Great British Hope?

Jan 16, 2009

In the eyes of the British public, Andy Murray is Britain’s golden boy. Shirt off and baseball cap screwed on over his curls, the footage of him training helps British hearts to lighten a little. To be the saviour of British tennis, however, is a tough job. To be the saviour of British tennis and win a Grand Slam title, is even harder. I don’t know if Murray is quite ready to pull this off.

To win a Grand Slam requires not just an all round good game, but a flair and a power that ensures beating off every element of competition. These things, I believe, Murray lacks in great quantities. His strokes are good and steady, he plays an all round good game and occasional brilliance at the net will win a point. But it’s boring. And the obstacles at the Australian Open are anything but boring.

There is the heat. Australia’s tourists find it hard to lie around a pool edge reading trashy novels in the heat, never mind playing three intense sets of tennis against the formidable likes of Nadal and Federer. Speaking of these two giants of tennis, they are Murray’s next obstacle. Those steadily improving biceps have got to come up against the small boulders of strength that mark ‘the Majorcan Raging Bull’ Rafael Nadal’s upper arms. The new-found level-headedness might have to face the impossible-to-ruffle Swiss tennis legend Roger Federer.

The Australian Open is one of the purest examples of a Grand Slam tennis tournament. A brewing pot for potential disaster and ruin in the blistering heat of not only the sun, but of intense expectation. Starting against 1140th ranked Andrei Pavel in the first round might give Murray a simple first round, but it can only get harder from here. If he swims, Murray will be Britain’s new modern day hero for British tennis. If he sinks, the expectation could start to buckle those young shoulders.

- SophieG

Written by: SophieG

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