For the next 2 weeks Andy Murray will be the focus of the British back pages and even front pages on some days. The hype has already begun, his form this year has been second to none and he has just lifted the 2009 AEGON Championships at Queens Club, the first Brit in 73 years to do so.
The question is Can Andy Murray win Wimbledon 2009?
It’s a simple answer really – Yes, he and 127 other men will all have the chance of winning, of course that’s not what we mean win we ask that question, Alex Bogdanovic (Britain’s no.2) in theory can win Wimbledon, he won’t – but on paper he and all the men in the draw all have the chance of winning Wimbledon 2009. Andy Murray though unlike Bogdanovic has a realistic chance of winning!
In the eyes of people who put their money where their mouth is – Andy Murray is currently the bookmakers clear second favourite behind Roger Federer – See the full list of Wimbledon 2009 Winner Odds.
Since Wimbledon 2008Andy Murray has risen to number 3 in the world , he has won 7 titles, which include 3 out of 9 premier Master Events (now called ATP World Tour Masters 1000), reached two further finals and lost only 3 matches before the quarter final stage of any event. He has won 71 matches and lost only 12 times (85% win record), only Rafael Nadal has a better record than Andy Murray over the last 12 months, Nadal has won 73 of his matches and lost just 9 (89% win record), which is why he is number 1 in the world. But Nadal is out of Wimbledon.
Murray though is third in the world, yet he has a better win loss record than the person in second, Roger Federer. Fed has won 59 matches and lost 13 (82% win record) but Roger’s results in the last 4 Grand Slams are the best on paper (2 wins, 2 finals) and these give him the advantage in the rankings. Murray’s record in the last 4 slams is 1 final, 2 QF and a 4th round, which is the third best record on paperbehind Rafael Nadal in second(2 wins, 1 SF and a 4th round).
It’s this record though that Murray doubters love to point out – “Murray can only win at the smaller tournaments” they cry, “Federer only cares about the Grand Slams” – Only time will tell if this is true. The stats though would suggest that every major Murray plays he does better than the year before, his best performance at each of the Grand Slams have all been on his last visit to the event. Let’s look at Murray’s chances by looking at who can stop him winning.
Roger Federer– 5 time Wimbledon Champion and 14 grand slams won at all 4 events and the bookmakers favourite to lift the title. Fed’s record on paper is pretty impressive, but of all the players on tour Andy Murray holds one of the best records against Roger Federer. He’s won 6 of 8 matches he’s played, the two losses was their first meeting in 2006 and the US open final in 2008. He’s beaten Fed in their last 3 matches (4 if you count the exhibition match at start of year). Murray has nothing to fear from Federer, he did lose that US Open final to Federer, which in the end was Murray’s first grand slam final and Federer had the luxury of a day whilst Andy Murray had to beat Rafael Nadal.
If Murray meets Federer at Wimbledon? Prediction – Murray win.
Rafael Nadal– Current Wimbledon Champion, last player to beat Andy Murray on grass and world number 1. Most folks thought Nadalwouldbe walking into Wimbledon 09 with two grand slams in his bag already for 2009. That won’t happen after his shock exit at Roland Garros. He was forced to pull out of Queens and there seems to be some major injury issue, how serious is difficult to say as the Spaniard’s team keep a tight lid on the matter. What is clear is that he has knee problems and often plays through pain. Nadal is one of the few players that holds a winning record over Murray and it’s a big one 7-2 to Nadal, though it is 2-2 in their last 4 meetings and Murray beat Nadal in the exhibition event in Doha.
If Murray meets Nadal at Wimbledon? Nadal is Murray’s greatest danger I Believe, if he is 100% fit Nadal may edge it, but if he anything but 100%, Murray to win . Prediction – To hard to call
Novak Djokovic –The last 12 months have not been great for Djokovic, he has lost his number 3 spot to Andy Murray and lost 3 times to the Scot (twice in masters finals). Going back to last year, it was he was on top of the world, similar to Andy Murray threatening to break up the top 2 and just won his first Grand Slam, his record against Murray then was 4-0. Murray will not fear meeting Djokovic at SW19 this year, as the first possible time they could meet would be the finals, I would be very surprised if they did.
If Murray meets Djokovic at Wimbledon? Prediction – Murray win.
Juan Martin Del Potro– The new established world number 5, Del Potro, like Murray has had an amazing last 12 months, he won his first tournament and then went to win make it 4 tournament wins in a row and clock up a 23 match winning streak (ended by you know who – Andy Murray). He has reached at least the QF of the last 3 Grand Slams and was close to eliminating Roger Federer in the semi-finals of the French Open. His grass court pedigree is unproven and his worst Grand Slam result is at Wimbledon, only reached the second round, though he has only competed at SW19 twice. Murray holds a winning record 3-1 over Del Potro, though he did lose his last match to him in Madrid masters, though that was on clay. Murray though on clay is not the Murray we will see on grass where he will be able to utilise his slice and the low bounce to unbalance the 6′ 6″ Del Potro.
If Murray meets Del Potro at Wimbledon? Prediction – Murray win.
Any Other Players – Murray has in the past been unlucky in some grand slams to come up against a player, who seems to rise above their usual standards and surprise everyone. We have just seen Robin Soderling do this at the French Open, we seen Tsonga do it in 2008 and Verdasco in 2009 at the Aussie Open, in past years a Wimbledon we’ve a few unseeded players like Mark Philippousis make the final and who could forget unseeded Goran Ivanisevic winning in 2001. Possible candidates for this, Robin Soderling (decent grass court player full of confidence), Ivo Karlovic (if you can’t break his serve, difficult to beat), James Blake (never been past 3rd round), Andy Roddick (two time finalist), one of the French youngsters, Can we add anyone else to that list?
Don’t really see any player doing that this year – Prediction – Murray win
Looks like I’m saying I think Murray will win – My only doubt previously was a fit Rafael Nadal may just still have the edge on Murray – But he’s out now. What do you think?