Wimbledon 2010: Five Reasons Andy Murray Can Finally Break Through
After years of Henman Hill failing to be provided with a cause for absolute celebration, another attempt to end the countless years of British frustration will be made.
Murray Mount returns for a fiest fortnight of tennis action. The courts of SW19 will be full to the brim with eager spectators, many who will be hoping on a home grown triumph.
Andy Murray has not had the best of years. He has suffered numerous and unexpected defeats. Additional injury worries have left him lacking in the consistency department.
But everyone following his career will be struck once more with a bout of optimism as we ponder his chances of victory on the grass courts of Wimbledon.
I cant help but think that certain aspects of his game, and also of his life on and off the courts will influence his performance over the next two weeks.
These facets could produce what we have all been waiting so desperately for; a British champion at the British Grand Slam.
Before the World Cup began we all expected the England football team to do well. In our minds they would progress well beyond the group stages. They still can of course, and anything less than that will be considered a disaster.
Providing the team do make the knockout rounds, the time spent by English sport fans will be drawn away from Wimbledon.
There will still be the faithful supporters but the media will be focusing on the football team, as opposed to the Scottish wonderboy of tennis.
Andy Murray as a result should feel the difference. The pressure to perform, and the pressure to win will not be as instense.
The media would still punish any shortcomings but to a much smaller degree. Andy will not feel the usual brunt of failure afforded to players competing in a sport that their country created.
So Andy can use this to his advantage. A player with less expectation thrust upon their shoulders can substantially evolve into a more confident and efficient competitor on court.
Especially for a player like Andy, who is not the most extroverted of characters, he will be able to carry along his own hopes at his own pace and on his own terms.
The Murray Brand Lives On
Yes, it is true that Andy Murray is the stronger tennis player in his family. His brother Jamie has sadly fallen off the radar.
It has been two years since the other Murray triumphed in the mixed doubles event.
Jamie alongside Jelana Jankovic gave a home won Grand Slam victory at Wimbledon for the first time in a long time. It was just a shame that this fragment of the tournament gained little exposure and praise for such an effort. It was always going to be about the singles game instead.
Andy will still however want to equal his brothers achievement. Instead of it being as part of a double act he would like to do it by himself.
It is hard to imagine Andy ending his career with one less Grand Slam trophy than his brother. Yet it is obviously not an impossibility at the moment.
Andy has been at his strongest as a player and unless he improves to even greater heights then he may be as close as he is ever going to get to a Grand Slam trophy.
So the seeking to emulate his brothers achievement adds another reason to the list of virtues that can make a champion of the Scot.
His desire to give the Murray family not one, but two Grand Slam victors will aid him in his attempt.
A Grand Slam Specialist
Tiger Tim reached the final eight of a Grand Slam on ten occasions. Andy Murray has already reached half of that tally.
And whereas Tim passed out at the semi-final stage, Andy has managed to claim two final appearances.
Although Murray has lost both finals, he is becoming equipped with the knowledge of what it is that takes you first to a final, and secondly to win one.
With great knowledge of course comes great responsibility and now that Andy has almost tasted glory twice he knows that it is within his grasp. He is aware that he can give his fans what they want.
What Murray will also look forward to is a Grand Slam final that is minus Mr Roger Federer. Many believe that Murray will only win a Grand Slam once the Swiss player begins to falter.
Whilst this may be true, Andy has shown on his day that he is capable of beating the best. He is becoming more than able to enact such defeats on any surface.
Natural progression should hopefully also play a part. Two years ago Murray reached the quarter finals at Wimbledon, and last year it was the semis.
Those with an eye for a pattern will therefore expect Murray to take a step forward and go one further this year.
A Bigger, Better Murray
Without the aid of daily Macdonald’s meals, Andy has become bigger in size. He has obviously hit the gym in an attempt to join players such as Andy Roddick who use their build and power as a weapon.
Murray so far in his career has become known for a variety of skills. His solid groundstrokes are remarkably error free. He has shown that he is able to accomodate a return and react in a way that distinguishes himself high above the players ranked beneath him.
These have led to him being regarded as a defensive winner. He is able to win on counter shots that portray skill and dedication to the battle.
This armour that he has possessed until recently though, has been considered dull and unappealing.
So as his body progresses to a bigger and better build, Murray will look to incorporate more in the way of power play into his game.
The more intimidating he becomes on court, the greater the opportunity to succeed he has.
In comparison to last year and his scrawny silhouette in the years before Murray is moving towards the best shape of his life, so he is ready for the best form of his life.
A Return to Form: Injury Inspired
Of course this increase in time spent building muscle and building power has left Murray vunrable to injury.
A long term knee problem has halted proceedings of late, but it is only a matter of time before it heels once more and Murray is left to carry on where he left off.
Only for every time injury plagues his career Murray seems to emerge stronger and more determined than before.
This is what makes a great sportsman. To triumph in the face of adversity is to gift yourself the reputation of a legend.
Will the injury setbacks inspire him to perform at a vastly more able rate? Let’s hope so. There is a concern that he may withdraw early on if the injury comes back with a vengance.
For now it should just act as to spur him on to consistent results.
The New Wimbledon Champion?
So there we have it. Andy may not be the immediate favourite for the tournament. A betting man would put money on him reaching the semi finals at best. That is, if Nadal and Federer are still in with a shot at that stage.
Andy is a bright spark. He has grown in maturity and ability to a level that is beautiful and inspiring to watch.
We live in hope that he will go where Henman and Rusedski could not; to win a Grand Slam.
‘A champion in waiting’ emblem may still have some way to be rid of, but for Wimbledon over the next two weeks, he may just have a stab at glory.
And even a respectable performance throughout the tournament could set him on the road to a title at any of the four major events.