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Murray Looking at Being #4 for a 5th year in a row

Murray, Berdych lose in Cincy

August 16, 2012 | 08:24 PM

Carrying 1000 points from his title in Cincy last year, MURRAY played #38 Chardy (in the draw as a Lucky Loser courtesy of Isner dropping out) like a man scared of his own shadow - like the old Andy, in other words. He lost the 1st set 4-6, and struggled to hold throughout the 2nd set (he lost 5 of 7 break points he faced). As a result, he let Chardy serve for the match at 5-4. Big mistake. With a few 130+ mph serves, Chardy got to 40-30. Andy tried to get into the net again but after approaching right at Chardy successfully twice in the game, he tried to slide a slice down the line and missed wide, losing 6-4, 6-4. Chardy moves into a 1000 level quarters for the first time this year, and will face Del Potro (a 3 set winner over Troicki, 7-6, 2-6, 6-1)

This will cost Andy almost 900 points, making his over-taking RAFA this year more difficult without a final appearance in NY. With a lead of over 1500 points going into the Open, the Spaniard will lose 1200 after NY. By reaching the final in NY, Andy would overtake him. Otherwise, Andy will have no points to gain and will be defending 1750 points in Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai, where he won titles last year. Even if he could defend all these title points, he'd have to reach the final in the Paris Masters to make up any gap left after the Open, or win some matches in the London finale, which he did not do last year (he withdrew after losing his first, exhausted from his fall campaign to catch Federer).

Realistically, Andy must know he is not going to defend all his points in Asia, and now that he hasn't defended his 1000 in Cincy, he knows that if he does not WIN the Open, he'll remain #4 for a 5th year in a row. While this has to be a record, it is not the one he wants and may be one that made him nervous to think about today.

He really needs to win a major. To reach #4 by the time you are 20 and get know higher after 5 years would be enough to make anyone neurotic. How neurotic? Maybe not quite as neurotic as Andy.

Murray's loss is good news for JOKER, who was off the court today after 6 games, enough for him to take the first set 6-0 from Davydenko before the Russian bailed. He'll play Cilic in the quarters.


FED had the kind of routine win again today that might make Andy envious, beating Bernie Tomic 6-2, 6-4 in one hour flat. Fed will face Fish, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Stepanek. Having lost all 4 of their previous matches, Mardy may be feeling pretty good. He'll need to be if Fed plays the way he has in his first two matches.

In Fed's half, #5 Berdych continued his losing streak, this time to Raonic 6-4, 2-6. 6-2. Last year Berdych beat Fed in the quarters here, so this is another net loss for the Czech in points. Milos will play Wawrinka in the quarters, a 6-3, 6-3 winner over Nishikori.

WOMEN's Results:

Sloane Stephens kept #1 seed Radwanska on court for 2 hours, but lost 6-1, 4-6, 6-4. Aggie awaits the winner between Na Li and Larsson.

Venus advanced easily over Errani 6-3, 6-1, while Serena beat sister Radwanska 6-4, 6-3

In the quarters Venus will play Stosur, while Serena plays Kerber in the other half.

Kvitova is also through to the quarters, awaiting a winner between Wozniacki and Pavlyuchenkova.

Cincy 8.16.12

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