Murray moves closer to greatness after dominant Wimbledon win over Raonic
Sam Barnard, Assistant Sports Editor | June 10, 2016
Andy Murray won a second Wimbledon title after defeating Milos Raonic in a dominant display, to put him on three career Grand Slams and thus closer to becoming an all-time great of the game.
A 6-4 7-6 7-6 triumph at the All England Club makes it third time lucky for the Scot, who was runner-up at the Australian and French Opens, before replicating his 2016 Queen’s Club Championship final victory over the Canadian.
Odds of 10/3 with Coral say that Murray can now reclaim the US Open this autumn too, which would be the first time in his career he’s lifted two Grand Slam trophies in the same calendar year. Raonic, meanwhile, is an 11/1 shout.
Perfect performance from magical Murray
Murray played out a near-perfect performance after losing no service games, making just 12 unforced errors (to Raonic’s 29) and produced one of the best displays of returning you’ll ever wish to see.
The tall Canadian is one of the best attacking stars around, and his big-hitting and serving game is so well suited to grass, yet Murray was able to break him down with relative ease throughout.
Murray incredibly was able to win a point after Raonic smashed down the fastest serve of the tournament (147mph) right into his body, while he also restricted his younger opponent to claiming just 67 per cent of his first serves.
On top of that, the superstar Scot managed seven aces, which was just one short of Grand Slam final debutant Raonic’s effort.
Lendl can guide Murray to greatness
But what now for the newly re-crowned Wimbledon champion? Aged 29, Murray is still in his prime, and can arguably be challenging for Grand Slams for three or four years to come.
In that time, he knows that he has the chance to win at least three more of the sport’s biggest trophies, which would certainly confirm his place as a great of the game.
Currently on three Majors, Murray edges past the likes of Patrick Rafter, Lleyton Hewitt, Marat Safin and Stan Wawrinka in more recent times, and should set his sights on doubling his tally.
Legends of the game such as Boris Becker and Stefan Edberg are on six, while the Scotsman is not too far behind Rene Lacoste, John McEnroe (both seven), and two notable names in particular Ivan Lendl and Fred Perry (both eight).
Coach Lendl has been the key to Murray’s career, guiding him through all three Grand Slam successes as well as Olympic Gold in 2012, and he’d surely be delighted to now help him match or go behind his total too.
What next for Murray?
While it seems Murray is likely to pull out of Team GB’s Davis Cup quarter-final tie with Serbia in their title defence, he will no doubt be fit and raring to go for his next challenge at the 2016 US Open – a title he would love to reclaim as well.
World number one Novak Djokovic is the even-money favourite for that event from August 29th-September 11th, but the Serb seemingly looked as though he was suffering from an injury in his shock third round loss to Sam Querrey.
Djokovic has already pulled out his side’s Davis Cup team too, alongside Serbia number two Viktor Troicki, so will he recover in time for next month’s tournament at Flushing Meadows?
If not, and should Murray carry on beating the up-and-coming players in the game, mentally weakening them when they come up against him, then the 2012 US Open champion will no doubt be a certain favourite to win again.
Who are Murray’s main Grand Slam rivals now?
With Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal fading as forces in tennis, and no longer players to be scared of coming up against anymore, it seems just Djokovic and Raonic are the immediate threats to Murray.
Others such as Kei Nishikori, Dominic Thiem, Marin Cilic, Nick Kyrgios, Grigor Dimitrov and Juan Martin Del Potro are nowhere near the British number one’s level across five sets at this stage, and perhaps won’t be for another couple years.
Following the US Open, Murray should then look to becoming just the ninth player in history to claim a Career Grand Slam – again another achievement by Fred Perry he hopes to emulate.
The Australian Open is the first Grand Slam of every year, and Murray is also 10/3 (second- favourite) to finally add that to his trophy cabinet, after losing in five previous finals Down Under.
After his latest win, the sky really is the limit for the most in-form star on the ATP tour. Perhaps he can even overthrow long standing world number one Djokovic in the rankings next year.