So far the 2012 Wimbledon Championships have brought a lot of shocks and surprises. From the potentially misogynistic remarks of Gilles Simon to the stunning second-round knockout of World number 2 Rafa Nadal, we thought we’d seen it all. What we weren’t prepared for however was the maturity of Andy Murray as both a professional sportsperson and a potential Wimbledon champion.
Our main British hope, in former years Murray has been outspoken and forthright about his opinions, however this year he has displayed a surprising level-headedness and diplomacy when confronted with a number of controversies and upsets at the tournament. After his twice-halted match against Marin Cilic that took place at the start of this week, some were expecting Murray to kick off about being left to play on No 1 Court whilst a less entertaining match took place on Centre Court (featuring reigning champion Novak Djokovic and his fellow Serbian Victor Troicki). The world number 4 was however incredibly measured about the affair, stating that he doesn’t “deserve” to play all his matches on Centre Court, despite the benefits that that would bring, and that six-time champion Roger Federer was the only player whose matches should be given Centre Court priority.
A very different Andy Murray is emerging from the grass court Slam this year, even when faced with the claim from Ivo Karlovic that the line judges during their opening round match-up were displaying favouritism toward the British player. His answer should careful consideration of Karlovic’s distress but was surprisingly diplomatic and pragmatic. He displayed similar behaviour when asked about Frenchman Gilles Simons statement about male players deserving high pay than female players at the tournament, and the only hint of suggesting that players were given advantages in the scheduling came when he was asked if Djokovic and his current Centre Court priority was giving him an advantage – “Well, we’ll see whether or not it’s an advantage…But the more rest you can get, the better.”
Although he is entering a potentially difficult quarter-final against David Ferrer today, Murray’s 7-5, 6-2, 6-3 victory over Cilic has given him a much needed boost that could see him make his first Wimbledon final. With Djokovic and Federer still playing strong there are many challenges still ahead of him, but it seems this year the temperamental Scotsman is finally ready to face them.