British No 1 finds going easy in 1st week
Andy Murray has been heralded as potentially the first Brit in over 50 years to win Wimbledon, but, despite dramatic improvements over the last couple of years, he still falls against the big three- Novak Djokovic, Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer. However, in the first week of the Australian Open we have seen a more composed, more mature Andy Murray. Certainly, Murray has been maturing as a player over the last year and has shown significant improvements and a far better temperament. We have seen fewer moments where he becomes infuriated and berates himself, which has appeared to significantly affect how he performs in the past. The Australian Open represents his biggest chance to win a grand slam to date, something which has eluded him throughout his career so far. He has come very close to achieving this goal on three occasions, when he has reached the final of a grand slam tournament. However, on this occasion, Murray appears to be a more finely tuned and effective player. Federer and Nadal have already booked a place in the first semi-final, having beaten Juan Martin Del Potro and Thomas Berdych respectively. Djokovic looks likely to join them, although he faces a tough test in the resilient David Ferrer, and Murray faces Kei Nishikori, seeded 24th, in a bid to seal the final semi-final place. Nishikori’s place in the quarter-final will come as a surprise to many, but, having knocked out 6th seed Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the fourth round, he may prove to be a more difficult prospect than he appears.
Murray has been in impressive and ruthless form thus far in the tournament, progressing with ease to the quarter final stage, defeating Ryan Harrison, Edouard Roger-Vasselin, Michael Llodra and Mikhail Kukushkin on the way. Harrison was the only competitor able to take Murray beyond 3 sets, before being crushed in the fourth. Murray labelled his victory over Kukushkin as ‘boring’, after the Russian was forced to retire in the 3rd set, but it leaves him well rested for his match with Nishikori, particularly as his match against Tsonga lasted for more than three hours.
Murray looks to be in fine form heading into his clash with Kei Nishikori and, if he keeps this form up, who’s to say a first grandslam title can’t be achieved?