Andy Murray has to be the unluckiest tennis player ever, Wimbledon proved that last week. The Briton, despite being such a fantastic player, continues to be hamstrung by the rivals that he shares a court with.
The 28-year-old is unquestionably the man to suffer most in the ‘golden generation’ – he hits form at all of the wrong moments and always has somebody bigger to take down.
Throughout his career, there has always been somebody to shadow the two-time Grand Slam champion.
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The teenager burst on to the scene and got the SW19 crowds excited in the post-Time Henman era with his battling displays and giant killing; Rafael Nadal, meanwhile, at a similar age, won the French Open for the first time and impressed elsewhere too.
As he got into his early 20s and looked capable of going far in Grand Slams, Novak Djokovic joined Nadal as a rival difficult to overcome.
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As he started to hit his peak, Roger Federer was there along with Djokovic and Nadal to provide a barrier towards the final.
When the field opened as Nadal hit a slump, Djokovic was indifferent and Federer showed signs of ageing 18 months ago-ish, Murray was side-lined with an injury and suffered a write-off 2014.
Finally, this year as Murray got back to his best and looked capable of adding to his Grand Slam haul – Roger Federer, nearly in his mid-30s, rolled back the years and produced one of his best-ever displays to win their semi-final match. Even so, undoubtedly, Djokovic has also hit his best and probably would have beaten the Brit in the final anyway.
So you have Andy Murray, the amazing player who should have won so many more than the two Majors he currently has. Federer has 17, Nadal 18 and Djokovic nearly 10 – is there any justice in the world?
Murray can't be hard on himself
The world no.3 has admitted ahead of Great Britain’s Davis Cup encounter with France that he’s struggled to banish the memories of his last four loss to the Swiss legend final – he must try though.
It may act as no consolation now during his career, or even after it, but he needs to appreciate that he is still one of the best-ever tennis players and has only missed out on some luck in his career.
He’s at the age now where he must stop stewing over another disappointment and enjoy his time as a key, if unlucky element of the traditional big four in tennis.
Maybe his time will come soon? If Djokovic gets an injury then you would have to put Murray as the top-dog with Federer surely set to decline down the ladder now. For years the Brit has worked tirelessly and got visibly irritated on-court at his cursed luck, he needs to chill.
The Davis Cup should provide a safe haven. Despite carrying the team, Murray can walk into this one knowing that the expectation is not for him and his teammates to beat a strong-looking French outfit.
If he wants to try playing a little more freely, this would be the place to give it a try.