Wimbledon and Rio
If I had to sum up Andy Murray’s tennis philosophy as it appears to the casual observer..
Sorry. That’s nonsense! You can not watch Andy casually – it takes strength sapping willpower, and the belief that no matter how tired he looks he will prevail.
Let’s try again.
If I had to sum up Andy Murray’s tennis philosophy as it appears to the non-expert observer it would be “one more”. He will always strive to make his opponent play one more shot, in the hope of getting into a point winning position. Returning a serve when others would be aced. Hitting a return from way beyond the tramlines to force his opponent to hit an ankle height volley.
To borrow a quote from Dr Who:
“I am, and always will be, the optimist. The hoper of far-flung hopes, and the dreamer of improbable dreams.”
My suspicion is that Andy is a ‘hoper of far-flung hopes’. No one has ever hit a shot that Andy will not try to return, and that his inner “dreamer of improbable dreams” believes he can return, no matter what.
Not that he isn’t capable of brilliance, he is, but it is brilliance allied to resilience that makes him such a tremendous player
And so to Wimbledon and a plot twist so scarcely believable, that you half expected Novak to come out of a locker room shower and reveal it was all a dream. Novak was beaten in the third round by Sam Querry. Andy has even more expectation placed on his shoulders. I can’t imagine what it’s like being British #1 during Wimbledon fortnight, no one, not even OFSTED ever expected as much from one of my lessons. However he delivered, surviving a tough 5 set match against Jo Tsonga along the way before facing Milos Raonic.
This was Murray’s 11th Grand Slam final and for the first time he was the favourite, having faced either Novak Djokovic or Roger Federer in the previous 10 finals.
Andy flourished, and his ‘one more shot’ attitude meant that in this battle between serve and return, he was able to claim a sixth successive win over Raonic, in three straight sets 6-4 7-6(3) 7-6 (2) to claim his second Wimbledon title.
Next stop Rio and the Olympics. Four years earlier at London 2012, Andy had claimed gold, thrashing Roger Federer in the final, bouncing back from another Wimbledon final defeat. Could Andy, who was given the honour of carrying the flag for Team GB at the opening ceremony, hold on to his Olympic crown or would #1 seed Novak triumph and achieve a Career Golden Slam? The second question was answered right away as Novak crashed out in round 1 losing to Juan Martin del Potro.
Murray did defend his title, defeating del Potro in the final, 7–5, 4–6, 6–2, 7–5. With the victory, Murray became the first player, male or female, to win singles gold at two consecutive Olympics.
The US Open was a strange affair. Novak sailed through to the final with walkover in the 2nd round, and in the 3rd round and quarterfinals his opponents retired. Andy reached the quarterfinals where he lost in five sets to Kai Nishikori, who in turn lost to Stan Warwrinka.
Stan had saved match points in an earlier round to unseeded Brit Dan Evans, lost the opening set on a tiebreak, but then reeled off the next three to shock Novak, in the last Grand Slam of the year.
Attention turned to the run in to the final event in London