Thursday, 9 August 2012

Is This The Start Of A New Golden Age In British Tennis?

On Sunday afternoon I watched my television, enthralled at the brilliant display of British tennis. As the nation which holds the greatest tennis tournament, we have had many disappointments in the singles titles. No woman has won the singles title since Virginia Wade in 1977. No man has won Wimbledon in the open era and Andy Murray is the only Brit to even reach the final in the open era. Of course prior open era the last British winner was Fred Perry. This is hard for Mr Murray to forget as he is asked this in every British interview, every year.
Andy Murray was devastated when he lost in the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer but just 28 days later he hit back and hit back hard. I could barely watch the Wimbledon final a month ago. I desperately wanted Murray win, but his match slowly unravelled. But just 28 days later I was watching a match which I could scarce believe, with Murray outplaying Federar at every turn. He really showed why he deserves to be one of today’s greatest players.
Later that afternoon I watched a fantastic mixed doubles match with Andy Murray and Laura Robson narrowly missing out on the Gold. Laura Robson may not be a Gold medallist, but Silver is an incredible achievement for the 18 year old. Laura Robson went toe to toe  against some very strong players with many extra years of experience. I thought the pair would do well to win a bronze medal when they entered as a doubles team. But they worked great together despite having played very little tennis together.
Andy Murray got some criticism from a small number of people who can’t get a joke. He has been criticised for his personality. But the joke of having his dogs wearing the medals was hilarious and clearly meant as a bit of light fun. People may accuse him of being grumpy but he displayed great joy at the Olympics and really got into the team spirit. He has a quieter personality than a lot of the big sport stars. But there is nothing wrong with that. He’s a passionate player and doesn’t have to be as entertaining off the court as he is on the court.
So what next? Murray’s confidence seems buoyed by the Olympics and it looks like he’s really playing to his full potential. Will he be able to join the small group of players who have a Golden Career Slam? Of course he has to win a Grand Slam first. But with this new found greater self belief and the expert play he’s demonstrated,  it looks hopeful. Laura Robson is also growing in her abilities and shows great potential for the future.
This could really be the start of a Golden Age in British Tennis.  I am making a prediction now that in one of the next 5 years we will have two British Wimbledon champions in one tournament. In Men’s and Women’s Singles. What a picture that would make.