The British summertime may feature regular incursions from those same dishwater skies and foul winds that plague the other seasons, but at least there’s always one clear-cut indicator to remind you of the time of year: Wimbledon.
Falling as it does in the break between football seasons and unencumbered by any obvious rival distractions from other athletic pursuits, Wimbledon is England’s summer sporting showpiece and remains the most sought after trophy in tennis. And not so long ago Tim Henman’s unfailingly brave but ultimately futile attempts to win his home tournament were reasons to be cheerful, though never enough to prompt legitimate optimism among long-suffering local spectators.
But then Andy Murray came along and changed all that.
The Scot followed a tearful defeat at the hands of Roger Federer in the 2012 final by blasting the sport’s incumbent legend off the court just four weeks later to win an Olympic gold medal and finally ended 77 years of hurt by winning Wimbledon the following year.
After a period of professional and personal tumult, Murray is back on song and ready to contend for major honours once again, as demonstrated in fine style by a commanding week’s work that just saw him win his fourth title at Wimbledon warm-up Queen’s.
Will he again be lifting the Wimbledon trophy aloft in a few weeks’ time? There’s plenty of compelling evidence to suggest that’s exactly what will happen…