Back in 2013, Andy Murray did something Great Britain had been waiting 77 years for. He won the Wimbledon men’s singles title. His straight-sets victory (6-4 7-5 6-4) over Novak Djokovic was greeted by rapturous applause and celebrations from everyone at Wimbledon, as well as across the whole of Britain. His undoubted talent looked as though it could go on to dominate world tennis following his second Grand Slam title and Olympic gold medal success the previous year. Unfortunately for Murray, the man he beat in that famous Wimbledon final went from strength to strength and has proved to be almost unbeatable since. Djokovic currently holds all four Grand Slam titles, but he found himself on the end of a shock defeat to American Sam Querrey in their third-round match over the weekend. Now the world number one and unstoppable force in men’s tennis is out of the competition, we ask the question: Can Murray win Wimbledon again?
A look at the betting market and seeing Murray as the nailed on favourite to win the title might answer that question for a lot of people. But if Djokovic’s defeat has taught us anything, it is to expect the unexpected. Murray now faces a last-16 tie with Australian Nick Kyrgios and will have a further three matches to win if he is to lift the trophy on centre court at SW19. He is most likely to come up against Richard Gasquet and Tomas Berdych, before a final showdown with seven-time Wimbledon champion, Roger Federer. There’s no doubt that the Scot, ranked second in the world, has the ability to go on and win the title, it is whether or not he can handle the pressure of an expectant nation.
The fact that Murray has been in this position before and got the job does bode well for the Scotsman and people of Britain. He’s played some of his best tennis on grass and has a great record against every player left in the competition (except perhaps for the ageing Roger Federer). As great as Murray’s main competition for winning the title being knocked out is, it now means he’ll be under even more pressure and more focus will be put on his performances. He hasn’t put a foot wrong yet, winning every game so far in straight-sets, but today’s match-up signals a change in intensity and increase in quality of opposition.
We’ll have to wait until the second Sunday of Wimbledon (July 10th) to see if Murray can make history once again. Of course, there is nothing wrong with being optimistic about his chances but we should remember that there is still a long way to go. Whether it be Murray Mount or Henman Hill, Thump are certainly hoping that it will be packed out and cheering on a British contender for the men’s singles title.