Monday, June 24, 2013

Can Andy Murray Win Wimbledon In 2013?

BBC Sports may have given Andy Murray the 'kiss of death' heading into Wimbledon this June. The two-week long championships at the All-England club start today and most of the BBC's pundits have picked a 'fresh' Murray to win his second career Grand Slam and first at Wimbledon.

If Murray does manage to become the 2013 Wimbledon champion, he will be the first British man to succeed since Fred Perry won the tournament in 1936.

The 26-year old has risen to the number two ranking in the world with some fine performances in the past year. He suffered a heart-breaking loss in the Wimbledon final last year against Federer, but then got the Grand Slam 'monkey' off of his back winning the US Open. He followed that success up with a positive start in the 2013 season battling through to the Australian Open, where he lost in four sets to Djokovic.

Murray missed the French Open due to injury. However, reports indicate that he is at full health and he played pretty well winning his main warm-up event at Queen's Club in the past couple of weeks. 

It might be a little far-fetched to suggest that Murray is 'fresh' compared with the competition. There are certainly fitness concerns surrounding Nadal given his recent injury struggles and the strain put on his knees by a tough 2013 French Open. 

There also some reasonably significant doubts about Federer and his game. The 31-year old is a seven-time Wimbledon champion and a seriously dangerous player on grass. However, the evidence continues to pile on that the powers of the biggest Grand Slam winner in the history of men's tennis are waning. The fact is that Federer hasn't really played badly at all in the 2013 season. He just hasn't been able to make a serious impact.

Murray also avoided the potentially tricky quarter-final draw that is Nadal. So perhaps it is understandable that the Brit is being so heavily favoured.

The problem of course is that none of this really considers Djokovic, the current world number one. It's worth noting that Djokovic took hold of the top ranked position of world's tennis. It wasn't given to him. He had one of the best seasons in the history of tennis in 2011. He wasn't too bad in 2012, in fact he was pretty good. This season Djokovic has arguably been back to his very best. He pushed the greatest clay court player of all time to five sets (and a long fifth set) in the semi-final of the French Open.

Djokovic is hungry, has a great grass court game and should be pretty fresh. He also has the sort of draw that should allow him to move through the rounds smoothly building himself up. Djokovic is the man to beat at these championships.

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