Wimbledon 2013: Expectations on Andy Murray again to end wait for a British winner

The British number one reached the final last year

Andy Murray will be accompanied once again by the ghost of Fred Perry when he walks through the gates of the All England Club.

The Scot may have ended Perry's reign as Britain's last male grand slam singles champion after a 76-year wait at the US Open, but until he wins Wimbledon, the name of the Stockport great will never be too far away.

There are plenty of reasons to believe, though, that this might just be the year when all that changes for Murray, who will start his challenge with a first-round match against Germany's Benjamin Becker.

Of course, it has been said many times before about Murray and Tim Henman before him, but Murray returns to SW19 with two very important bits of metalwork tucked away at home.

The 25-year-old who cried on Centre Court after defeat by Roger Federer was a player who had never won a grand slam title, who had never beaten one of his rivals over five sets in a major final, who still did not know if he was good enough.

The 26-year-old who takes to the court this time will know he has achieved all those things.

Although it was his fourth grand slam final defeat, last year's Wimbledon loss to Federer was a key step in the process.

For the first time, Murray had done himself justice, winning the first set and playing well throughout.

The closing of the roof helped Federer, the master of indoor courts, and after four sets the match had got away from Murray, but he was beaten by arguably the best player of all time playing at a rarefied level.

Murray knew that, and instead of dropping into a slough of despair, he came back to a purple-clad Wimbledon for the Olympics three weeks later more determined than ever.

The competition suited him. In the midst of Olympic fever, he was a side act, and the raucous crowds and the chance to contribute to something bigger than his own trophy cabinet brought the best out of him.

Murray's nerve was rock solid as he beat Novak Djokovic in the semi-finals, and in the final against an admittedly weary Federer he was ruthlessly brilliant, allowing his illustrious opponent just seven games.

Murray had his Centre Court moment, climbing up to the players' box to celebrate with his family, and he desperately wants another one on July 7.

Then came Murray's greatest day as he defeated Djokovic to lift his first grand slam trophy in New York.

Having showed he could win a big final with a brilliant display of tennis, now the Scot had to demonstrate he could win one with heart and nerve.

From two sets down, Djokovic fought back to level, but when it really counted Murray came through.

Being a grand slam champion will not change Murray's forehand, or his vulnerable second serve, or make him less susceptible to injury, but matches are won in the head as well as on the court.

At the Australian Open, Murray lost in a final again, to Djokovic, but in the semi-finals he beat Federer for the first time at a slam.

When he walks out at Wimbledon, he will know there is no one of significance that he has not beaten when it really counted. Most matches at the business end of grand slams come down to a few key moments, and having such a mental resource to draw on can make all the difference.

There are a few question marks about Murray's Wimbledon campaign, not least the back problem that caused him to pull out of the French Open.

The 26-year-old had the same issue last year and was fine on the grass, so skipping Roland Garros should only help. He also claimed his third AEGON Championships title at Queen's last weekend so will head into Wimbledon with confidence boosted.

However, there is also Rafael Nadal, who is very unlikely to lose in the second round again and who Murray has lost to three times at Wimbledon and never beaten.

Murray has been drawn in the same half as the fifth-seeded Spaniard, but he is likely to not have to play the two-time champion until the semi-finals.

The expectation, of course, will be higher than ever, but Henman, a four-time semi-finalist, expects his compatriot to live up to it.

"I always went back a better player and certainly those experiences help you," said Henman.

"I was comfortable in my surroundings, I always loved playing at Wimbledon, it was my favourite place and I think Andy is the same, he deals with the expectations on his shoulders very well.

"On the back of 2012, reaching the final of the Championships and winning Olympic gold, it is going to bring back good memories, positive thoughts and feelings and there is no reason he can't go a step further this year."

PA

News
John Travolta is a qualified airline captain and employed the pilot with his company, Alto
people'That was the lowest I’d ever felt'
Life and Style
healthIt isn’t greasy. It doesn’t smell. And moreover, it costs nothing
News
i100

Other places that have held independence referendums
Sport
Jonas Gutierrez (r) competes with Yaya Toure (l)
football

Newcastle winger reveals he has testicular cancer - and is losing his trademark long hair as a result

PROMOTED VIDEO
Arts and Entertainment
Blossoming love: Colin Firth as Stanley and Emma Stone as Sophie, in 'Magic in the Moonlight'
film

Actors star in Woody Allen's 'Magic in the Moonlight'

News
peopleThe Times of India said actress should treat it as a 'compliment'
Arts and Entertainment
Maxine Peake plays Hamlet at Manchester's Royal Exchange
theatreReview: Maxine Peake brings emotional ferocity to Shakespeare's most starring part
News
news

Watch this commuter wage a one-man war against the Circle Line
News
We are phenomenally good at recognising faces; the study showed that humans have been selected to be unique and easily recognisable
science

Human faces unique 'because we don't recognise each other by smell'

Property
Home body: Badger stays safe indoors
lifeShould we feel guilty about keeping cats inside?
News
A male driver reverses his Vauxhall Astra from a tow truck
news

Man's attempt to avoid being impounded heavily criticised

Arts and Entertainment
US pop diva Jennifer Lopez sang “Happy Birthday” to Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedow, president of Turkmenistan
musicCorporate gigs become key source of musicians' income
Arts and Entertainment
While many films were released, few managed to match the success of James Bond blockbuster 'Skyfall'
filmsDaniel Craig believed to be donning skis as 007 for first time
Student
The Guildhall School of Music and Drama is to offer a BA degree in Performance and Creative Enterprise
student

Arts and Entertainment
Pulp-fiction lover: Jarvis Cocker
booksJarvis Cocker on Richard Brautigan
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.

Mystery of the Ground Zero wedding photo

A shot in the dark

Mystery of the wedding photo from Ground Zero
His life, the universe and everything

His life, the universe and everything

New biography sheds light on comic genius of Douglas Adams
Save us from small screen superheroes

Save us from small screen superheroes

Shows like Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D are little more than marketing tools
Reach for the skies

Reach for the skies

From pools to football pitches, rooftop living is looking up
These are the 12 best hotel spas in the UK

12 best hotel spas in the UK

Some hotels go all out on facilities; others stand out for the sheer quality of treatments
These Iranian-controlled Shia militias used to specialise in killing American soldiers. Now they are fighting Isis, backed up by US airstrikes

Widespread fear of Isis is producing strange bedfellows

Iranian-controlled Shia militias that used to kill American soldiers are now fighting Isis, helped by US airstrikes
Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Topshop goes part Athena poster, part last spring Prada

Shoppers don't come to Topshop for the unique
How to make a Lego masterpiece

How to make a Lego masterpiece

Toy breaks out of the nursery and heads for the gallery
Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Meet the ‘Endies’ – city dwellers who are too poor to have fun

Urbanites are cursed with an acronym pointing to Employed but No Disposable Income or Savings
Paisley’s decision to make peace with IRA enemies might remind the Arabs of Sadat

Ian Paisley’s decision to make peace with his IRA enemies

His Save Ulster from Sodomy campaign would surely have been supported by many a Sunni imam
'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

'She was a singer, a superstar, an addict, but to me, her mother, she is simply Amy'

Exclusive extract from Janis Winehouse's poignant new memoir
Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

Is this the role to win Cumberbatch an Oscar?

The Imitation Game, film review
England and Roy Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption in Basel

England and Hodgson take a joint step towards redemption

Welbeck double puts England on the road to Euro 2016
Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Relatives fight over Vivian Maier’s rare photos

Pictures removed from public view as courts decide ownership
‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

‘Fashion has to be fun. It’s a big business, not a cure for cancer’

Donatella Versace at New York Fashion Week