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Will British tennis endure another 76-year wait at Wimbledon?

Andy Murray bowed out of Wimbledon in the second round of the competition, suffering an agonising defeat in five sets. Will British tennis endure another 76-year wait at Wimbledon?

Ankit Kanaujia
Last updated: 11.07.2023
Will British tennis endure another 76-year wait at Wimbledon

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Andy Murray bowed out of Wimbledon in the second round of the competition, suffering an agonising defeat in five sets. Murray rolled back the years, but was unable to advance to the third round for the first time since 2017 as he failed to raise his game in the final two sets after taking a 2-1 lead against his opponent.

The exodus of British players in their home grand slam continued as Cameron Norrie and Liam Broady also fell short, although the latter did impress with two victories to reach the third round for the second year on the bounce.

Looking at the Brits before Wimbledon is always a sentimental option for a bet on tennis ahead of the competition at the All England Club. But, the options are thin on the ground casting an eye into the future as the next generation of stars are starting to emerge on grass.

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Breakthrough

Murray was the great hope when he emerged out of the ranks and duly delivered under extreme pressure to win two Wimbledon crowns, defeating Novak Djokovic in 2013 and Milos Raonic three years later. It was the first time in 76 years that a British man had triumphed at Wimbledon, sparking a massive celebration on Centre Court.

— LTA (@the_LTA) July 7, 2023

The tension was palpable as the Scot spurned three championship points before finally getting over the line. His triumph in 2016 was more straightforward as he marched towards the crown, overcoming Raonic with relative ease. As Murray entered Wimbledon in 2017 as the top seed there was an air of expectation that would secure back-to-back titles, but Murray slumped to a stunning defeat to American Sam Querrey in the quarter-finals and has not returned to the last eight since.

Norrie ended a five-year drought without British representation in the second week of Wimbledon by reaching the last four. But, he was brushed aside by the brilliance of Djokovic even after winning the first set as the Serb powered his way to yet another Wimbledon title.

Challenge Ahead

With the emergence of new talent, the challenge for British players is only going to rise. Although Norrie fared well in 2022, his disappointing performance in 2023 will raise doubts about whether he can compete for the crown in the future. Once Djokovic retires, there will be a chasm at the top of the men’s that leaves all four Grand Slam titles up for grabs, similar to the period between Pete Sampras’ last title in 2000 and Roger Federer’s first in 2003.

— Sportskeeda Tennis (@SK__Tennis) July 9, 2023

Goran Ivanisevic and Lleyton Hewitt seized the opportunity to etch their names in the history of the All-England Club. Since then it has been closed shop for players other than Federer, Djokovic, Murray, and Rafael Nadal. There might not be a gap between eras such is the talent that is emerging through the ranks, so the opportunities for a British player could be closed.

The only hope is that a player of a similar calibre to Murray rises sooner as the sport in the United Kingdom may not appreciate another 76-year wait for a British men’s champion.

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