Champion Murray ready for real battles to commence

Sun Jun 29, 2014 10:50am EDT
Email This Article |
Share This Article
  • Facebook
  • LinkedIn
  • Twitter
| Print This Article | Single Page
[-] Text [+]

By Martyn Herman

LONDON (Reuters) - Defending champion Andy Murray's tranquil progress through Wimbledon's opening week has been eerily calm.

No pesky upstarts trying to knock him off his perch, no tumbles on the lush lawns, no niggles from the back that needed surgery last year and no question marks about his form which, for the first three rounds, has been imperious.

So straightforward were his victories over David Goffin, Blaz Rola and Roberto Bautista Agut, during which he dropped a total of 19 games, that post-match news conferences have resembled friendly chats about everything from rescuing stray dogs to favorite vacations and the World Cup soccer in Brazil.

As grand slam tournaments go, it has all been a breeze.

After the calm there often follows a storm, however, and with a second successive title only four victories away Murray and his fans will be scanning the horizon for looming dangers.

Rewind 12 months and it was a similar story. Then, the Briton was untroubled until the quarter-finals when his quest to become the first home player to win the men's singles for 77 years turned into a white-knuckle ride.

First he had to come from two sets down against Spain's Fernando Verdasco and then he was in a heap of trouble against powerhouse Pole Jerzy Janowicz before reaching the final where he beat Novak Djokovic in three memorable sets.

Things could get more tricky when Murray faces big-serving South African Kevin Anderson in the last 16 on Monday.   Continued...

Andy Murray of Britain (L) shares a moment with his coach Amelie Mauresmo as he practices at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in London June 29, 2014. REUTERS/Toby Melville