I wonder if Andy Murray ever curses the fact that he’s playing in an era with two of the greatest tennis players of all time? I suspect he does.
The Scot has all the attributes to be a major winner; he can play every shot in the book, is incredibly fit, loves a challenge and has great court-craft and intuition, but so far this total package hasn’t been quite good enough.
There are transition times in tennis, just like every sport, when the better players retire, get injured or lose their edge and that’s when the lesser-lights have a chance of clinching one of the big ones.
And while it’s been like this for a while on the women’s tour, the men’s has been dominated by Roger Federer and Rafa Nadal for several years, and now Novak Djokovic has entered the fray.
So even though Murray has become the king of Queen’s club for the second time in his career and is legitimately the fourth best player in the world, the chances of him ending Britain’s 75-year wait for a men’s singles champion at Wimbledon really aren’t that great.
For the next three weeks or so, he’ll be under an intense microscope. The British media will follow him everywhere and report on everything he does, but he’ll have got used to that. It’s literally ‘Murray Mania.’
In fact, I think he does tremendously well under extreme pressure and don’t believe his failure to win a major is because of a mental block.
It’s just that the players who have beaten him in the three finals he has reached, have played at a different level. Take this year’s Australian Open for example. Djokovic took him out in straight sets during a superb winning run in which he beat Nadal four straight times and Federer three.
Since Federer won his first Wimbledon in 2003, the three players I just mentioned have won 28 of the 32 major titles on offer. Isn’t that incredible?
The four they missed went to Andy Roddick (US Open 2003), Gaston Gaudio (French Open 2004), Marat Safin (Australian Open 2005) and Juan Martin del Potro (US Open 2009).
And so, given that the Wimbledon title has gone to either Federer or Nadal for the past seven years, it’s hard to see past the dynamic duo, although I do think Novak has a real shot if it stays dry!
Once again, the women’s tournament is hard to predict but surely the lowly ranked Williams sisters will be major contenders despite not having played much in the past year.
Together they’ve held the Venus Rosewater dish aloft nine times in the last 11 years with only Maria Sharapova and Amelie Mauresmo breaking up their stranglehold in 2004 and 2006 respectively.
We must savor this year’s women’s Wimbledon Championship, because, not only do we have Venus and Serena back playing, but also a whole host of others in the mix with the exception of Kim Clijsters, who has withdrawn after a reccurence of her foot.
Li Na is now a major champion, while Sharapova also looks back to her best. Add to that world number one Caroline Wozniacki and the likes of Vera Zvonareva, Victoria Azarenka and Petra Kvitova, and we could have quite a tournament on our hands.
The winner, if not one of the Williams sisters, will likely have to beat either Serena or Venus en route, or even both. Not an easy task!
It was awonderful game for you.
Whilst the points raised have validity, Wimbledon, like all other touraments has to be played first before the results can be known. Whilst this is obvious, what I mean is that any of the players Andy Murray will have to face could get injured, or fail to play at their (usually consistent) best or any one of many other reasons.
But most of all, Murray is an intelligent player who knows the statistics and if he has any character at all, will play to win. We've seen almost total newcomers do incredibly well at Wimbledon, beating more seasoned players and if you don't go to that tourament with the desire, if not the expectation of winning, then you shouldn't be there.
Wimbledon is actually the most unlikely slam for Murray to break through. His game is too passive for the grass. You can't wait for mistakes, you have to create plays on grass. Murray's best shot at a slam will be this years US Open...but the clock is ticking, if he doesn't breakthrough this year he's likely to end up with one or two at the most.
Couldn’t agree more. Press here are doing their annual 'this time' propaganda stint. Fact is it'll take about 4 players getting shot for it to happen, and if they did Wimbledon would likely be cancelled anyways.
Great article. I predict a Roger Federer and Maria Sharapova (if her serve holds up) victory at Wimbledon this year!
go Roger, its very clear that you still have the reflexes of a tennis genius. Love to see you winning & holding that wimbledon trophy again.
tennis afficionados from kuwait
This Wimbeldon is for Rafa.. :-)
After Aussie open final loss, Murray suffered a slump at spring hard court, then restored at clay season, now winning first title this year on grass, he's taking off now, I think Murray has a pretty good shot at Wimbledon this year. Nadal is a bit vulnerable on fast court(this year he showed weakness even at his best surface last month). Federer is always most favorite on grass but loss to Berdych last year tells Federer could be beaten by non-Nadal opponent at SW19, having had his day. Djokovic rolls incredibly this year, but his style is not fit well on grass and has never reached final. One good thing for Murray is that Federer is seeded no.3 so Murray could only faces to Federer at final.
For title contenders, it will be important how to cope with early rounds.Grass is a special surface, lots of dangerous players as big server, skillful net player, mixed type opponent, they often bring some tough test to top seeded players. Last year Haase and Petzschner pushed Nadal to the wall, coming through those tough rounds boosted Nadal to win title. interesting whom Murray draws near him at draw ceremony Friday.
Longing for Wimbledo to start.Will be glued to the TV!
Everything you write is so true.Your predictions were correct for the French Open.Can you do it again?
Murray has neither the instinct nor, ultimately, the talent to win any of the grand slam events. He's too old and simply is not hungry enough to do the job. Sorry, mates.
i completely disagree with candy, murray does crack under pressure and if he really was as good as you say he is, he would raise his game and win a blaady grand slam...truth is, he's just not good enuf and his bad attitude is one of the major factors to his continued failur on court...
The hassle and distractions of being in the media spotlight probably have a lot to do with those occasions where major sporting events are won by contestants who were given little chance at the beginning of the competition. The dark horse winner had the advantage of flying under the radar. The emotional pressure is probably much greater than we can imagine. That being said, Murray will face an uphill battle and probably has a better chance of winning a major tournament when he has fallen somewhat out of the spotlight. Nice thoughtful article. Candy Reid rocks!
Murray's problem is that he isn't aggressive against the likes of Federer and Nadal and is constantly waiting for them to make mistakes which they are unlikely to do even on a bad day. The fact is in all grand slam finals he has played he has yet to win even one set and until he starts to take the game to his opponent he will never win one and he will always be overrated.
Roger will be the grass king this year.
Vamos Rafa ♥
Looks like hantuchova may have a chance in the womens
Hi Candy – do'n't you mean 3 of the best – Djokovic is up there with Rafa and the Fed (as does great impressions)
If Murray can continue with the mind-set he showed at Queens he has a chance. He usually spends so much time on the court beating himself up and swearing at his team he wastes his energy and doesn't endear himself to the crowd. He has the game but not the mind. I don't think his mother helps either.
With the ladies it is really open this year, but I don't think the Williams sisters are really fit – but you never know.
Murray is World Number Four. I'd LOVE to be World Number Four at ANYTHING ! The stupid reporters who get on his back ( just as they got on the back of Henman ) would NOT be in the World's top one million writters so they should shut-up and find something they know about to write – which ain't sport.
Folks winning a grand slam is all about will, you have to have a 110 percent will about yourself, example: although RAFA plays bad in first rounds to lesser rank opponents he finds a way to up his game and still leaves the court champion, same can be said for the FED and the NOVAK, in Andy's case he needs to tell his self that if they can do it, he can to, and get rid of the Mother Figure and look for a real Couch. sometimes you have to make solid desicions even though it hurts. but good luck anyway Andy, you'll need it this year.
A Question I cannot really answer, Can someone tell me if they think RODDICK will ever win another slam? or is he JUST a one slam wonder? age is catching up Andy.
Yes. I definitely agree with you. Murray has little chance of winning Wimbledon. Besides, his quarter could be very tricky.
good luck rafa.hoist that gs trophy again....
Ummm, Murray can't win when Federer and Nadal are around, that's true ! Murray has to wait for a year or two and then he will keep winning many turnaments, at least I hope so. This time Roger Federer will win the title for the 7'th time and as he is acknowledged as the world's best legendary player on grass court, his experience being so vast and for so long, will pay off ! He will emerge a winner by grace and style. This time Federer will be KING !!!
Andy Murray has been having a fine Grand Slam so far. He looks good to have a go at the top booty and the title of titles. Good luck to the Brit and to his legion of admirers.
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