The annual agony and ecstasy of watching British Number 1, Andy Murray, progress through the Wimbledon fortnight is now under way. After his demolition of German Benjamin Becker in a routine 6-4, 6-3, 6-2 victory on Monday, Murray confirmed that his life as a tennis player is far from easy with his tweet:
@andy murray: 'Post match chores.. Shower..10min bike..sushi..45 min physio..1hr press..10 min ice bath.. 5min warm bath..now mock the week in bed!'
His next chore? The second round match on Court No 1 today, against Taiwanese Yen-Hsun Lu, scheduled for 3pm. Bookmaker Paddy Power reckons Murray is the overwhelming favourite, with odds to win of 1/50, but Murray is reluctant to take anything for granted in these early matches at SW19, saying “All of these guys are really good players and, although the result might seem comfortable, it certainly doesn’t feel it on the court”.
Hopes are high for Andy Murray this year (as ever!) and here are five reasons why Murray can win in the Men’s Singles Final at Wimbledon on 7 July:
1. Confidence borne of experience – Murray, at 26 years of age, is a veteran of the Wimbledon championships. He has played in semi-finals in 2009, 2010 and 2011 and was defeated over four sets by Roger Federer at last year’s final.
2. Djokovic is human – the World Number 1 is beatable. Novak Djokovic has a good draw, admittedly, and is a superlative grass court player but Murray has a good record against the 26-year-old Serb, having won 7 matches in their 19 encounters. In recent months, Murray was defeated by Djokovic in a bruising 7-6,6-7,3-6,2-6 encounter at the Australian Open final but Murray’s mental attitude just keeps improving thank in part to new coach, tennis titan Ivan Lendl
3. Nadal is out – the Spaniard just did not look comfortable from the first moment he walked on court on Monday to play world number 135, Steve Darcis. Rafa Nada’s defeat sent the World Number 5 and former Wimbledon champion back home to Majorca as he failed to adjust to grass after his stunning clay court return, which saw him winning the French Open for a record eighth time just a few weeks ago.
4. Federer is A Diminishing Force – yes, the Swiss is possibly the best male tennis player ever, but the 31-year-old World Number 3’s form is starting to fade, albeit slowly. After his defeat of Murray at Wimbledon last year, the tables were turned in the Olympics final (also hosted at Wimbledon) when Murray won gold and Federer silver. Murray’s success at the US Open in early autumn signalled that he is now one of the elite, and Murray’s victory over Federer in the semi-final of the Australian Open marked the first time the Scot had won against him in a Major. 2013 has been a disappointing year for Federer who has only won one title to date. If Murray meets Federer in the Semi-Finals, as is likely, the Flying Scot can win.
5. The will to win – Murray is only too aware that no British man has won the Men’s Singles title at Wimbledon for the small matter of 77 years. The public’s weight of expectation is high, but cannot surpass the pressure he puts upon himself. Murray is hungry for the title, and came so close to achieving it last year. He has the will to succeed, combined with improved fitness, and a full recovery from his back injury that put him out of the French Open this year. Expect his performances to improve over the next few days; this is a man with a point to prove, playing on his best surface...grass.
Bookmaker Paddy Power has a great offer to acknowledge the Murray Mania phenomenon. If Andy Murray wins Wimbledon, Paddy Power will refund losing single bets on the tournament outright. The offer only applies to win bets made before the start of Round 3, up to a maximum refund of £100, so time to place your tennis bets. Click on https://www.freebets.com/offer/614/paddy-power-wimbledon-murray-mania now.