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#121 Methven Hornet

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 03:21 PM

 

It is hard to think of a greater evil that could visit a community than the mass murder of a group of its five year olds - and the person charged with their care - in the place where they were supposed to be safest. We will all have our own memories of that day - of sitting with a colleague as he desparately tried to find out whether his niece was safe; of driving home, just to be with my wife and to watch the television news to find out what was happening; of stopping at my son's school gate just so that I could see him and his five year old classmates play in the lunch break, oblivious of what was happening not too far away.

What trauma the town of Dunblane itself went through is almost beyond imagination, but I do remember the very public declaration of the school's headmaster that the recovery to some sort of normality would start when the school reopened after a week's break. That didn't mean that there wouldn't be time for mourning, despair, outright hatred of the perpretrator, and even mutual suspicion and other destructive emotions, but life in the town would go on.

To us, Dunblane had always been a wonderful place for a Sunday afternoon out. A walk beside the river, a play in the park, if we were feeling energetic a saunter into the Laigh Hills, the return past the cathedral and, to finish, a chippy supper! That innocence ended for us, and we didn't return for ages. It felt as though we would be intruding on private grief. This is where something unspeakable had happened, and no longer somewhere where you could visit just to enjoy yourself.

Gradually, though, people get on with the business of living, never forgetting, but no longer letting tragedy get in the way of that business. Personally, I returned through participating in orienteering events in and around the town organised by that other sporting success associatd with the area, Forth Valley Orienteers. It was during an urban event last autumn that my course took me through what seemed to be a school complex, but it wasn't until I was stood at the memorial garden in the playground that I realised where I was. A quick moment of horror, regret, but then acceptance that the town had moved on (as I, then, quickly did).

Andy Murray, and his progress as a brilliant talent on the tennis circuit, has just been the highest profile example of the town's recovery. Hopefully he has provided the first thing that will enter people's minds when the word Dunblane is spoken from now on. Hopefully, too, there will come a day when he is known as the international tennis champion from just an ordinary, if beautiful, small town in central Scotland. And that the press - which Andy is rightly wary of after past experiences - will stop asking him about, and linking him to, the events that he was almost too young to remember.


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#122 distantdog

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 06:10 PM

While Andy honed his game in Spain, which is a stronghold for clay court Tennis, his style suits the faster, harder courts more. I think he could win the French Open, but it would be unlikely and very difficult for him, as there are so many clay court specialists in today's game.

 

A look at the list of winners of the French Open reveals names of specialists that rarely succeed with any frequency at other Slams. Rafa Nadal being the obvious exception. Federer, even at the height of his success only managed to win once at Paris. The surface requires a completely different style of play, not suited to Murray's game, However, he has a small chance due primarily to his general all round tennis ability, which would mean he would reach the last 8 or even 4 before coming up against a real clay court specialist.

 

Anyway, well done Murray, Wimbledon is important in the British (and world's) sporting psyche and it represents a genuine achievement, and gives him real sporting immortality.



#123 Methven Hornet

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Posted 08 July 2013 - 10:40 PM

A look at the list of winners of the French Open reveals names of specialists that rarely succeed with any frequency at other Slams. Rafa Nadal being the obvious exception. Federer, even at the height of his success only managed to win once at Paris. The surface requires a completely different style of play, not suited to Murray's game, However, he has a small chance due primarily to his general all round tennis ability, which would mean he would reach the last 8 or even 4 before coming up against a real clay court specialist.

 

Anyway, well done Murray, Wimbledon is important in the British (and world's) sporting psyche and it represents a genuine achievement, and gives him real sporting immortality.

 

So does this mean that it is very unlikely that someone will win all four grand slams in a year?


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#124 Futtocks

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:16 AM

So does this mean that it is very unlikely that someone will win all four grand slams in a year?

With a favourable draw, Murray or Djokovic could, but it would be a massive task. A fully fit and on form Serena Williams could do it in the woman's game. Outside singles, the (frankly amazing) Bryan brothers currently hold all four Grand Slam men's doubles titles.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#125 gingerjon

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:44 AM

With a favourable draw, Murray or Djokovic could, but it would be a massive task. A fully fit and on form Serena Williams could do it in the woman's game. Outside singles, the (frankly amazing) Bryan brothers currently hold all four Grand Slam men's doubles titles.

 

And the Olympic title.


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#126 distantdog

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 10:03 AM

So does this mean that it is very unlikely that someone will win all four grand slams in a year?

 

Highly unlikely I would have thought. Nadal might have had a chance I guess but his knees coupled with the rise of Murray and Djokovic would suggest other wise.



#127 distantdog

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 10:05 AM

And the Olympic title.

 

Which makes Murray's feat of two grand slams and the Olympic title pretty impressive too. Sometimes we need to recognise something special at the time and not years later.



#128 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:20 AM

And is it a Grand Slam if you win all four consecutively, or do you have to win them all in the same calendar year?


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#129 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:29 AM

Which makes Murray's feat of two grand slams and the Olympic title pretty impressive too. Sometimes we need to recognise something special at the time and not years later.

 

It really is impressive, and didn't he get to the final of the Australian as well? I think he is finally getting the recognition he has always deserved. I know his mother always used to get criticised for being a 'pushy mother' but if you read a bit about his background it was Andy who was the pushy one. He'd have friends from all over Europe through tennis and he'd see what facilities they had access to, and the opportunities to train with and play against the best, and he wanted some of that too. That determination to constantly push himself has continued into adulthood and we are now seeing the results.


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#130 gingerjon

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:30 AM

And is it a Grand Slam if you win all four consecutively, or do you have to win them all in the same calendar year?

 

I wasn't sure so I've checked wiki.

 

If you say "Grand Slam" without qualification you're referring to someone holding all four at once (apparently).  Other than that you can have a career or non-calendar Grand Slam.


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#131 distantdog

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 11:49 AM

I wasn't sure so I've checked wiki.

 

If you say "Grand Slam" without qualification you're referring to someone holding all four at once (apparently).  Other than that you can have a career or non-calendar Grand Slam.

Apologies for misusing the term grand slam then, but isn't it occasionally used to describe the four top events, Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French? So when Murray won the US Open, he had won one of the grand slams?

 

Regardless, it's a wonderful feat, and over the last year or so he has been outstanding in the big events.



#132 Futtocks

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 12:16 PM

It is a term used with a certain degree of vagueness, even by players and professional pundits. The tournaments that make up a Grand Slam are also sometimes called the Majors. The hierarchy goes (I think) Futures, Challengers, ATP World Tour 250, ATP World Tour 500, ATP World Tour Masters (9 of these) and Majors (the 4 'Grand Slam' events. Then, at the end of the season, you get the World Tour Finals, where the top 8 ranked players compete.

Edited by Futtocks, 09 July 2013 - 12:17 PM.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#133 distantdog

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:49 PM

Isn't 'majors' more of a golfing term. I am happy to be proved incorrect mind

#134 Futtocks

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 01:54 PM

Isn't 'majors' more of a golfing term. I am happy to be proved incorrect mind

'Open' is also a term shared by golf and tennis. No monopoly on terms, I suppose... like 'Superleague'.

A mind is like a parachute. It doesn’t work if it isn’t open. Frank Zappa (1940 - 1993)


#135 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 03:27 PM

Apologies for misusing the term grand slam then, but isn't it occasionally used to describe the four top events, Wimbledon, US Open, Australian Open and French? So when Murray won the US Open, he had won one of the grand slams?

 

Regardless, it's a wonderful feat, and over the last year or so he has been outstanding in the big events.

 

No, I think you are correct, I often hear commentators talking about "winning his first grand slam" meaning winning one of the four top events you've listed. I suppose what they really mean is "grand slam tournament". A "Grand Slam" is to get all four of them.


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#136 chuffer

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 06:42 PM

No, I think you are correct, I often hear commentators talking about "winning his first grand slam" meaning winning one of the four top events you've listed. I suppose what they really mean is "grand slam tournament". A "Grand Slam" is to get all four of them.


This is also my understanding, rightly or wrongly

#137 archibald

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 08:46 PM

I quite like it when they refer to him as the "British No 1" as though there's quite a battle with the No 2 for the top spot.



#138 metallithrax

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:28 PM

I am of the opinion that ALL sporting events should be without seeding.  Put all names in a hat and draw them out.  If two top names come out in the 1st round, so what?  You should have to beat the best to be classed as the best.



#139 Methven Hornet

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Posted 09 July 2013 - 09:51 PM

I quite like it when they refer to him as the "British No 1" as though there's quite a battle with the No 2 for the top spot.

 
Yes, I thought that when a previous poster mentioned it. Being Britain's No 1 isn't that much of an honour. In fact, it's almost as much of honour to be known as the best player from Dunblane (albeit his brother doesn't play singles).


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#140 Methven Hornet

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Posted 10 July 2013 - 07:48 PM

Andy Murray to play that other legendary tennis star from Scotland

Edited by Methven Hornet, 10 July 2013 - 07:49 PM.

"There are now more pandas in Scotland than Tory MPs."




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