With England’s World Cup dreams dashed, crashed and burned quicker than Sepp Blatters reputation, it’s time for the nation to turn its attention to a tournament we may have some joy in. The world’s number 5 Andy Murray today embarked upon the journey to defend his Wimbledon title playing against Belgian David Goffin (ranked 105, according to www.atpworldtour.com).
Murray sailed to victory in straight sets against what can only be described as an inferior opponent. Goffin played the occasional intelligent shot and displayed the type of resilience that you would expect of a professional player. If this match was against David, then Murray was Goliath, or for the Game of Thrones fans amongst you, The Mountain Vs Tyrion Lannister… I may be having withdrawals, apologies. (I know David beat Goliath, but its hard to turn a phrase, let me have it).
The real question is, can Andy relive last year’s success? He suffered a third round defeat at Queens Club in last week’s Aegon Championships, but claims that simply gave him more time to prepare for Wimbledon. Ivan Lendl (Andys coach during the last tournament) won’t be present in Murray’s corner after the two parted ways earlier in the year, recently replaced by Amelie Mauresmo. Will the coaching change have any effect on Andy’s game? It hardly smacks of the consistency that one can only imagine would be beneficial going into a major tournament.
The year has also been marred with injury for Murray who had an operation six months ago in an attempt to cure a long standing back problem, which seems to have done the trick. He recently spoke of it in an interview with The Independent:
“The first few tournaments back were hard but my body actually feels good now,” Murray said. “Last week I played four matches in four days for the first time. I played three three-set matches – some long ones which finished late in the evening – and I woke up the next day feeling good for the first time really since the surgery. I’m starting to recover properly and I feel good now.”
Whether or not we can wax lyrical about the success that Murray may or may not have on the hallowed courts of Wimbledon stands to be seen. Before making such a decision I think we need to see Murray tested by a more challenging opponent. The match against Goffin only presented a challenge during the third set when the match was all but won. Whilst I wouldn’t recommend putting your life savings on Murray to retain his Wimbledon title, neither would I write him off. He’s the same tenacious player we’ve seen time and again that deals with pressure well, I would tip him to at least reach the quarter-finals with a good run of match ups.