Alec Swann - Murray SW19 success not a given

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

Northamptonshire Telegraph's sports writers Jon Dunham, Jim Lyon and Alec Swann.

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I think it’s fair to say that Andy Murray wil have slept well on Wednesday night.

The Scotsman had comfortably seen off Yen-Hsun Lu in three sets in the second round and then watched as two of the major players, in the shape of Roger Federer and Jean-Wilfred Tsonga, exited the tournament via defeat and injury respectively.

With Rafael Nadal already back on a Majorcan beach, the fates have conspired to leave gaping holes in the men’s singles draw which, should, play into Murray’s hands.

I say should because, if you read some of the press, you would think that the Wimbledon trophy was already on the Murray mantelpiece.

Forget the fact that there are a few more rounds to negotiate or even the point that both Nadal and Federer were beaten by players ranked well below them, the type who Murray will still have to face. No Spaniard and no Swiss equals guaranteed glory.

But it doesn’t and to think that way would be foolish.

Myriad factors contribute to any sporting success and Murray of all people will know that given his struggles in attaining one of his sport’s major prizes before he finally overcame that obstacle at last year’s US Open.

It’s expected that any British player, male or female, showing some form in SW19 will be feted and to expect this to change would be a touch naive but surely the expectation in Murray’s case needs to be tempered.

He is one of the best players in the world and before the tournament started he would have been in every pundit’s possible winners list but there is one blot that could appear on the landscape.

Tim Henman did remarkably well during his career yet he received unfair criticism for losing four semi-finals, three of which were to, at the time, the pre-eminent player in the world and one of the best of all time in Pete Sampras.

If Murray should make safe passage to the final and the other half of the draw goes to plan, he will have to negotiate the challenge of the pre-eminent player in the world and one of the best of all time in Novak Djokovic.

So spare us the done deal nonsense, there’s a certain Serbian who could have something to say about that.