Now comes the Wimbledon. The tennis season in the UK begins when the ATP circuit moves on to the green lawns of London. And when it’s Wimbledon, how can the nation forget its national hope, Andy Murray? Once again, all eyes are on the Scot who carries a billion expectations on his shoulders. With history at stake- can he finally deliver this time? Can he break the jinx? Is Wimbledon going to see a new champion other than Roger and Rafa?
Murray lifted the Queen’s Club trophy and en route, he showed a near flawless form in his semifinal match against Andy Roddick dispatching the American 6-3,6-1 in just 59 minutes followed by a confident performance against the Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga who had ousted the World No.1 Rafael Nadal in the quarters. This year was no less than a deja vu situation for Murray- a characteristic minimum in his performance and consequently the results, after a straight set loss to Novak Djokovic at the Australian Open final. Three first round losses to the unheralded Marcos Baghdatis, Donald Young and Alex Bogomolov Jr., the last two losses in Masters 1000 events. Neither the interest was intact, nor the motivation. He regrouped his game gradually on his least favorite surface and came within two points of being honored with the first man to halt the Serb’s dream run this season( though the final honor was awarded to Roger Federer at the French Open semifinals). He managed to make a semifinal appearance at the Roland Garros- by far his best showing at the French Open- where he lost to the eventual champion and clay court king- Rafael Nadal.
While Roger Federer pulled out of Halle citing a groin problem and Rafael Nadal showed signs of tiredness in his loss to Jo- Wilfried Tsonga, Murray proved that his results during the entire clay court season were no fluke by stamping his authority on the green grasses of the Queens’s Club in London. Though counting Murray’s chances to be a serious contender for “THE SLAM THAT COUNTS” on the basis of his triumph at the ATP 5oo tournament would rather seem sheer stupidity, his chances this year are more than ever. With the field being wide open, the sight of Murray holding his first Grand Slam and Wimbledon trophy should not spring up any surprise- at least not for the experts!
Though Murray has not yet been able to fulfill the hope of his nation, the good signs are that he has not let them disappointed completely either. In his five appearances at the Championships, he has never lost before the third round and the players to whom he has ended up being second best, have either been GS champions or been in a final. Two of those losses came at the hands of the champion and World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. The win at the AEGON Championships, 2011 would definitely prove to be a morale booster for the Scot, given the small amount of time available for a player to switch his game from the clay court to the grass court. The hopes have come alive, the expectations intensified. The whole of Great Britain will be hanging on to every shot the Scot plays, every winner he hits, every win that he registers. Whether their hopes get painted with the colors of reality or get dashed- that depends on the legs and spirit of one man- Andy Murray!