Andy Murray will win the US Open this year. There I said it and in this instance I don’t believe I will be putting the kiss of death on him. From the start of this year I have noticed something quite different...
Andy Murray will win the US Open this year. There I said it and in this instance I don’t believe I will be putting the kiss of death on him. From the start of this year I have noticed something quite different with Murray. Before January and the start of his relationship with Ivan Lendl I was never quite sure that he would make a Grand Slam break through. Now I feel totally different; I feel certain he will. His ability was always there but the mental side of his game has let him down. It’s no secret being revealed. At this level of professional tennis that’s what separates the very good players from the great players. However, since Lendl came into the picture the biggest change has been the mental side. How to play the mind games in the middle of battle on the Centre Courts of the world. He is not going to win every match he plays, he is no Roger Federer in that sense but when it matters he’s putting himself into contention and the more that happen the more chance of dreams being realised. Lendl has shown him all about staying on an even keel. 95% of the time now he doesn’t go through the highs and lows of a match like he used to and all that has filtered down to the rest of his game. Murray even admitted that: “The main thing I’ve learnt from him is to be stable on court and not so emotional. He makes sure that I never get too up, that I never get too down.” When he lost at Queen’s Club in his first match and didn’t win any exhibition matches the British were going crazy. They were all but writing him off. I never had an ounce of concern about his form and boy did he show them that. So what now for Andy Murray? The disappointment was there for all to see. He wore his heart on his sleeve at the end of the Wimbledon final. He showed how much this all means to him, how much he cares and really for the first time the British public warmed to him. Sure they had wanted him to win before, to bring the nation glory, but they had never really taken Murray to their bosoms. There was a ridiculous suggestion that the loser shouldn’t be interviewed after the final. If that had been the case the human side of Murray would have been lost and that would have been a bit shame. He showed, on that Sunday at SW19, as the weather turned dour, that he had a soul and he wasn’t this dour individual from up north. So what if he cried. Real men cry and Andy proved that he was just that. Maybe he will follow in the footsteps of his mentor, a man I have immeasurable respect for and someone I have known as a good friend for close on 30 years. He is a great individual personality and any of the other media out there who think they know him, actually don’t. He went through heartbreak four times before his won his first Grand Slam and turned things in that incredibly memorable French Open final against John McEnroe when he came back from two sets to love down to win. Going into the US Open, Andy Murray has lost four finals at majors. History has to repeat itself. Murray is too good a player not to see glory. Federer said: “I really do believe deep down in me he will win Grand Slams. That is my hope for him.” Andy Murray didn’t win Wimbledon but what I believe he did, now that the dust has settled, was that he made his breakthrough