Andy Murray is an odds-on favourite in his match against Jo-Wilfried Tsonga to become the first British Men’s Wimbledon finalist since 1938. There can be few who would have expected Britain would wait so long before it happened again and there will be many who believe or hope, maybe to themselves, that the wait will go on (Wimbledon semi-final match time: 1pm, Friday, July 6).
Tsonga is at the top of his game and may be advantaged by the weight of expectation that is once again placed on the lanky Scot. After all, Murray has been in a semi-final three times before and has succumbed on each occasion. Tsonga, a crowd favourite, now takes on the role of underdog and pantomime villain, though in Murray we have a character that has never attracted wholehearted support.
Some might even whisper
‘anyone but Murray’
Be kind and call it a joke, but we still remember that Murray claimed to support ‘anyone but England’ in the 2006 football World Cup. That is as good a reminder that he is a Scot, not a Briton, as anyone might require. He has never been claimed as ‘one of our own’ south of the border, where some might even whisper ‘anyone but Murray’. Tsonga will have silent but significant support among the ranks that would otherwise be firmly on the side of, say, a Henman. And that despite ebullient Tsonga being a Frenchman.
It is understandable why the men that make the odds have Murray around 4/9 to win this encounter. The one vital statistic they need to be wary off is that in six encounters Murray has been conqueror all but once. If you fancy Tsonga to beat Murray then he can be backed for the match at around 2/1. Check the latest Wimbledon odds here.
Murray was denied at this point by Roddick three years ago and imperious Nadal the last twice. So Tsonga is surely the Glasgow-born, 25-year-old’s best chance of getting through to that elusive SW19 final. We have seen Murray throw in stinkers straight after inspired performances. The World Number 4’s lack of consistency has been his undoing and it is surely no coincidence this fragility strikes most often when the media publicity is reaching fever pitch.
With such a significant hurdle to overcome in the semi-final, talk of Murray succeeding the last male British Wimbledon Champion in 1936 is so premature as to be laughable. Nevertheless the bookies will not give longer than 5/1 in the Wimbledon betting odds about this dour Scot becoming the next Fred Perry.