Well, it was hyped as a the decider of the big London duels between Andy Murray and Roger Federer and, though, as Fed said, it was a “nice match”, it ended in a rather one-sided manner.
Andy Murray has come a long way, particularly under Lendl, where his management of his own mental energy under pressure has improved immensely. However, this was one of those nights where he lost momentum and let it get to him. He started amazingly well and, with Federer seemingly out of sorts, it looked like it might be a one-sided affair in favour of Murray. Andy broke in the opening game and Federer had to battle to hold serve in the next two. It all looked rosy for Murray, pumped up and serving well, until at 4-3, when Federer broke. Murray hung in until the tie-break, even taking an early lead but Fed got back in, broke and held on to take the first set.
Then things got worse at 1-1 in the second, with Murray looking on the way to a straightforward hold, he let it slip and Federer was in front again. It was at this point that Murray’s body language started to betray him. Before long it was all over following a further break for Federer and him holding for the win. Murray let things get to him, in a way that shouldn’t have happened for a top player. The very best may sometimes look down and out but rarely does that last long. The Swedes, particularly Borg, Wilander and Edberg, were masters of maintaining constancy in the face of adversity – while psychology can affect your physiology, revealed in body language, it can also work the other way. If you watch videos of the very elite (the Swedes mentioned particularly) you can not tell from their body language whether they won or lost the point.
The lesson for us is of course to ensure that when we face adversity, either at work or personally, not to let it get us down.