Andy Murray, the current world number two made it to the final last year of the prestigious Grand Slam event but was cruelly beaten by Roger Federer in four sets, proving to be his best chance to date.
Murray’s ability on grass has improved vastly over recent years, winning at Queens Club twice and achieving Olympic Gold and Silver, in the men’s singles and mixed doubles events last summer.
The Scot has been out of action for a month after retiring from the Second Round of the Italian Open with a back injury in May. As a result he missed Roland Garros, his first major tournament absence since 2007.
With the return to form of Rafael Nadal in France last week, the developments in the games of players such as Tsonga, Ferrer and Berdych, as well as the obvious abilities of world number one Novak Djokovic and Roger Federer, Murray is not short of competition for the crown this year.
This year could be the most difficult yet to succeed in London. Nadal was in blistering form in Paris, storming to a record eighth title at the event following a long injury break, and Djokovic has been the epitome of consistent quality, maintained by his Australian Open title at the start of the year.
Murray has however, had far more time to prepare on grass than any of his major competitors, which could prove to be the key to an important advantage at SW19.
Grass is an entirely different surface than the much harder courts of the other 3 major Grand Slams. The ball throws up unexpected turns with every stroke of the racket and requires extra preparation to be on top form for Wimbledon. Murray’s injury break may surprisingly hand him an edge.
Likewise, Murray has raised his game significantly in recent years, forging himself as one of the most acclaimed returners in the world, with far less obvious flaws and far more dangerous abilities which can be fatal against anyone used to effect.
Since Fred Perry won at SW19 in 1936, no Briton has won the title. Though Murray has been merrily breaking those records since his emergence in 2006 including winning his first Grand Slam title at the US Open last year. You wouldn’t want to bet against him breaking another.
Whether he can do it or not, one thing is for sure. 2013 will be a very good year for spectators indeed.
Murray will play either Nicolas Mahut or Rhyne Williams in the Second Round at Queens Club on Wednesday.
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