Can we not give him a hard time? Seriously?
Because, the thing is, he did very little wrong.
In fact, in terms of execution, I’d say he did nothing wrong.
Then there’s this guy. Who never seems to do anything wrong when it matters most (besides actually believing ‘Impossible is Nothing’).
He’d probably attempt to remain suspended in that gravity-defying victory pose if you asked him to try his hand at it. Because that’s the way he rolls.
We like to shoot Muzz down for playing passively. Yeah, I’m gonna vote we stop doing that now. He’ll never be a Delpo, but he didn’t do it in Oz and it’s not the reason he went out here either.
He didn’t serve poorly either. Big serving was far and away his best chance of winning this match and, aside from at set point in the second set breaker and relinquishing the break that came of Rafa’s only letdown of the entire match in the third, he largely pulled off that part of the bargain.
This is a problem of technique and matchups maybe, but certainly not execution.
If he “fell short” at all (and if that’s even the right phrase) it’s in the forehand, which is capable of all manner of touch and finesse but is not, unfortunately, a put-away shot.
It’s a testament to his talent that despite this little shortcoming he’s had the success he’s had against both Federer and Nadal, and was a very viable contender for the title here.
Which is why, I suppose, for the second Slam this year, he’s been left in tears by a guy that was able to execute that much better.
Muzz came closer than that blasted scoreline suggests. And I suspect telling him he “lost to a better man” won’t help.
So how about we STFU about Bunny Austin for a while? It doesn’t have to be twelve months (US Open anyone?).
Can we leave him be?