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Wimbledon 2010: Andy Murray Ready To Spoil the Party After Straight Sets Win?

Antony Herbert@LeeUwishWritingAnalyst IIIJune 26, 2010

LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 26:  Andy Murray of Great Britain exits after winning after his match against Gilles Simon of France on Day Six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on June 26, 2010 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Julian Finney/Getty Images

A safe bet at the start of Wimbledon would have been to put your money on a Federer-Nadal final.

The men's draw looked predictable.

Andy Murray was still in recovery from injury and would surely suffer as a result. He would not be at his best, and so we could not rely on him to bring home the bacon.

The likes of Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic would also be unable to perform at a consistent enough level to offer them the opportunity of silverware.

On the women's side, however, various seeded talents looked capable of tasting sweet success.

Venus and Serena Williams may have dominated in previous years. They may also have been seeded and ranked at numbers one and two.

Yet too many competitive rivals accompanying the Williams' inability to triumph at Roland Garros meant that it would not be an easy passage for them.

The first week of Wimbledon 2010 seems though to have reversed the expectations of both the men's and women's draws.

On the women's side, the likes of Sharapova and Henin have progressed, just not as promisingly as we would like to have seen.

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Sharapova won in straight sets today. The match lacked fluidity, however, and you can definitely see her faltering against a more accomplished opponent.

Venus and Serena have alternatively portrayed their usual reputational brilliance. Another Williams-Williams final seems imminent.

Remarkably, their dissatisfaction at their third round doubles win today suggests that they believe they have a lot more in the tank.

Are they just warming up? Possibly.

So with their current form and historical dominance of the tournament, the likelihood of a giant-killing looks less likely in comparison to the men's draw.

It is Andy Murray in the men's game who must now sniff a chance of that debut Grand Slam?

Whereas Federer and Nadal have both been on the verge of shocking exits, Murray has instated himself quickly as a willing and competent challenger.

A straight sets win against seeded Frenchman Gilles Simon highlighted his ability to produce world-class tennis. He showed us the epitome of a player who is on to a winner.

Simon gave some of the best shots in his collection and still struggled to win his service games. After an easy first set, Murray carefully came through 6-1, 6-4, 6-4.

For a player still not finding his best serve, this was a beautiful result. It illustrated the difference between him and Federer and Nadal, who look uneasy and a shadow of their former selves.

Where we may have believed Murray was thrust into the more difficult half of the draw, with Nadal as a potential semifinal opponent, now we must think he actually has a chance.

His failure to subvert the form book in his previous two Slam finals is now a thing of the past.

You can't help but think that this time, if he does indeed make it, then he will no longer be the underdog. He could be far from it.

This will become especially true if we emerge towards the end of the second week minus Federer or Nadal.

With the way they are playing at the moment, what is to stop the likes of Soderling, Roddick, and Djokovic from sending them packing?

They could even force the previous two champions out with relative ease.

So for now, the predictions will need to change. Venus and Serena are now the safe bets for the women's final. And Andy Murray as the favourite for the men's title is now  a necessity.

A result that seemed far from reality at the beginning of the tournament now looks like an optimistic but also highly possible outcome.

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