They act as an ideal description for the usually wavering sport of Alexander Zverev, who can go from outclassing the world’s greatest gamers and successful Olympic gold to being unable to land a serve in.
When he final confronted Andy Murray at the Cincinnati Masters final August, the German’s second serve nearly utterly vanished as a useable shot.
He has had worse capitulations with ball in hand on the service line however the hope for Murray when the pair meet once more within the third spherical of Indian Wells on Tuesday night time is that recollections of that encounter nonetheless weigh closely on his opponent.
There have been constructive indicators of the bodily fairly than psychological rebirth of Murray in latest weeks – his fightback to beat one of the sport’s rising stars in Carlos Alcaraz within the earlier spherical a very pleasing tonic to some beforehand powerful defeats.
However he faces a step-up in opposition to Zverev, the No3 seed and a latest US Open semi-finalist.
Casting his mind again to their final encounter, Murray mentioned: “The match that we performed final yr, I’m not saying he was enjoying his greatest tennis at that stage however he did make the ultimate of the US Open a pair of weeks later.
“I wasn’t bodily feeling notably good and didn’t play notably properly however managed to win. From that perspective, I can achieve confidence figuring out that, if I play a extremely good match, I’ll be in there with a shot. He’ll definitely go in because the overwhelming favorite however, if I play a high-level match, I’ll be proper in there.”
With comparatively little tennis in his legs in contrast to the likes of Zverev in latest months, the query is all the time round Murray backing up a great outcome as in opposition to Alcaraz. Too typically in opposition to higher-ranked opponents, being match shy he has understandably light – however the confidence is constructing.
“I’m beginning to get there once more and get to a degree the place it wouldn’t shock me if I received a match,” he mentioned. “Taking part in with a steel hip shouldn’t be simple however I do genuinely consider that I can win tournaments once more and have massive outcomes in opposition to prime gamers.”
Murray readily admits he and Zverev are usually not “greatest mates” forward of their assembly and had pushed the ATP to create a home abuse coverage, which has since been adopted.
For his half, Zverev welcomed that same move amid an investigation into allegations of abuse by his ex-girlfriend Olya Sharypova, which he vehemently denies.
Cameron Norrie, in the meantime, continued his effective 2021 as he knocked out Roberto Bautista Agut in a third-round match that went late into the California night time.
The British No2 beat the Spanish No15 seed 6-4 5-7 6-3 to arrange a last-16 encounter in opposition to Tommy Paul, who was a shock three-set winner over fourth seed Andrey Rublev.
Dan Evans, in the meantime, let slip a one-set 4-2 lead as he misplaced 10 subsequent video games in opposition to Diego Schwartzman in a 5-7 6-4 6-0 defeat.