Jon Dunham - This might just be the year for Andy

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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It is amazing how quickly it rolls around every year.

Having enjoyed a marvellous weekend in the company of a certain American rock band, I was on my way back down to earth on Monday when I noticed that Aegon Championships had started at Queen’s.

I will never profess to being an expert in tennis, indeed I am not. But as a fan of all sports, I love the big occasions and Wimbledon is certainly one of those.

It is just around the corner and this year, like any other, hopes will be high of a Brit performing well on the grand stage.

Clearly, all the hopes lie with Andy Murray and while the big build-up annoys many, there is no reason to think that this cannot be the Scotsman’s year in his home Grand Slam.

After his tearful defeat in the final at SW19 12 months ago, Murray returns home an Olympic gold medalist but, more importantly, a Grand Slam winner following his magical display at the US Open at the end of last year.

The difference for Murray this year is that he now knows what it takes to win the big one, an answer he was still searching for a year ago.

But there are other factors, the key one being maturity.

Murray has grown up a lot over the last two years or so and seems to have come out of himself a lot.

From seeming to be a grumpy young man who threw his toys out of the pram when things didn’t go his way, Murray looks to have developed into a charismatic sportsman.

There was a little snippet of a documentary about Murray, which is being shown this weekend in the build-up to Wimbledon, that I saw and it was pleasing to see that the programme makers had managed to get behind the scenes.

Even in the short segment I saw, it is clear that we have never really seen the real Andy Murray. Indeed, we always judge sports people on what they do in their field. In most cases we have no choice.

But with Murray, it seems to me that times have changed. He arrives at Wimbledon as a Grand Slam winner and probably more relaxed than he has ever been for this tournament.

There will, of course, be others who will be doing all they can to stop him. But this might just be his year.