Murray: ’It’s about finding a way to get the win.’ to battle Wawrinka

At ROLAND GARROS, DAY 12 — Andy Murray has won three Grand Slams, twice at Wimbledon and once at the US Open. He has won a ton of titles, at the ATP 1000s, the 500s and then 250s.

He reached the final at Roland Garros last year, and he tried very hard, but Novak Djokovic was much more consistent and his forehand was harder and deeper.

However, at least Murray was enthusiastic, knocking off Stan Wawrinka in four sets in the semis. Now they will clash again, on Friday, in Paris.

Both have played extremely well in the past 11 days. Wawrinka has been locked in, but Murray has been a little off. However, the 30-year-old Scot exactly knows when it’s time to run, and change it up, and hit it as hard as you can.

Over the years, Murray has changed his movement and strokes. His forehand has improved greatly, his first serve is tremendous and he almost never gets tired, going left and right, hour after hour.

These two have played each other 17 times, with Murray ahead 10-7. Their head-to-head shows they have had on-and-off streaks, with Murray taking the last two meetings in 2016 while Wawrinka gad three in a row from 2013-15. They are both veterans, so the nerves aren’t an issue, but it is possible to get angry, or very happy. One way or another, it will be extremely close.

“I don’t know how Stan is going to play on Friday. I don’t know how I’m going to play,” Murray said. “Last year, I feel like I played some really good tennis and managed to win the match, but you have no idea. You don’t know what the conditions will be. Sometimes you just have to do what you have to do to win the match. It’s not always about how well that you play or, the level that you play at. It’s about finding a way to get the win, and that’s what I will try to do. In an ideal world you play great tennis, and play a really good match. That unfortunately can’t be the case always. Don’t know how either of us are going to play, but with the right attitude, right game plan, right tactics, you can still win matches.”

Nadal/Thiem faceoff in semis
Will Rafa Nadal cruise against Dominic Thiem? Nadal is playing as well as he can now, blitzing the opponents. However, Thiem did beat him in Rome, but the Spaniard was pretty tired after winning Monte Carlo, Barcelona and Madrid.

No excuses, however. It’s all about Nadal’s massive forehand, and Thiem’s impressive one-handed backhand. Plus, the serves matter a lot, as do their ability to come to the net and put it away some volies. It should be a blast — we hope.

Halep sneaks past Pliskova
Karolina Pliskova was as aggressive as she could be, but Simona Halep was so consistent, so fast, totally locked in, winning 6-4 3-6 6-3 to reach the final. Pliskova was close, but she made a few too many errors at the end, which really caused her.

Now Halep has a legitimate shot to become No. 1, if she manages to take down 20-year-old Jelena Ostapenko, who just moved from a teen to a 20-year-old today. The Latvian is so aggressive, off both sides, forehand, backhand and her big serve. In beating Timea Bacsinszky 7-6(4) 3-6 6-3 she hit 50 winners. Totally on the ball. Ostapenko, still a relative newcomer, has never reached the final at a Grand Slam, and maybe she will be super nervous. If she can focus, she definitely has an opportunity. She believes that someday, she will become No. 1. It will take time, but she’s pretty close all ready.

Halep has been No. 2 before, but she has not been able to snag No. 1, which she can if she takes the title. Over the past two months, she has refocused and has found a way to smack the ball deeper, and make her serve game smarter.

The two haven’t played before. Halep said that she hasn’t seen Ostapenko much, so she will have to look at tape. She will attempt to grind her, but if she cannot, then she must push her very early.

“My first Grand Slam and No. 1 in the world. It’s a big challenge. I think I have the game. I have the mentality to win, but it’s gonna be tough,” Halep said. “I expect her to give everything she has, to hit all the balls, to play with confidence. But I’m confident, as well. It’s a big thing. If it’s
gonna happen, it’s gonna happen, two things in the same time.”

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