Never mind the pressure on Andy Murray, writes Simon Barnes in today's Times, what about the pressure on the watching British public?
"'How are you dealing with the pressure, Andy?' But Andy Murray just slouches back in his chair and rubs his bum-fluff and makes one of those strange bagpipe noises that he uses for conversation with journalists. He's dealing with it pretty well, actually - but it's easy for him. He's playing. It's the rest of the country that's wilting under the pressure. Has Murray ever considered how tough it is, willing him to win? Has he paused to calculate the amount of psychic energy which goes into the national attempt to will one of his flakier drop-shots over the net? Today Murray enters the semi-finals of the men's singles at Wimbledon. This is the fourth successive time he has done so and, for the watching millions it's four times worse than ever before. That's because, this time, nobody hopes he can win it. Rather, we know he can."
Surf and turf is the subject of a column in The Mail by Brad Gilbert, Murray's former coach. "Jo-Wilfried Tsonga loves to feast on what I call tennis's Surf and Turf menu - he loves to bang in a big serve and follow it up with a big forehand to either eat up the point or dominate the rally. That one-two combination is what Andy Murray has to defend against today, but the good news for British fans is that he seems more than up to the task in my eyes. Not that today is a foregone conclusion but Andy has the skills to defuse the best attributes of Tsonga's game." In The Telegraph, Boris Becker has a four-point plan for Murray: Target the backhand; Drain Jo Mentally; Serve big at the death; Return aggressively.
Serena Williams might just be the greatest female player in history. So says Chris Evert in an interview with USA Today. Evert said she would be over-powered in the modern game. "I'd be at the same level now mentally, but I'd be overpowered. I was a great tennis player, but back then you didn't have to be a great athlete."
20:08It brings me no pleasure but it's time to bring the curtain down for another year. Seemed somehow appropriate to leave the last word to Roger Federer. Thanks a billion for reading. What a fortnight, what a final, fast forward to 2015 please...
20:03"I already have seven. It's not like I need another one. But it would have been awfully nice to have it. I think that's what the feeling was of the people, and I felt that... I know they love tennis. They love tennis after we're all gone."View all