(photo credit: Reuters)
There are moments when you cannot help but feel sorry for Andy
Pride of Britain if he wins, sour Scot if he loses, it really is
all-or-nothing for the 24- year-old Brit when he comes to Wimbledon.
level of expectation built up by a success-starved nation weighs on Murray like
the immense boulder of Sisyphus.
According to Greek mythology, the king
was punished by the gods by being forced to roll a massive boulder up a steep
hill, only to see it always roll back down as he neared the summit, time and
Sure, Murray is ensured the full backing of the fans whenever
he is on court, but with no British man winning Wimbledon since Fred Perry in
1936, the cries and sighs of the crowd are quite often more of a burden than a
When Murray is flying high and humiliating his opponents, which
is usually the case in the early rounds at the All England Club, the cheers from
the stands are electrifying.
However, when the going gets tough and the
tide turns against him, as it inevitably sometimes does during the latter stages
of Wimbledon, the moans of disappointment and groans of anguish from the
supporters are anything but helpful.
The relentless love showered on him
by the locals is somewhat akin to a bear hug.
It may feel warm and
comforting to start with but it isn’t long before it becomes a struggle to
Some people claim that Murray has home-court advantage at
Wimbledon, but unlike in team sports, the Brit doesn’t play half of his match
during the season on his “home” turf and he doesn’t frequent SW19 on a regular
All he really has is the complete support of the stands, but it is
seriously doubtful whether that is indeed an advantage rather than a
The hopes of millions rest on his every shot, and even
newly weds Prince William and the Duchess of Cambridge make sure to attend his
matches. But Murray has coped with the pressure admirably well so far, on Monday
beating dangerous Frenchman Richard Gasquet 7-6 (3), 6-3, 6-2 to reach the
Next up is a match he will be heavily favored to win
against Spain’s Feliciano Lopez.
However, in the semis defending champion
Rafael Nadal will likely await, with Roger Federer or Novak Djokovic probable
opponents if he is to reach his first Wimbledon final.
The road to the
trophy could hardly be more difficult, but Murray has complete faith in his
“I need to keep improving with each match,” Murray said when
asked of the keys to success in the remainder of the tournament.
comes down to taking your chances when you are playing the best players. You
need to get yourself in the right positions and take them. I’m sure I will be
challenged a lot in the next rounds and I just have to be ready for
Already a three-time grand slam finalist, there should be no doubt
that Murray is a truly superb player.
He will almost certainly win a
slam, likely sooner rather than later.
However, the question on every
Brit’s mind is will he do it for the first time at Centre Court next
With what he has to overcome over the fortnight at Wimbledon,
that would be as an impressive debut major title as the world of tennis has ever