James Corrigan: Murray is far from ready to be put out to grass

The Last Word: The US Open will present the Briton's first chance to show the doubters he is still on an upward path

Of course there are two ways to look at everything, but only one of them happens to be right. That much was confirmed to any observer who peered into the blackened eyes of Andy Murray on Friday night as he was reminded of his excellence in this year's majors.

Garry Richardson doubtless meant well when he listed a final appearance in Melbourne and semi-finals in Paris and at Wimbledon. But as Murray's gaze focused ever more intently on the ground, the BBC man might as well have been a judge reading out a charge sheet. You really weren't helping, Garry.

But then, at least Richardson had the grace to analyse this latest humbling in the context of a season of close calls. That will be the reason for the frustration burning inside Murray, not the continuation of any phoney Wimbledon curse. Yet seemingly everyone else in Britain could only view his defeat by Rafael Nadal in the context in a lifetime of anti-climaxes. "We've seen it all before," goes the lament. Yes, for the majority,tennis is over for another year.

Yet there are 57 days until the US Open. This is the only period of time occupying Murray's psyche. His life doesn't start or end in the first week of July and neither does his ambition. On the surface he has to be seen to care, but deep down he won't be greatly interested in the fact that his country hasn't had a Wimbledon men's singles champion in 75 years. What obsesses him is the fact that Andy Murray hasn't lifted a Grand Slam title in 24 years. And a fairy tale in New York would be as sweet as anything SW19 could ever serve up.

Naturally, Murray would declare Wimbledon glory as "more special". But as the right thing to say was reverberating through his tonsils, he would be aware it is impossible for anything to be "more special" than the realisation of a dream. Mere geography wouldn't come into it. That is why proper Murray fans will not leave their support on ice for 12 months, and will follow his progress to the hard courts with genuine hope rather than insulting resignation.

There is absolutely no justification in writing off his chances, regardless of the brilliance of Nadal and Novak Djokovic, or the suspicion that Roger Federer has one or two left in him. Nadal expressed his sympathy for Murray not because of his loss in front of a desperate "home" crowd but because of the individual's body of work in 2011 thus far. The Spaniard acknowledges the blindingly obvious– Murray is close and getting agonisingly closer – and would be the first to say that "sometimes it isn't meant to be" is claptrap of the most nonsensical order.

What exactly is this based upon? Tim Henman? He wasn't good enough. Murray has reached three more Grand Slam finals than Henman did and he has done so in a stronger era. By this evening, Nadal, Djokovic and Federer will have won 25 of 26 Grand Slams between them, a remarkable ratio considering that the previous 16 had been spread around 12 players. It is enough to deepen the weariest of glooms, but there is, at the very least, one ray of light. Murray is on his way up, while one of the fearsome threesome is palpably on his way down. The vicissitudes of form and fitness say that there will be a hole to be filled, and that is what must drive Murray forwards. Thankfully, we can rely on that.

His sum-up in the grim aftermath was one of sport's more honest assessments. It was different in circumstance and tone to Rory McIlroy's Masters soliloquy in April but, to my mind, it was no less commendable. While Nadal bemoaned Murray's luck, the man himself spoke of the need to improve by 10 to 15 per cent and of "working three per cent harder". The maths didn't add up, because Murray couldn't work 15 per cent harder. That is just one reason why we should give praise and not indifference to our lone tennis hero.

Remember, he has got there by himself, not because of a nation's rich tennis heritage and certainly not because of the Lawn Tennis Association. British tennis is having a run for its money that it doesn't deserve. Yet still they wail. Why? Only Wimbledon comes to its conclusion today. Nothing else and nobody else is finished. The shows go on and Murray goes on. Don't presume his destination. Simply cheer him on his way.

PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Teeth should be brushed twice a day to prevent tooth decay
education
News
Bryan Cranston as Walter White, in the acclaimed series 'Breaking Bad'
news
Sport
footballChelsea 6 Maribor 0: Blues warm up for Premier League showdown with stroll in Champions League - but Mourinho is short of strikers
News
Those who were encouraged to walk in a happy manner remembered less negative words
science
Arts and Entertainment
Princess Olga in 'You Can't Get the Staff'
tvReview: The anachronistic aristocrats, it seemed, were just happy to have some attention
News
Renee Zellweger as Bridget Jones
i100
Life and Style
tech

Board creates magnetic field to achieve lift

News
There have been various incidents of social media users inadvertently flouting the law
news

Life and Style
Stack ‘em high?: quantity doesn’t always trump quality, as Friends of the Earth can testify
techThe proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
News
Bourgogne wine maker Laboure-Roi vice president Thibault Garin (L) offers the company's 2013 Beaujolais Nouveau wine to the guest in the wine spa at the Hakone Yunessun spa resort facilities in Hakone town, Kanagawa prefecture, some 100-kilometre west of Tokyo
i100
Sport
CSKA Moscow celebrate after equalising with a late penalty
footballCSKA Moscow 2 Manchester City 2: Premier League champions let two goal lead slip in Russia
Caption competition
Caption competition
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

Indiana serial killer? Man arrested for murdering teenage prostitute confesses to six other murders - and police fear there could be many more

A new American serial killer?

Police fear man arrested for murder of teen prostitute could be responsible for killing spree dating back 20 years
Sweetie, the fake 10-year-old girl designed to catch online predators, claims her first scalp

Sting to trap paedophiles may not carry weight in UK courts

Computer image of ‘Sweetie’ represented entrapment, experts say
Fukushima nuclear crisis: Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on - and may never return home

Return to Fukushima – a land they will never call home again

Evacuees still stuck in cramped emergency housing three years on from nuclear disaster
Wildlife Photographer of the Year: Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize

Wildlife Photographer of the Year

Intimate image of resting lions claims top prize
Online petitions: Sign here to change the world

Want to change the world? Just sign here

The proliferation of online petitions allows us to register our protests at the touch of a button. But do they change anything?
Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals

'You need me, I don’t need you'

Ed Sheeran hits back after being labelled too boring to headline festivals
How to Get Away with Murder: Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama

How to Get Away with Murder

Shonda Rhimes reinvents the legal drama
A cup of tea is every worker's right

Hard to swallow

Three hospitals in Leicester have banned their staff from drinking tea and coffee in public areas. Christopher Hirst explains why he thinks that a cuppa is every worker's right
Which animals are nearly extinct?

Which animals are nearly extinct?

Conservationists in Kenya are in mourning after the death of a white northern rhino, which has left the species with a single male. These are the other species on the brink
12 best children's shoes

Perfect for leaf-kicking: 12 best children's shoes

Find footwear perfect to keep kids' feet protected this autumn
Anderlecht vs Arsenal: Gunners' ray of light Aaron Ramsey shines again

Arsenal’s ray of light ready to shine again

Aaron Ramsey’s injury record has prompted a club investigation. For now, the midfielder is just happy to be fit to face Anderlecht in the Champions League
Comment: David Moyes' show of sensitivity thrown back in his face by former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson

Moyes’ show of sensitivity thrown back in his face... by Ferguson

Manchester United legend tramples on successor who resisted criticising his inheritance
Two super-sized ships have cruised into British waters, but how big can these behemoths get?

Super-sized ships: How big can they get?

Two of the largest vessels in the world cruised into UK waters last week
British doctors on brink of 'cure' for paralysis with spinal cord treatment

British doctors on brink of cure for paralysis

Sufferers can now be offered the possibility of cure thanks to a revolutionary implant of regenerative cells
Ranked seventh in world’s best tourist cities - not London, or Edinburgh, but Salisbury

Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015

UK city beats Vienna, Paris and New York to be ranked seventh in world’s best tourist destinations - but it's not London