Friday, 28 January 2011

Is Andy Murray the Man to end 75 Years of British Tennis Hurt?

Baddiel & Skinner famously sang of England's '30 Years of Hurt' in their footballing 'Three Lions' epic of 1996. As it happens, that particular English heartache now extends to 45 years and counting.

But that's nothing. Because British tennis fans have got a lot more hurt to mull over. To be precise, we've been waiting 75 years since the last British man won a Tennis Grand Slam - Fred Perry winning his 8th and final Grand Slam at the US Open in 1936. He was the first player to win each of the 4 Grand Slam titles but no British man has even managed to win one of them since.
Fred Perry

Andy Murray is now one match away from breaking that voodoo. His excellent, well fought win over David Ferrer today means that he is a Novak Djokovic victory away from creating history.

He's not the first British man to reach a Grand Slam final since 1936 but he is the first to have done so on more than one occasion.

John Lloyd lost in the Australian Open final in 1977 whilst Greg Rusedski lost in the US Open final in 1997. Andy Murray meanwhile lost in the 2008 US Open and 2010 Australian Open finals.

Britain has had more success in the women's arena but even that is now fleeting. The last female singles winner was Virginia Wade in 1977 at Wimbledon (having also won the US and Australian Opens in 1968 and 1972), a year after Sue Barker won the French Open in 1976.

But to wait 75 years for a male winner is quite staggering. Is Murray the man to do what the likes of Lloyd, Rusedski and Tim Henman failed to accomplish? It's about time that a British player stepped out from Perry's shadow.

In Novak Djokovic, he has a stern opponent. Yes, he isn't Nadal and he isn't the Federer who has defeated Murray in his previous 2 Grand Slam finals, but Djokovic is a real test. In 7 head-to-head matches, Djokovic leads by the slender margin of 4-3 but he does have the experience of having won a Grand Slam title in 2008 - in Australia of all places. Djokovic also defeated Federer of course in the semi-final so he's on top form.

So Murray has a tough tough test but then this is a Grand Slam final - there's no easy matches at this level!

Can he do it? Of course he can. But he needs his form to turn up at the arena on Sunday in a way in which it didn't when he played in his previous two finals.

It's been 75 long years. Britain deserves a win now surely! Andy Murray certainly does.

So...COME ON TIM! Uh....I mean COME ON ANDY!


  1. Did you watch it today? I was following on live text, seemed every time he got his foot in front he let Ferrer back in.

    Hopefully he'll do it, it's a great chance. Looking at the head to head that doesn't tell the full story, Novak was 4-0 up so Murray's had the upper hand the last 3.

    Come on Andy! Has to be worth getting up early on Sunday to watch!

  2. I was yeah. Not his best performance but a win's a win!

    Definitely one to get up and watch on Sunday! I may be at my girlfriend's mind so hopefully her folks won't mind!