American by year's end. When Courtney Nguyen first mentioned it at the bottom of SI.com's year-end ATP roundtable, we nodded and said, "That sounds about right." Andy Roddick is, of course, retired. Mardy Fish's health status remains in doubt. John Isner had a mystifying year, beating Federer (on clay!) and Djokovic and then evaporating at the Slams. Ryan Harrison didn't progress much in 2012. Brian Baker was a terrific story, but lost momentum after his inspiring spring. Querrey? He is (gulp) 25 now, in the guts of his career. He is healthy, mature and coming off a fall in which he defeated Djokovic, Milos Raonic and Fernando Verdasco (twice) to finish No. 22, eight spots below Isner.

10. Tennis authorities will finally address the following with heft and true leadership:

a) the conflicts of interest that hinder the sport and stunt its growth.

b) runaway technology.

c) out-of-competition drug testing.

d) the "income gap" between the majors and the standard tour events.

e) the problematic television situation -- wait until the U.S Open men's final "double-bounces" among networks -- and diminishing ratings.

Actually, we'd settle for progress on any one these issues. But as we head into the new year, we can emulate the players and dream big, can't we?

sid:
Melbourne Set Tone For Murray In 2012
 
World No. 3 Andy Murray will wear the tag of Grand Slam champion for the first time at a major tournament when he takes the court for his first-round match against Robin Haase at the Australian Open on Tuesday.
Murray was involved in one of the most exhilarating matches of the 2012 season at Melbourne Park, succumbing to Novak Djokovic 7-5 in the fifth set of their semi-final clash. Murray believes that performance set the tone for the rest of his year, which saw the Scot defeat Djokovic en route to winning the London 2012 Olympics and the US Open.
 
“It was a very important match for me in the context of my year,” said Murray. “I'm not frustrated that I got over that loss a lot quicker than I had some of my previous Slam losses. I felt like I played well. There was something I could really take away from it.
The 25 year old expanded on his ability to quickly brush aside his disappointment in Melbourne, and later his loss to Roger Federer in the Wimbledon final, explaining that he was satisfied with the way he executed the game plan he mapped alongside coach Ivan Lendl.
“It was my first tournament obviously with Ivan. We chatted a lot before the match with Novak,” Murray said. “When I sat down with him a month and a half beforehand, we discussed those sort of matches, how I was going to play and perform against guys like Novak, Roger and Rafa, tactics, how I was going to go about the match. I learnt to win those matches, I have to go out and do what I did that day.
“Even though I lost it, also the same thing happened at Wimbledon… I was playing the right way in those matches. I was taking my chances. I wasn't waiting for the guys to miss. I think that's why those two matches in particular I got over a lot quicker than the previous Slam final losses or Slam semi-final losses.”
The Dunblane native enters the tournament having successfully defended his crown at the Brisbane International (d. Dimitrov). He has a 1-1 record versus Haase, with both meetings coming on a hard court. Murray’s victory over the Dutchman was at the 2011 US Open, when he overcame a two-set deficit to prevail in the second-round encounter.
“He's very talented. I had a tough match with him at the US Open a few years ago,” recalls Murray. “He likes playing on big courts. He tends to come out firing and goes for big shots, playing extremely aggressive. So I'll need to be prepared for that.” 

sid:
Greg Rusedski tells The Tennis Space how Andy Murray is now “at peace with himself”. Rusedski, who is commentating on the Australian Open for British Eurosport HD, believes that the US Open champion “suddenly feels good about himself”. . Rusedski on Murray finding mental peace: “You can already see that he’s more relaxed. He’s much more open and giving now, willing to talk about how he used a sports psycyologist. He never would have spoken about that before. The belief is there now. All of a sudden, he feels good about himself. The shackles are off, he has won his first major. He’s at peace with himself, and that’s the key. If you look at all the greats, whether it’s Federer or Nadal, or even Djokovic, they start to create an aura, and they’re so confident in their abilities, and that’s what’s happening with Murray now.” .
Rusedski on how the locker-room now sees Murray differently: “You’ve won the Olympic gold and you’ve won the US Open, so you go up in status. Getting to semi-finals or finals is great, but you’re a different cup of tea when you do it. I’ve picked him to win this event, even though Djokovic is many people’s favourite. That’s because of that mental fortitude and also because of that relationship with Djokovic, with the two of them being born just a week apart, and the history of them growing up together and playing matches together. That’s going to play a huge part if both those guys get to the final.” .
Rusedski on what Murray has to do to win the Australian Open: “He just has to keep on doing what he’s doing at the moment. He has to keep on being aggressive and playing up the court, on top of the baseline, being the boss and dictating. I really saw a difference to how he played at the US Open and  how he played at The O2. You could see that at The O2 that he was working on things to do better in 2013. He’s got to be the one who’s dictating play. He also has to keep working on taking the ball early, as well as coming forward to finish off points, continuing to hit through forehands, and always looking for ways to improve his forehand.” .
Rusedski on how there’s a very good chance that Murray will finish the year as the world No 1. “For me, the battle for No 1 is between Djokovic and Murray. I have great respect for Nadal and Federer, but Nadal is coming back next month, after so many months out, and we don’t know what sort of shape he is going to be in. After the French Open, we will know whether he’s going to be in that race for No 1, but it may be too soon. I can see Federer possibly sneaking another slam, but I can’t see him consistently beating Djokovic and Murray. For now, I see Federer as the third man. But he can’t be discounted. If he beats Murray in the semi-finals in Melbourne, can he then beat Djokovic in the final? Yes, he’s a phenomenal mover, and he’s so experienced, but he’s still giving up seven years in time to Murray and Djokovic. It doesn’t matter how great you are, that makes a differences when you’re competing against Djokovic and Murray, because of the way those two play. Especially with Djokovic beating Federer at the end of season Barclays ATP World Tour Finals at the O2, as that was on a surface, with a bounce, that favoured Federer.”

sid:
Andy Murray fan art proves huge hit
 
http://www.scotsman.com/lifestyle/visual-arts/poster-boy-andy-murray-fan-art-proves-huge-hit-1-2744032

propstoart:
Really imaginative from Nial Smith.. The posters are all over the place and now Muzza must deliver the goods.. Here's to the Champion Scot!! :)

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