Andy Murray geared for Ljubicic challenge
In his bid to win his maiden Grand Slam title and carrying the burden of high expectations of millions of home fans, Andy Murray’s next hurdle stands tall in the form of a big-serving 32-year old Croat, Ivan Ljubicic.
Andy Murray is expected to let his racket do the talking at this year’s Championships after a series of semi-final finishes here. A three times Major finalist, his consistency in the Slams this season has been impressive.
After a runner-up finish at the Australian Open, he managed to reach the last four at the Roland Garros losing to the eventual champion, Rafael Nadal. The big boost came in the form of his triumph at the Queen’s Club, where he displayed a flawless form against Andy Roddick in the semifinals and a confident performance against the finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga.
In the first two rounds, he had a plan to come through as comfortably as possible and he succeeded in executing the plan to a large extent, dropping only a single set on the way.
But a greater threat awaits him in Croatia’s Ivan Ljubicic. The 33-ranked veteran has won 10 ATP titles and his best performance at a Slam has been a semifinal appearance at the 2006 French Open. He has never made it to the fourth round at Wimbledon (his best showing at SW 19 includes third round appearances at the 2006 and 2007 editions).
He claimed the biggest title of his career last year at the Indian Wells Masters 1000 tournament and scored wins over Marin Cilic and Sergiy Stakhovsky in the first two rounds.
The head-to-head is tied at 3-3. In the pair’s previous meeting on hardcourt in Beijing last year, Ljubicic scored a straight sets win.
Though the Croat has a big serve to rely upon, he may not have enough weapons to hurt the Scot. With Murray’s game completely suited to grass and the crowd in his favor, I would like to go with Murray in three tight sets.