The Australian Open Tennis Championship 2012 is going to begin soon marking the beginning of a new Tennis season with lots of hope and aspirations for individual players in their Tennis careers. Some aspire to reach new heights in their respective Tennis careers, while others aim from greater glory. As the year throws new challenges to every player it will be interesting to see where does each player stand at the end of the Tennis season and more importantly after the completion of the four Grand Slam Tournaments, as they are the ones for which a player is mostly remembered.
Among all the players I’d like to talk about an individual who has shown great promise in his Tennis career thus far and have carried the hopes of a champion-thirsty Nation on his shoulders but has always stumbled at the last hurdle, raising serious question over his ability of having the killer instinct, which is the hallmark of a champion. It is no surprise to anybody that the player I’m talking about is Andy Murray.
The British people pin their hopes on Andy Murray every year that he would do what the likes of Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski couldn’t achieve in their Tennis careers of winning the Wimbledon Tennis Championship Title or even a Grand Slam Title at least, that might lead to Wimbledon glory some day, but years pass by and their dreams remain a distant one.
Andy Murray is now 24 years of age and has already been defeated in three Wimbledon Semi-finals, two Australian Open finals and one U.S. Open final. More than the defeat it is the manner of defeat, the absolute surrender and total uncharacteristic, lacklustre style of play that is the most disconcerting part. If things go like this for a couple of years more then all of us will be more than certain that Andy Murray is not going to win a Grand Slam Title in his career, not until the likes of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal or Novak Djokovic is around and raring to go.
If it happens that way then it will be a huge disappointment not only for the British people but general Tennis lovers as well, as Andy Murray on song is a real treat to watch. He is not short of talent or ability and he has reigned over the likes of Nadal, Federer and Djokovic in several Masters Tournaments but when it comes to Grand Slams and particularly the business end of it, it appears as if the nerves get better of him. Otherwise how can one explain his sudden drop of form in those crunch games!
A champion is noted by the way he delivers the killer punch in the key moments of a crucial game like the semi-final or final and leaves his opponent behind and it requires a lot of resolve to even withstand the pressure of being two sets down or match point down or even a few breaks down and then come back from that low point in the match. It requires mental strength, courage, determination and the hunger to win. Sadly all of these aspects seem to fall apart in the game of Andy Murray when those big matches arrive. Therefore it has got to do something with his mental makeup that is proving to be incapable of handling the pressure.
I personally believe Andy Murray can take a lot of heart from the way Novak Djokovic completely transformed his Tennis career in 2011 from being a good player to a great player and winner of three Grand Slam Tournaments within a year by his sheer will power of taking his game to the opposition and fighting for every point tooth and nail till the adversary succumbs to the barrage of onslaught. If Andy Murray can show even half that aggression in the crunch games then rest assured we would have a match in our hands and it won’t be like the previous one-sided affairs.
Whether Andy Murray will be able to make such adjustments in his game and more importantly his mental approach towards such crucial games, only time will tell, but by the look of things it doesn’t look that promising. Still stranger things happen in sport and we would have to watch closely to see what pans out.
But if Andy Murray comes out a cropper this year as well then only the doubts over his ability of winning a Grand Slam Tennis Tournament will get more evident. It is really hard to believe that a player of his potential stumbles like that in the big matches but sadly that is the reality. Nevertheless as an ardent Tennis fan I really hope he doesn’t turn out to be one of those players who promised so much and delivered so little.
One more thing I’d like to add here, I see a lot of harsh criticism for Andy Murray in the British press for sometime now. I think they should now stop criticizing the poor fellow and rally around him, giving him the necessary confidence he needs. It has done wonders for many players in the past and it might work in Andy Murray’s case as well. Weighing somebody down who is already struggling with a barrage of criticisms never helps. It’s time people realized that bit of truth.