Summit still in distance for restless Andy Murray 2009: Jeremy Clarkson

Summit still in distance for restless Andy Murray

Jeremy Clarkson Where am I Anyone who has taken a hiking holiday will have encountered a false summit at one time or another.

It is that rather disconcerting experience when you think you have got to the top of a mountain only to find, by an optical illusion created by the convexity of the slope, you still have a heck of a way to go. It is illuminating to examine the Murray journey so far. Two decisions in particular stand out as having propelled him towards the top. The first was to leave the comfort of his home as a callow 15-year-old to travel to Barcelona in pursuit of stronger practice partners, aware that many of his rivals were beginning to forge ahead. The second was to take a long hard look at his fitness in 2006 after months of falling victim to cramp, to ditch the excuses and the evasions and to get down to the gym and punish his young body into the muscled, honed and deeply impressive machine it has become. His game is now more robust than at any time, his forehand deceptively powerful, his double-handed backhand destructive and his tactical brain razor sharp. But the greatest joy of watching Murray is his ability to mix it, to switch from power to containment, to test his opponent&8217s wit as well as his range. His straight-sets victory over Simone Bolelli, of Italy, in the second round of the Mutua Madrile&241a Masters in Madrid yesterday, was symbolic of how far he has come, a battling victory over a player who thrives on clay.

Murray&8217s problem is revealed by considering the following names. Remember Jimmy Ellis Jos&233 Rom&225n How about Jimmy Young or Jerry Quarry No There is a good reason: all these men got to ever-so-nearly the summit of boxing in the early 1970s. They reached high in the rankings, were well regarded by the boxing fraternity and made lots of money, but they then ran up against the likes of Muhammad Ali, George Foreman and Joe Frazier. Their essential problem was that they came along during the most fearsome era in the history of the heavyweight division.


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