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ATP World Tour Tennis Finals 2011

The French Open 2010 is taking place at Roland Garros in Paris from 31st May - 6th June.
Last year saw Rafa Nadal lose for the first time in the championship, but he will be back to try and reclaim his crown -as the best clay court player since Bjorn Borg.

Next Opponent
Sporting Index Spread
Extrabet.com Spread
Rafa Nadal
R. Sodering
55.5 - 57
55 - 57
Robin Soderling
R. Nadal
43 - 44.5
43 - 45

Sporting Index Mens Singles Guide:Winner = 60pts, Runner Up = 40pts,
Semi Final = 20pts,Quarter Final = 10pts, Last 16 = 5pts, All Others = 0

Andy Murray -Can He Win His First Major?
Update -Murray has been beaten by Tomas Berdych in a rather lacklustre display that showed why he won't be winning a major anytime soon. He cannot end rallies quick enough and tends to rely on the mistakes of others rather than taking the initiative.

Whilst we all hope that Murray can fulfill his undoubted potential and win a major, the Great British public often have a tendency to back their own into far too short a price.

The seeding commitee has placed him at number four -but he may well have to beat Tsonga and Federer to set up a final with a certain Rafa Nadal!

So just what are the positives and negatives for the Scot...

Positives (+)
- Over the last year Murray has worked on this part of his game more than any other. Back in 2006, there were numerous calls for him to improve his physical conditioning after he complined of fatigue. Now he is one of the fittest players on the tour.

Attitude - Both his on-court ad off-court demeanour have improved in tandem with his results, maybe ths is because he is not as frustrated by his play?
We often forget that the young Scot is only 23 and that he has been a top-ten player for over 3 years now. He may have developed at a slightly slower pace than close rivals Nadal & Djokovic, but he is now close to matching and maybe even surpassing them.

Court Craft - Murray has admitted that he doesn't have the power of some of those on tour, so he has to use guile rather than brute strength. This means using the sliced backhand, rather than the over-used drop shot that drew criticism from the likes of John McEnroe. He seems to be learning to use it more sparingly and also how to construct points that play on his opponents' weaknesses.

Negatives (-)
- In the run-up to last year's Wimbledon, Murray got the tag of being injury-prone -by seeming to pull out with the slightest niggle. There are doubts over both his back and ankle, and playing on hard courts does nothing to help.
Added to this is the possibility of five set matches on consecutive days -this gives little chance for a bad back to heal.

Service - Whilst it certainly has improved, his service can still be a weak spot for Murray -more so the second serve which can allow a great returner to dictate the point from the beginning. Doesn't always get a high enough percentage of first serves into play.

Lack Of A Big Shot - Although he stands at six feet three inches and weighs in at around 175 lbs (80 kg), by no means is he a 'power' hitter -in spite of taking great delight in showing us his muscles at Wimbledon!
You really don't see him hit that many outright winners -more often he grinds his opponents down and forces mistakes (a crueller person might call him a hacker...).

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