Federer vs. Murray: Why Andy Murray Will Never Win a Slam
With the stars seemingly aligning at London, Murray couldn't take advantage for his first career major win.
The Scottsman had the Wimbledon crowd and an entire nation pulling for him. World No. 2 Rafael Nadal had uncharacteristically been bounced in the second round. Federer and Novak Djokovic beat each other up in the semis, meaning Murray would have to get by just one of the Big 3.
Wimbledon 2012 was suddenly Andy Murray's to win, but the 30-year-old Federer, who is supposed to be on the decline, was just too good.
And that's what will always be in Murray's way to a major. There will always be someone too good.
Unlike the other three major finals that Murray let slip through his grasp, this one was different. He didn't lose, he was beaten. In his previous three losses, Murray failed to win a set, looking severely outmatched in the process.
But at Wimbledon 2012, Murray made it clear. After winning the first set and subsequently fighting until his shoes came off (literally) in the other three, that he is closing the gap on Djokovic, Federer and Nadal. Unfortunately for the 25-year-old, if he's ever going to win a tennis major, he will have to do a lot more than just close the gap. He will have to turn the rivalry into a quadrivalry. (Uh, or something like that.)
But as much as Murray continues to improve, the likelihood of breaking through to No. 1 seems unlikely. He's just 25 and has plenty of room to continue to get better, but people forget that Djoker and Nadal are also just 25 and 26, respectively.
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They aren't going away or suddenly going to decline during the same stretch that Murray gets better—and neither is the youngest 30-year-old in the world, Roger Federer, apparently. Forget about whatever young guys rise up the ranks in the following years, Murray will continually have to deal with the Big 3—or, at the very least, Djokovic and Rafa—for the next five or six years. That's not going to be an easy task.
Will Andy Murray win a major?
For the record, Murray has the ability to do it. He has the strength to overpower opponents on his first serve. In Ivan Lendl, who lost his first four grand slam finals before winning a total of eight throughout his career, Murray has the coach who knows the kind of situation he's in.
He'll always have Wimbledon, where he'll be a strong favorite, even with the Big 3 around him. But the obstacles appear too large. If he is going to win a major, Britain's greatest hope will need everything to go right. It appeared he was getting just that at All England Club, but it still wasn't enough.
Murray is like the Charles Barkley of tennis. Just, you know, without the mouth.
Just because he never wins a major title shouldn't take away his greatness, however. In a way, this latest Wimbledon final with Federer was symbolic of his entire career. Andy Murray was great, he just wasn't the best.
And because he was born in the wrong decade (as many argued about Andy Roddick before him), Murray will continue to establish himself as a fantastic player throughout the tennis circuit, just not the best one.
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