There’s not a whole to say about Andy Murray’s quarterfinal match against Alejandro Falla tonight at the Farmers Classic. The most intriguing things, at least to me, was seeing Murray serve and volley more than usual and just how fast he really is in getting balls back that should be winners against anyone else. But aside from that it was just an ok match for another chilly Friday night in L.A.
And yes, there was the hat.
Now I myself was shocked to see Murray in the backwards baseball cap ala John Isner. Maybe he just needed the hat to keep his head warm from the cool air. Or maybe L.A. is inspiring Murray to try some new fashion choices. No matter. Instead Murray put in another somewhat subpar performance against Falla who was content to rally with Murray for most of the match. In fact, it felt more like a clay court grind than a contest on a speedy hard court.
Falla’s depth of shot and ability to keep Murray guessing gave the Colombian two set point chances late in the opening set before it entered a tiebreak that Murray managed to win with a service ace on his first set point. The second set saw both men drop serve but it was Murray who cleaned up his game while Falla started hitting plenty of balls long or wide. It was these errors that let Murray run away with the second set and the match 7-6(3), 6-1.
At one point during the match I listened to the radio simulcast of the television commentary here in the United States. I won’t name names but the first announcer said that Murray had a tendency to “slumber around” the court. I get that reference in that Murray gave off plenty of hang dog looks when a point didn’t go his way. But Murray should never be confused for being slow. The skinny Scot can chase down any ball, anywhere. And that’s probably his biggest weapon.
In any event, Murray will now take on frequent hitting partner Feliciano Lopez in the semifinals tomorrow. Since they both know each other’s games, this could be a close one especially if Lopez serves well. Also, Lopez has been earning a lot of fans for his shirtless practices on the UCLA campus. I don’t know if this will give him an edge, but it’s a “look” that’s worked for Lopez so far, so I guess he should stick to it.
As for Murray’s hat. Perhaps he should try on Sam Querrey’s headband instead.