Can anyone stop Andy Murray winning Wimbledon?

first_imgIn-depth: Andy Murray looked in truly sublime form as he claimed the Queen’s title for a fourth time. Is he set for a second Wimbledon victory?WHAT HAPPENED Britain’s Andy Murray was in irresistible form as he dispatched first Viktor Troicki and then Kevin Anderson in the space of a few hours on Sunday to win the ATP Queen’s Club tournament.Murray was relentless, manoeuvring his opponents around the court with ease, as he sent out an ominous warning to the likes of Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer ahead of Wimbledon, which starts a week on Monday.It was Murray’s fourth triumph in the Wimbledon curtain-raiser – and the manner in which he prevailed suggested that he has every chance of following a win at Queen’s with another at SW19, exactly as he did in 2013.Fans are already getting excited at the prospect of a second British win at Wimbledon. But with defending champion Novak Djokovic and seven-time Wimbledon champion Roger Federer both in form as well, there will be a long road ahead for the Scot. MURRAY’S VIEW “I feel like I have improved [since winning in 2013],” said Murray. “You know, sport and life and everything moves on. If you don’t continue to improve and get better, there is going to be people that will take your spot… “Physically I’m definitely in a better place than I was then. Obviously I was having problems with my back around that time… “I feel like I’m using my variety very well just now, something that maybe I wasn’t the last couple of years. That’s been good for me,” Murray added. “It’s been a really good start, but, you know, it’s a long way to go before Wimbledon even starts, and then all sorts of things can happen during slams…”Both matches today were good performances and I played a little bit better as the week went on,” Murray added “It’s been a great week for me and hopefully I can continue that form through to Wimbledon. “I’m playing better than in [2013], I feel. But it’s extremely difficult to win these events when everyone is improving all the time. “You are playing against some of the greatest players that have ever played so you need to keep working hard and I still feel there are things I can improve on.”DREAM START THAT BECAME NIGHTMARE SEASON… BUT NOW A DREAM AGAIN? Murray was in great form at the start of the season as he reached the final of the Australian Open in January. But a miserable defeat at the hands of Djokovic – with the Serb’s antics clearly upsetting Murray – took the wind out of his sails, and he struggled over the next few weeks.Since then, however, he has lost just three matches – all of them to Djokovic. And getting married to long-term girlfriend Kim Sears appears to have boosted him further: returning to action a few weeks later on his least-favourite surface, Murray won the first two clay court titles of his career – and made it all the way to the semi-finals of the French Open. More importantly, once in the last four at Roland Garros he produced some stunning tennis to recover from a two-set deficit against Djokovic, albeit to crumble in the final set. On grass, however, Murray would expect to have the edge should the encounter be similarly hard-fought. – THE CHALLENGERSDjokovic has, as usual, not played a grass court warm-up tournament this season – an unusual tactic, but one which he has used successfully in the past ahead of his Wimbledon titles in 2011 and 2014. And given that he has been head-and-shoulders above the rest of the world for most of the season, he will head to Wimbledon as the hot favourite – and indeed is quoted around evens by most bookies. Murray, for comparison purposes, is second favourite at 5-2. Yet there are chinks in his armour, as Stan Wawrinka showed in stunning style in beating the Serb at the French Open. Will that loss cause Djokovic to doubt himself if he ends up in a tight match? Roger Federer’s best days are clearly long behind him now – yet he is still the world number two, well ahead of Murray on points, and he barely broke a sweat in winning the ATP Halle grass tournament this week. If Federer has one more major in him, there is little doubt that it will come at Wimbledon where his combination of balletic grace and deft shotmaking always seem particularly well-suited.THE ONE BIG PROBLEM The Wimbledon draw means that if Federer and Djokovic are playing at their normal SW19 standard, Murray will have to beat both men, back-to-back, to lift the title since one will come in the semi-final and the other in the final. It’s nothing he hasn’t done before at Wimbledon – albeit he pulled off the feat at the Olympics rather than the All England Championships – but it turns a tough task into a Herculean one.–last_img

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