Murray has a point to prove

July 22nd, 2017 | Ian Carnaby's Sports News

I was some way adrift at Wimbledon and hold my hands up straight away. The closest I came was Johanna Konta’s excellent effort in reaching the semi-finals, after which one was left ruing the fact that Venus Williams produced her very best form on the day that Konta did not serve as well as previously. Williams was quite unable to sustain that sort of rhythm against Garbine Muguruza in the final and subsided very tamely in the second set. Funny old game, as someone has probably said before.

The top four men are still some way ahead of the field but Rafa Nadal will not be winning any more majors on grass and Novak Djokovic’s problems are hardly drifting away. When he missed out in Australia, one firm offered 2/1 against his NOT winning a Grand Slam event this year. I don’t believe in certainties when it comes to betting but if I did, that would have done nicely. Of course, we don’t know how much we might have got on. Ladbrokes were supposedly going 13/8 against Dickie Johnson before his first championship-winning year but my guess is that the price lasted about half an hour.

Andy Murray should not have played at Wimbledon this year, although it is easy enough to see why he gave it a go. The hip might have improved and there was all the hope and expectation surrounding him. In the end, what it all meant was that Roger Federer had a relatively straightforward task at a very short price. Frankly, apart from Berdych’s stoical resistance for two sets in the semis, the opposition to him was not far short of lamentable and even a Federer operating at around eighty percent of his truly brilliant best was able to pick up the trophy without dropping a set. I got it wrong and to watch him breezing along was to wonder how on earth Raonic managed to beat him last year. Funny old etc etc.

No one knows if Murray will be fit enough for Flushing Meadows or whether he will be able to get in the requisite practice for a few weeks beforehand. If he misses the party the bookmakers are unlikely to go much bigger than 2/1 about Federer winning again.

By that time I shall be deeply into a new football season, my first thoughts revolving around West Ham, who appear to be putting together an outfit to leave last season’s troubles in the dim and distant past. More in seven days’ time.

Ian Signature

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