The road to the Wimbledon finals hasn’t been easy for Andy Murray. The Scotsman has faced formidable competition during his six-match campaign, and at some points his progression has seemed less than certain. Yet despite those nail-biting moments, Wimbledon supporters have been lucky enough to witness divine acts of tennis from the world number four. From his brisk first round elimination of Nikolay Davydenko to Friday’s four set victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, the Scotsman has consistently shown composure and determination.
Yet there is little doubt that Murray will have to be at his absolute best if he plans on turning the tide of sporting history this afternoon. For it’ll take more than desire to secure victory against Roger Federer – a man with ambitions of his own. A win for the six-time Wimbledon champion would match Pete Sampras’s record of seven titles at the All England Club, as well as a return to the top of the world rankings.
…it’s been seventy-six years since…
It’s hard to ignore the fact that it’s been 76 years since a British player’s lifted the Wimbledon trophy. It’s a figure repeatedly emphasised by newspapers and tennis fans alike. It is this pressure, encapsulated in the looming figure of Fred Perry – standing sentry at the All England Club – that has been the stumbling-block of many a home-grown contender. In this sense, it is history that may just prove to be Murray’s biggest foe.
However, there’s plenty of reasons to believe that this wiry down-to-earth Scotsman, who talks as honestly as he plays, has a little something extra over his predecessors. For one, this isn’t the first time that Murray has found himself in a Grand Slam final. In fact, he’s played in three; losing the first two to Roger Federer and the third to Novak Djokovic. Despite two Slam defeats at the hands of the Swiss man, fans can find solace in the fact that Murray has won eight of his fifteen previous meetings with Federer – one of only two players to have a positive head-to-head record against the 30 year-old.
…rewrite of the record books…
There is little doubt that prayers will be flowing from Murray Mount today, a nation’s hopes balanced on the shoulders of one man. But whether Murray will topple the King of SW19 or become a mere pawn in Federer’s own rewrite of the record books is as of yet undecided. For now, as always, Britain can only hope.