Belfast Telegraph

Tuesday 2 September 2014

Wimbledon: 10 reasons why this could be Andy Murray's year

1. The last British singles winner at Wimbledon was Virginia Wade in 1977. Silver Jubilee, Diamond Jubilee... Murray wins, by royal appointment.

2. When Fred Perry won his first Wimbledon, in 1934, he had turned 25 on 18 May. Murray turned 25 on 15 May.



3. When London hosted its first Olympics, a Briton reigned at the All England. No, not Fred Perry or Bunny Austin – this was way back in 1908, and Arthur Gore was the gentlemen's singles champion. And, yes, he did also win the Olympic gold.



4. Perry, the last British male to win Wimbledon in 1936, beat the No 5 seed in the semi-final. (Don Budge later became the only man to win six consecutive Grand Slam titles.) Jo-Wilfried Tsonga is the No 5 seed.



5. 1936 was also the year Prokofiev's "Peter and The Wolf" was first performed in Moscow. Football fans have been humming the signature tune throughout the last month – it was ITV's chosen theme for Euro 2012. Not convinced? OK, Bunny Austin was the last man to reach the singles final at Wimbledon, in 1938. That was the year Disney's Snow White and the Seven Dwarves was released. In 2012, two different takes on the fairytale were released.



6. If defeat teaches us the most valuable lessons, then Andy has the perfect tutor. His coach, Ivan Lendl, got to the Wimbledon semis seven times – and never won the title. Eventually, he passed on the tournament, quipping that he was "allergic" to the surface: "Grass is for golf."



7. When Lendl reached his first Wimbledon Final, it was his 27th slam main draw. And three years after he first reached the Wimbledon semis. This tournament is Murray's 27th slam main draw. And he first reached the Wimbledon semis – well, you know the rest Trouble is, as noted above, Lendl proceeded to lose the final.



8. In 1966, it had taken an animal to bring back a stolen trophy, Pickles the dog finding the World Cup; this time, Rufus The Hawk was abducted from Wimbledon. He, too, has now been restored to his rightful owner – now the same needs to happen to the silverware



9. 1936 was also an Olympic summer – though in Berlin the Nazis notoriously engaged an unthinking populace in wild displays of patriotism on account of success in obscure minority sports, whereas this year



10. Even the wretched summer weather is conspiring in Murray's favour: Tsonga has never played under the Centre Court roof.

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