Andy Murray is playing down expectations that he might win the first tennis Major of 2014 by saying it is ‘unrealistic’ to expect him to win the Australian Open. A fair point considering it is just three months after he underwent surgery to try to fix his dodgy back.
But the good news for British tennis fans is that winning in Melbourne doesn’t necessarily lend itself to performing well at Wimbledon.
So, in a not at all biased pro-Murray slant, a solid but unspectacular event down under is great if we want to see him crowned champ at SW19 again.
Before we don a tartan skirt and make someone’s ear drums bleed by blowing the bagpipes and calling it ‘music’, there are some stats to back up the belief that not winning in Australia is good for a Wimbledon charge.
- 70 per cent of players in the last 20 years failed to win another major in the year they won the Australian Open
- And 45 per cent of Australian Open winners failed to even make the Wimbledon semi-finals that year
However, although you might not want to win in Melbourne if you have dreams of lifting the cup in front of Cliff Richard and co, a decent run in Oz is backed up by the trends.
- 45 per cent of the last 20 Wimbledon winners had made it to the Australian Open final earlier in the same year
- 90 per cent of Wimbledon winners since 2004 made, at least, the semi-finals of the Australian Open
Simple really for Mr Murray. A semi-final appearance against potential opponent Novak Djokovic would be enough to hit a few decent Wimbledon trends. The Serb is the three-time defending champion in Melbourne and he is more successful in the Australian Open than any other major.
Djokovic ended last year on a 22-game unbeaten run and then teamed up with coach Boris Becker in preparation for 2014. That duo boasts 12 Grand Slam titles and some ridiculously good hair.
At 11/10 the odds on Djokovic making it four Aussie Open titles on the spin is short enough but it’s hard to look past the former world number one in the first Grand Slam of the year.
Murray fans can take a decent run to the semi-final knowing that all roads (and biased stats) lead to Wimbledon.
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