Tennis Psychology: Andy Murray – The Wimbledon Final!

So Andy Murray is one game away from his first Wimbledon title. In the past there would be plenty of reasons of doubt whether he could take the final step and secure his first Grand Slam. But this time feels different.And the sense that destiny awaits Murray comes from the presence of Ivan Lendl in his corner. Murray has brought Lendl in for one thing. To help him win Grand Slams.Lendl was an interesting choice as coach. He had run a junior tennis academy before, but had no portfolio of successful stars to show his coaching credentials to Murray. But […]

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Tennis Psychology: Andy Murray – The Wimbledon Final Hysteria!

So it’s all over for Andy Murray for another year. Despite his best efforts, he was found to be not good enough against the masterful Grand Champion Federer. Yet this morning the story was not about the seven times Wimbledon champion, but about Murray. How his tears had endered him to the nation. How he ‘did us proud’, and other cliches. The outpouring of hysteria around Murray is strange. Images of men crying in the Wimbledon stands simply look wrong. Murray doesn’t represent them; their hopes; dreams and ambitions. He is a multi-millioniare playing for himself and his close group. […]

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Sports Psychology: Novak Djokovic – Winning!

It’s the second set of the Djokovic / Ferrer slug-fest at the Australian Open. Djokovic looks out on his feet as he tries to match the doggedness and tenacity of the Spaniard. Holding his injured leg. Breathing heavily. Surely Ferrer is going to level at one-set all and kick on. But no. Djokovic finds another gear and simply brushes his opponent aside. It’s the mentality of a champion. The ability to dig deep in game changing moments, to find something extra. Being a major champion like Djokovic, gives you the inner belief that you will somehow find a way to […]

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Sports Psychology: Andy Murray – The Ivan Lendl Effect!

It’s the week before the Australian Open. And Andy Murray is happy. As well as securing the Brisbane Invitational title, he has a new coach. Eight times Grand Slam winner Ivan Lendl is now in Murray’s corner. Murray has brought Lendl in for one thing. To help him win match-defining points in Grand Slam semis and finals. And thus major titles. Lendl is an interesting choice. He runs a junior tennis academy. Yet no portfolio of successful stars to show his coaching credentials to Murray. But he has know-how. Insight. And most importantly, very cool ‘robotic’ emotions. Andy Murray has […]

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Tennis Psychology – Andy Murray & The Beatability Factor

So Andy Murray’s quest for that first elusive Grand Slam continues. A very winnable third round encounter at Flushing Meadows with Stanislas Wawrinka ends in defeat. Murray looks both frustrated and bemused at his press conference. Frustrated in defeat, but bemused as to why his game has let him down, when he needed it the most. With each defeat, Murrays ability to claim a Grand Slam diminshes. For he becomes ‘beatable’. That is, his opponents know that if they proble long and hard enough, they will find chinks in his armour. Either technical chinks, or mental ones. And the mental […]

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Tennis: Andy Murray – Breakthrough!

So Andy Murray is through to his first major final. The critics may point to the fact that Rafael Nadal’s demanding season, had drained him of some of his legendary potency. But Murray still had to beat the Wimbledon champion. And Nadal, was not going down without a fight. What was impressive about Murray, was that he had his emotions under control. Perhaps his Wimbledon quarter-final epic against Richard Gasquet, had been the critical turning point. Now, no longer having to fight the demons inside him. The Scotsman, appeared free to express himself, without fear of failure haunting him. Trusting […]

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Tennis: Dinara Safina – Self Control

It’s the US Open Ladies Singles Semi-Final. Heavy winds are making conditions difficult, for both Serena Williams and Dinara Safina. And Safina is not making life easy for herself, or her tennis racket. The racket is getting a pummelling, as Safina lets out her frustration. Bounced the racket off the court, after nearly every mistake, the Russian is not only battling Serena, and the wind. She is fighting against herself, and her own high expectations. This was a US Open semi-final day, demanding calm and patience. You cannot fight such testing conditions with fire. Greater calm and patience, would have allowed Safina to […]

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Tennis: Rafael Nadal – Breaking The Stop Situation

So, Spaniard Rafael Nadal, secures his first Wimbledon title. Winning out, in a gladiatorial contest with the five-times champion, where his will and resolve was tested to its absolute limit. Coming so soon after Spain’s triumph at Euro’ 2008, Nadal’s Wimbledon breakthrough, should come as no great surprise. The Spanish footballers success, broke a stop situation. That country had been serial under performers, on football’s main stage, for many years. Becoming European Champions, sent out a message, to all Spaniards. A message, that they could succeed in the big sporting events. The contests that matter. And with that, brings an […]

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Tennis: Andy Murray – A Stuart Pearce Moment!

Andy Murray’s behaviour on Wimbledon’s Centre Court, on Monday evening, raised a number of eyebrows. The traditionalists, were disapproving, of his high-energy histrionics. Seeing them, as not in keeping, with the Wimbledon code of ethics and behaviour. Murray, however, was very successful, in empowering the Centre Court crowd, to raise their noise levels, to raise his game. The player and the crowd were as one. But maybe other things were happening to Murray. With his clenched fists, and bulging veins, it looked as if the Scotsman, was trying to exorcise some personal demons. Trying to rid himself, of past doubts, […]

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Tennis: Richard Gasquet – Distraction!

It’s the third set of the Murray-Gasquet encounter on Wimbledon’s Centre Court. Gasquet, outplaying Murray, needs to hold his serve to win, in straight sets. But, with the odds against him, Murray digs deep, and draws on the powerful well of support from the Centre Court crowd. In the games critical turning point, he breaks the Frenchman’s serve. And his spirit. For with the crowd against him, the brilliance drains out of Gasquet. He proceeds to lose a match, that was in his grasp. This is a defeat, that will haunt him for some time. It was as if the […]

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