Nick Bollettieri: Five reasons why this might just be Andy's turn to celebrate


1. He's mentally tough again

When Andy Murray lost the Australian Open final to Roger Federer in January, his game fell to pieces. The circumstances were clearly hard for him emotionally. The consequence? He simply couldn't buy a decent run of form.

The mental and physical drain clearly affected his game. This was, after all, the second time Murray had lost to Federer in a Grand Slam final, the first being at the US Open in 2008. And at the start of this year, there were upsets in his personal life to consider.

We don't and can't know how badly these things hurt him, but the point is this: the fall in form was a blip. On the evidence of the five matches he has played so far this fortnight, that blip is over. Murray did not become a bad player in a few short months, and we've seen in his performances – he's still the same tremendously talented player who reached those US Open and Aussie Open finals.

His serve is still getting better, he's the best returner in the world, he's strong and athletic and moves well, he's got soft hands and a creative brain and he's a fighter. Murray displayed all those assets in reaching that Australian Open final, and he's still got them. He suffered through that loss, but maybe, just maybe, with other areas of his life ticking along again smoothly, he's out of the slump and stronger.



2. He's still fresh

Let's just say that the draw Murray was handed probably couldn't have been any better for him. That is not meant as a statement to disrespect any of the five players he's beaten to reach the semi-finals, but judged on rankings and on history and, yes, natural talent, Murray always should have been confident of beating Jan Hajek, Jarkko Nieminen, Gilles Simon, Sam Querrey and

Jo-Wilfried Tsonga. And he did, winning against the first four without dropping a set, and then winning in four – and eventually at a canter – against the physical force of Tsonga yesterday.

If he can beat Nadal – and that's an "if" – then there will be a Federer-less final ahead. He will know this is a great opportunity.



3. The World Cup bounce

The England football team has done Murray a favour, as the World Cup in general. The huge focus on South Africa has, to some extent, allowed Murray to fly under the radar. The weight of the nation's expectations has been on Fabio Capello and his players, and now the force of a nation's unfulfilled hopes are being sent in their direction.

Can that really affect the tennis world? In Murray's case, yes it can. But the salient point is that Andy Murray has not had the white-hot light of attention on him for the past month or so, as he might in a summer when there is no a major football tournament to deflect the burden of expectation. And while he's still had to deal with a lot of attention, of course, any less is good news. Less pressure. Less stress. These things matter. He should send Mr Capello a nice thank-you note.



4. The timing is right

Over the last six years, since Murray won the junior US Open, the expectations were incredibly high. Unrealistically high? Looking back, you'd say so. Now his natural progression as a player has caught up, and overtaken the expected level. Now Murray is charging ahead. Can he beat Nadal? Well, he can, though that doesn't mean he'll start as favourite. But this is a good time for Murray.



5. Federer is out

I don't want to bang this drum too much, but I did say on day one of this tournament that it was the most wide-open Wimbledon I've ever known. Roger Federer's exit yesterday proved the vulnerability was indeed there for a man who has been so incredibly strong for so long.

Rafa Nadal is a massive danger for Murray, of course. But there was never a clear-cut favourite for the men's title, and therefore neither was there any one player in the draw who Murray would really not want to face. Murray has to stay positive and remember that.

Nick Bollettieri is one of the world's leading tennis coaches as well as a regular 'Independent' columnist during Wimbledon

News
peoplePerformer had recently been diagnosed with prostate cancer
News
The surrealist comedian at the Q Awards in 2010
people
News
i100
Arts and Entertainment
Media baron Rupert Murdoch owns News Corps and 20th Century Fox
theatrePlaywright David Williamson is struggling to find a big name to star as the media mogul
PROMOTED VIDEO
News
Russell Brand arriving for the book launch in East London
peopleRussell Brand cancels his book launch debate due to concerns about the make-up of the panel
Arts and Entertainment
JK Rowling will not be releasing a 'romance' novel anytime soon
books
Life and Style
tech

Of all the computers Apple has ever made there’s only one that Steve Jobs had to sell his car to finance

Arts and Entertainment
Sarah Dales attempts to sell British Breeze in the luxury scent task
tvReview: 'Apprentice' candidates on the verge of tears as they were ejected from the boardroom
News
One of the 'princesses' in the video
videoYouTube reinstates sweary video after takedown for 'violating terms'
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.

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?

A crime that reveals London's dark heart

How could three tourists have been battered within an inch of their lives by a burglar in a plush London hotel?
Meet 'Porridge' and 'Vampire': Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker

Lost in translation: Western monikers

Chinese state TV is offering advice for citizens picking a Western moniker. Simon Usborne, who met a 'Porridge' and a 'Vampire' while in China, can see the problem
Handy hacks that make life easier: New book reveals how to rid your inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone

Handy hacks that make life easier

New book reveals how to rid your email inbox of spam, protect your passwords and amplify your iPhone with a loo-roll
KidZania lets children try their hands at being a firefighter, doctor or factory worker for the day

KidZania: It's a small world

The new 'educational entertainment experience' in London's Shepherd's Bush will allow children to try out the jobs that are usually undertaken by adults, including firefighter, doctor or factory worker
Renée Zellweger's real crime has been to age in an industry that prizes women's youth over humanity

'Renée Zellweger's real crime was to age'

The actress's altered appearance raised eyebrows at Elle's Women in Hollywood awards on Monday
From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

Disney plans live-action remakes of animated classics

From Cinderella to The Jungle Book, Patrick Grafton-Green wonders if they can ever recapture the old magic
Thousands of teenagers to visit battlefields of the First World War in new Government scheme

Pupils to visit First World War battlefields

A new Government scheme aims to bring the the horrors of the conflict to life over the next five years
The 10 best smartphone accessories

Make the most of your mobile: 10 best smartphone accessories

Try these add-ons for everything from secret charging to making sure you never lose your keys again
Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time against Real Madrid: Was this shirt swapping the real reason?

Liverpool v Real Madrid

Mario Balotelli substituted at half-time. Was shirt swapping the real reason?
West Indies tour of India: Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Hurricane set to sweep Windies into the shadows

Decision to pull out of India tour leaves the WICB fighting for its existence with an off-field storm building
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?