After Mischa Zverev used that tactic to perfection in defeating the World No. 1 last month at the Australian Open, Pospisil utilised the same strategy on Stadium 1 in Indian Wells. But while Murray had trouble with the Canadian’s charges toward the net, he said there were bigger issues that he struggled to handle throughout the match.
“I have never really practised playing against serve-and-volleyers in my career. But when I have come up against them, it’s normally been a game style I have enjoyed playing against,” said Murray. “Today it wasn’t so much the serve/volley that was the problem. It was my own serve, not getting enough opportunities when he was serving. I think that was more the problem tonight.”
Murray, Like Fans, Marvels At Other Side Of Indian Wells Draw
The Indian Wells crowd naturally began to rally behind the qualifier in the second set as they sensed the potential for a major upset. The World No. 1 said the largely pro-Pospisil crowd didn’t rattle him and that he was appreciative they cheered for good tennis from both players.
“It was a really good atmosphere at the end. It was pretty much a full crowd after the first 15, 20 minutes, so it was a nice atmosphere,” said Murray. “Especially the way he was playing, I think the crowds like him. The guy was being aggressive and he came out with some fantastic shots as well. So they really got into it.”
Although serve-and-volley players are less common now in singles than in previous generations, Murray said the Canadian proved that the tactic isn’t a dying art form.
“I don’t think loads of players are taught it now growing up. It’s not something that’s practised a lot. But if there are guys that do it from a young age, it’s definitely a game style that can be successful,” said Murray. “Obviously in certain conditions or court surfaces it’s easier to do it, like on grass and quicker hard courts. But there is no reason why, if you play that game style well, you can’t be effective doing it at the top of the game.”