US Open Tennis 2011 : Andy Murray vs. the 75-Year-Old Infamous British Streak

Iddy IgweContributor IIISeptember 2, 2011

Britain's Number 1 and best chance of grand slam success in recent times
Britain's Number 1 and best chance of grand slam success in recent timesNick Laham/Getty Images

Ladies and gentleman, the infamous streak I talk of—if you haven't already worked it out—is the fact that it has been 75 years since a British man has won a Grand Slam. The last man to do so was Fred Perry at the US Open in 1936. This means no British man has won "the big one" post-World War II.

A lot of people may think the British women's game is even more dire. At the moment, that is very true. However, there have been plenty of successes in that same 75-year period including Sue Barker and Virginia Wade, who won multiple Grand Slams, the last being in 1977. Not great, but an improvement nonetheless.  

That doesn't mean they have never come close to breaking this awful run. Britain have had a few men who have fallen at the final hurdle, such as John Lloyd at the 1977 Australian Open and Greg Rusedski at the US open in 1997. More recently, Andy Murray has got to the finals on three separate occasions and still hasn't won a set. That is a worry in itself.

Putting the worry aside, though, Murray is Britain's best chance of conquering the seemingly impossible task of breaking this streak. Unfortunately for him, even though he's a great player, there are three men who play superior tennis at the moment: Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

It may seem like the gap between the awesome trio and Murray is large—and in the world standings that may be the case—but in reality the gap isn't as big as it seems. He may not have the physical strength of Nadal, the technical ability of Federer or the mental strength of Djokovic, but he is a very good player in his own right.

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Murray has beaten all three of them before in tournaments of lesser importance and also in rounds preceding the final of a Grand Slam. That's the problem.

If Murray continues and never wins a Grand Slam, he will become the personification of the difference between "winners and champions." Obviously, he has won other events, but there's a great difference between a Grand Slam and the other ATP events. This is shown especially in the women's game now because a few players have become world No. 1 without winning a Grand Slam, and a slight fuss is made about it (yes, Caroline Wozniacki, you come to mind).

That begs the question, are people making too big an issue out of it? The answer may be yes, but at the end of the day rankings, abilities and the majority of records will come and go, but history will always state what you've won and that is imprinted in the minds of future generations. That is how people are going to judge and remember you when your playing days are done.

Murray needs to desperately develop some character and killer instinct. At present, when the lights are shining brightly, the whole world is watching and the title is within touching distance, he's simply not getting it done.

Time is ticking and with every year of no success, the pressure creeps up.