Andy Murray - Carrying the hopes of a nation
Whenever Andy Murray walks on to the courts of Wimbledon, there is a sense of belief among the British tennis fans that maybe this is the year where they will finally have a British Champion. For three years in a row from 2009-2011 he fell at the semifinal hurdle and in 2012 he came agonisingly close and lost in the finals.
This year though seems very different. Andy is in blistering form, having blazed through his first three rounds in emphatic fashion, and looking very confident ahead of his fourth round match against No.20 seed Mikhael Youzhny of Russia.
His form aside, for the first time Andy seems very confident at the Championships. A lot of the confidence can be attributed to the fact that the monkey is finally off his back. Having won his maiden Grand Slam at the US Open in 2012, in the process ending a 76 year wait for a British Grand Slam champion, Andy knows how to handle such pressure.
He is not one to be bowed down by expectations. Another factor in favour of Andy is the fact that two of his greatest rivals Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer have suffered shock early exits. It’s interesting to note that Nadal beat Murray in the semis in 2010 and again in 2011, and Federer beat him in the finals last year. With those two out, as well as No.6 seed, the dangerous Jo Wilfred Tsonga also out, the draw seems very favourable for Andy to make it to the finals.
His opponent in the quarters will be an unseeded player as the draw stands, and the highest seed that he could face in the semis is No.24 Jerry Janowicz. If somebody would have offered this to Andy before the draw, he would accepted it with open arms. But as we know, tennis is very uncertain and if these Championships are anything to go by, one bad at the office and you’re out, so Andy has to remain confident and focused.
With an entire nation behind you, sometimes even the greats buckle under the pressure. That’s why it’s very hard to win at home as they say, but Andy Murray himself has said the crowd doesn’t pull him down, but in fact are a big support for him.
With the support of so many, come July 7th, Andy Murray can finally end Great Britain’s 77 year wait for a British champion at Wimbledon.