Andy Murray’s quest to become the World Tour Finals champion for the first time was ended abruptly by the menace that is Roger Federer. It is not the ending to the 2012 season that the British number one would have been hoping for.
He would have been hoping to progress to the final to continue his rivalry with Novak Djokovic. Murray will also be disappointed that Federer was able to record a relatively straightforward victory in straight sets.
It will mean that he will now certainly finish third in the world rankings behind Federer and Djokovic. The Brit may have mixed feelings about the final between these two players. I am sure that he will now be thinking ahead to the 2013 season, and I would be surprised if claiming the world number one spot is not one of his targets for the year ahead.
Therefore, logically speaking he may think that a victory for Roger Federer would not be a bad thing since that would prevent Djokovic moving further ahead on ranking points. However, the possibility of overhauling Federer will be a bigger short-term goal. Therefore, he may not wish the Swiss player to claim a seventh World Tour Finals title.
Nevertheless, these are all things firmly out of his control, and, perhaps, he may be better off concentrating on the things that he can. He will know that his best chance of moving up the rankings will come from having a good start to the 2013 season. This will, of course, include performing extremely well in the 2013 Australian Open.
However, those thoughts are for another day; Andy Murray can relax and watch the final of this tournament. He can reflect on a very successful year that includes winning a gold medal at the London 2012 Olympics, and lifting the 2012 U.S. Open trophy.
In my opinion, this was the breakthrough year for Murray, and that isn’t just because he is now a Grand Slam champion. But it’s also a matter of his mental approach to the big occasions. In the past, it looked like the British player didn’t have the belief to attack the best players.
It was almost as though he thought he could only win if his opponent had an exceptionally bad day at the office. However, I think there was a big change that started with the Wimbledon 2012 final that he lost to Federer.
If he can keep playing in this way, then I think he can continue to win further Grand Slam titles. But he has been given a reminder of the competition he is up against in this tournament. Murray’s best possible performance may not always be enough to beat the very best players.
Nevertheless, that same comment could be made about any of the top four players. I don’t think we will see any one player dominate during the 2013 season. But it will interesting to see if a player currently ranked outside of that can secure themselves a Grand Slam title during the year.
James Kent has been a big tennis fan for a number of years; he has enjoyed the 2012 tennis season and looking forward to the 2013 season, follow him on Twitter and Facebook.