So Andy Murray dropped his first two sets of this Wimbledon but came through to win in five, from two sets down. The value of having done it before cannot be understated and, despite shortcomings in Murray’s performance, stand him in good stead for the rest of the tournament. Of Murray’s last eight matches that have gone to five sets, he has won seven of them. He has also won on Wimbledon’s centre court before from two sets down, notably against Richard Gasquet in 2008.
Just like people and teams (both at work and in sport) get used to losing, winning can be a habit, as can the instilling of belief. Just like Manchester United have built a reputation for being able to mount a comeback or score late goals, if a player can demonstrate the ability to come back from the brink can create that inner belief that, whatever the situation, they know what it takes to win from behind. Additionally, it puts pressure on the other player knowing that their opponent has a reputation for coming back.
On the other hand, while Murray’s game has developed over recent years, one weakness, which may yet be his undoing at Wimbledon is his second serve. While Murray will regularly put down first serves in the 120-130 mph range, his second is often in the 70-80 mph range – the biggest gap between first and second serves of any of the top players and, consequently, he often has a low percentage win rate on second serve. This puts a lot of pressure on Murray to make a high percentage of first serves. Should he get through to the final, first serve percentage from Murray may be the key to the match.