It’s been a difficult time in the life and career of Andy Murray. The three-time Grand Slam winner has been cut adrift from the best men’s players in tennis as a result of multiple hip surgeries, and other injury struggles. His Grand Slam appearances have been limited to those he was awarded wildcards for, and when he has played at the biggest events, he has struggled to live up to the high standards he set earlier in his career.
Murray has played in just four of the last 14 Grand Slams, and has failed to get beyond the second round in any of them. When you combine his bad luck regarding injuries with other misfortunes, such as missing the Australian Open earlier this year after testing positive for the coronavirus, it just feels as though things have been going against the Scot over the last three or four years. At 34, injuries have completely taken their toll, and Murray’s fans are beginning to wonder if we’ll ever see him at the business end of a major tournament again.
With Wimbledon on the horizon, there comes another chance for Murray to recover some pride in a Grand Slam. He won’t be backed too heavily by those betting on tennis, but if he can get a couple of wins under his belt, and with the crowd on his side, who knows what could happen. Having skipped the French Open following a groin injury, you can bet that Murray will be raring to go when Wimbledon finally begins.
After all, SW19 holds so many fond memories for the Scot. It’s where he picked up two of his three Grand Slam titles, beating Novak Djokovic in 2013 and Milos Raonic in 2016 to lift the trophy. Murray knows what it takes to win the famous grass-court event, and he’ll be hoping to use that experience to try and muster a decent run.
It’s hard to know what Murray’s objectives are for the rest of his career. You would think that the primary goal will be to achieve full fitness and get to a position where he can comfortably last the course in tough, five-set Grand Slam tennis. But there’s no doubt that the desire to win titles still burns within Murray, and how he would love to get his hands on a fourth Grand Slam title before he calls time on his career.
Above all, Murray needs to get to a stage where he is enjoying playing, and if he can do that then he’ll be in a better frame of mind to challenge for titles. The last thing any of his fans want to see is him struggling to compete, especially if his injuries and fitness are taking a toll both physically and mentally.
When Murray sees Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal all winning Grand Slam titles well into their 30s, there’s no doubt that he must feel a pang of regret. At 34, Murray should still be at a level where he can win the biggest tournaments, but luck has not been on his side over the last few years. All he’ll want now is one more shot at one of the big ones, and who’s to say he can’t shock everyone and land a third Wimbledon crown this summer.
Published by Samantha Brown