Andy Murray goes into this year’s Wimbledon championship as the defending champion following his straight sets victory over Milos Raonic in 2016, which brought up his second title at SW17.
The British player is bidding for an improvement in form following what has been a disappointing campaign so far by his high standards. Murray has not reached a Grand Slam final since that win on grass almost 12 months ago. He fell in the quarter-final of the US Open following an epic five-set encounter against Kei Nishikori. In Australia, Mischa Zverev caused a huge upset in the fourth round by eliminating the world number one, while in Paris, the Wimbledon champion proved no match for Stanislas Wawrinka.
Preparation for this year’s championship has not been ideal for Murray so far. He was eliminated in his opening game of the Aegon Championships, where Australian Jordan Thompson defeated him in straight sets. It was the first time in 136 matches that Murray had failed to break his opponent’s service at least one in a match. The number one seed was searching for his sixth title in the ATP 500 event. He will now need to play some exhibition matches on the grass before the start of the third Grand Slam of the year. As of June 26th, 2017, Murray is second best in the outright betting at 3/1 for Wimbledon, where only the 9/4 favourite Roger Federer is ahead of him in the market. Federer won the Australian Open back in January and has been successful in this tournament on a record seven occasions. French Open winner Rafael Nadal can be backed at 5/1 to complete the clay and grass court double, while former world number one Novak Djokovic is 11/2 to return to form in the event.
How Murray Overcame ‘Choker’ Claims
After losing his opening four Grand Slam finals, his first three in straight sets, there were some claims that Murray struggled on the big occasions. Those suggestions were put to bed when the British player won the US Open in 2012 where he showed fantastic character. Murray raced into a 2-0 lead against Djokovic at Flushing Meadows; however, the Serbian hit back and levelled the match at 2-2. Just when the momentum looked to be with Djokovic, Murray found a second win in the fifth set to wrap up the win and the championship. In the early stages of his career, Murray could be forgiven for allowing the occasion to get to him. A recent study by sports bookmaker Betway Insider found that when talented athletes are faced with too much mental stress, their physical performance can decrease. Over the years, Murray has learnt to deal with this stress and one of the ways he has done this is to remain focused on the court. That has helped him to record four Grand Slam wins and rise all the way to top the world rankings. Murray will need to rely on that focus again now if he is overcome this slump in his form.
What Is Next For Murray To Achieve In Tennis
The immediate goal for Murray as we head towards the second half of the 2016 season will be to defend his number one ranking. He currently has 9390 points but following Nadal’s victory in Paris at Roland-Garros, the Spaniard is now up to second on 7285 points. Wimbledon and the US Open will offer the duo of players the most rankings points, while the ATP World Tour Finals in London could prove crucial in determining who ends the year at the top of the standings. Wawrinka sits in third place on the list, Djokovic is fourth, while Federer remains outside the top four.
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Murray will still have aspirations of completing the Career Grand Slam. He needs a victory in the Australian Open and French Open in order to become the sixth man since the Open era to win all four major tournaments in their career. Djokovic became the latest to do so when he claimed the French Open in 2016, defeating the King of Clay Nadal in the semi-final of the competition. Murray has performed well in Melbourne with five runner-up finishes, while he reached the final in Paris in 2016. Defending his trophy at Wimbledon will be a huge confidence booster ahead of the 2017 campaign and it is Murray who will open up the tournament on July 3rd on the centre court in front of his home crowd.