Wimbledon 2011: 5 Reasons Andy Murray Can Finally Break Through at Wimbledon
The last British-born player to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936. Current world No. 4 Andy Murray has been knocking on the door in the last few years and is looking to bring home the title.
While Murray's best surface is the hard court, he has a good all-around game and has had success at the All England Club in the past.
Here is a look at five reasons Murray can win his first Grand Slam championship at this year's Wimbledon and finally give Great Britain another title.
5. Past Success
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In Murray's last three Wimbledon appearances, he has advanced to at least the quarterfinals. He is the only man that has reached at least the semifinals the last two seasons and is 19-5 overall.
Murray's consistency at the All-England Club gives him at least a chance to take home the title. All of his losses at Wimbledon have come to players that have at least reached a Grand Slam final in their careers (Roddick, Nadal, David Nalbandian, Marcos Baghdatis).
4. He Won the Queen's Club Event
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The Queen's Club event has been a warm-up tournament for Wimbledon for many years. Success at Queen's has generally transformed into success at the Wimbledon Championships.
The grass-court season in tennis comes and goes so quickly that momentum doesn't change much. The Queen's event comes the week after the French Open, and then Wimbledon follows shortly after.
Murray won at Queen's Club in 2009 and followed with the best Wimbledon run of his career, losing to Roddick in the semifinals in four tightly contested sets.
Lleyton Hewitt and Roddick are each four-time winners of the event. Roddick reached at least the semifinals at the All England Club three of the four times he won at Queen's, while Hewitt captured both the Queen's Club event and Wimbledon in 2002.
Other players in recent history that won both Queen's and Wimbledon in the same year are Nadal (2008) and Pete Sampras (1995, 1999). Six-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer plays a different warm-up event than Queen's or there would almost surely be more double champions.
Murray captured the Queen's Club event in 2011 by defeating Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in yesterday's final. The win should give the Scot momentum and confidence heading into the Wimbledon Championships.
3. His Hunger
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Right now, Murray has to be considered one of the best players in the history of the game that has failed to capture a Grand Slam singles title. While that's not a category he wants to be in, it gives him the motivation needed in order to win a title of this magnitude.
Add in the drought facing Britain players at Wimbledon, and Murray has all the reason in the world to bring out his best tennis at this event. He has been close over the last few seasons but kept running into better grass-court players.
Murray has reached three Grand Slam finals in his young career but has been unable to win a set in those three appearances. It sometimes takes players quite a few times at that stage before they can handle the moment, and Murray should be ready on his fourth try.
2. He's Been Playing the Best Tennis of His Career
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Other than a slight blip after losing in the championship match of the Australian Open, Murray has had a very strong year. His Grand Slam results show that he's been playing the best tennis of his career in 2011.
Murray's clay-court season especially shows how much he's grown this season. He made his first deep run at the French Open of his career, even overcoming an ankle injury to reach the semis in Paris.
The Scot has never before had a successful clay-court season, and his ability to forget about that quickly and play well on grass over the last few years has been quite impressive.
Maybe his 12-4 record on clay this year will help him to have an even better grass-court season than in past years. That would mean at least reaching the final at the All England Club, as he already won Queen's.
1. Nadal's Vulnerability
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The biggest reason Murray has not won a Wimbledon title yet is Nadal. The world No. 1 beat Murray in the quarterfinals in 2008 and the semifinals last year and has generally owned Murray in their careers.
Thus, a good thing for Murray is that Nadal seems to be a little bit off his game of late. Even in winning the 2011 French Open, the normally dominant Mallorcan showed signs of vulnerability.
Nadal did take out Murray in the semis of Roland Garros in straight sets, but Murray had more chances than normal on Nadal's serve. Plus you have to remember that the match was on the Scot's worst surface, and he was still dealing with at least some ankle pain.
Nadal also looked weary in losing at the Queen's Club event last week to Tsonga.
Right now, Murray is playing at his best level, while Nadal clearly is not. So if there was ever a time that Murray could pull off the upset against a man that's won 11 of 15 overall meetings, it would be at this year's Wimbledon Championships.