Congrats to Murray for making a little history of his own today in Queen’s, London by winning a record fifth title there and surpassing some big names in the process. It’s no secret that I’m not the biggest Murray fan but you have to give credit where it’s due.
Murray was down 6-7(5), 0-3 against Raonic before breaking Raonic for the first time in the tournament I think and doing so a total of four times before prevailing 6-7(5), 6-4, 6-3.
Murray’s returning was special and he was being aggressive in which case he becomes a formidable opponent. Raonic has a massive serve but Murray once again proved that having a big serve, no matter how good it is, is not good enough against the best in tennis.
Murray’s on-court demeanor irritates the hell out of me but today I once again realized how damn talented he is. If his mental fortitude was not such a liability for him he would have won many more slams.
But having Lendl in his corner helps a lot with that I think. It gives him a certain stability and calmness which is so desperately lacking without Lendl. Murray proved to me today that he is a real threat at Wimbledon.
- Who is Djokovic’s Biggest Challenger/Challengers at Wimbledon?
And since I’m not fanatical about supporting any given player I like that, even though I’m a big Djokovic fan. As a tennis fan, I think it would be boring if Djokovic just gets handed the calendar slam on a silver platter.
You actually want to see him challenged and have some interesting contests along the way. And unlike some tennis fans, I think there have already been some great contests on his way to winning the Djoker slam.
Specifically between him and Federer at Wimbledon and the US Open last year and this year at the Australian Open. But not just between them. There have been several others. Djokovic is not the kind of player who wins slams without dropping sets.
I think there is an element of boredom to players doing that. I find it quite sad and pathetic how whiny and ungrateful tennis fans can be. They will always find a reason why there is something wrong with the game.
And yet we are in a golden era of tennis and have been since Federer and Nadal started dominating. To get back to Murray, I think he is the only guy who can realistically challenge Djokovic at Wimbledon.
Anderson challenged Djokovic last year but I think Djokovic is a better and more confident player now. I think having finally gotten the French Open monkey off his back and taking an extended break will do him the world of good.
- Concerning Djokovic’s Motivation at Wimbledon
I have heard some people question how motivated he will be which I find astonishing given how driven Djokovic is and how badly he wants to become the GOAT. He will be extremely motivated to win Wimbledon.
How many opportunities do you get to win five consecutive slams anyway? That’s right, Djokovic will be the first player in the open era to have that opportunity.
Laver did not have the opportunity at the 1970 Australian Open after completing the calendar slam in 1969 because he was banned due to signing to the National Tennis League.
With every match Djokovic wins from here on, he is making history. Why wouldn’t he be anything but motivated to the max?! Djokovic is also going for a third straight Wimbledon title and if he wins it he will be within one slam of the calendar slam.
To suggest he may not be motivated is beyond absurd. And having finally completed the career slam don’t be surprised if he is very relaxed and confident. But of course making history creates its own pressure.
And the likes of Murray will be looking to take advantage of that pressure. That said, Murray will be facing his own pressure as he is per custom being hyped up as the favorite for Wimbledon by the British.
As a Djokovic fan, it is great to know you can always depend on the Brits to put maximum pressure on Murray to win the title. But having Lendl in his corner will help him to deal with that pressure better.
So I am looking forward to seeing what happens at Wimbledon this year. Raonic will be dangerous too. I see the bookies are even giving him better odds than Federer at Wimbledon which is not all that surprising given Federer’s current form.
He just lost to Zverev in Halle whose brother he defeated 6-0, 6-0 in 2014 in the same event. Before the semis, I thought Federer was showing improvement but I said we should see what happens in the rest of Halle first.
- Federer and Thiem Lose in Halle Semis
Well, Federer lost 6-7(4), 7-5, 3-6 to Zverev and it is hard to see him being a serious threat at Wimbledon. Sure you can’t count him out but he is more like a dark horse to me now. It is just hard to see him make a run at Wimbledon this year like he did last year.
But who knows. We will see how it goes in the first few rounds. As for Thiem, he didn’t make the final in Halle either because he lost 6-3, 6-4 to Florian Mayer, who also won the title over Zverev today, 6-2, 5-7, 6-3.
Zverev saved two match points at *4-5 and 15-40 in the second set but, in the end, the wily veteran Mayer prevailed with his unique style. That doesn’t bode well for Federer because Mayer isn’t even fit and looked exhausted in the third set.
Federer desperately lacks match practice and even though he had more time to prepare on grass than the others the grass court season is not long enough for him to play himself into form. But like I said you can’t write him off.