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Andy Murray Sparks Wimbledon Hopes with Madrid Mastery

As the last winning point thudded home in Madrid and Andy Murray celebrated jubilantly with his close-knit team, the Scot achieved something he had never dream possible: beating the master, Rafael Nadal, in a clay court final.

Up until 2015, Murray – despite bagging an extensive collection of silverware in his career – had never won a tournament on clay before. And he had certainly never come close to beating perhaps the sport’s finest ever clay court specialist along the way.

It is his poor resume on the surface that led many pundits and bookmakers to write Murray off, and it’s possible that his success came as a surprise even to him.

So what has been the secret to this thrilling upturn in form?

Andy Murray

Wedded Bliss

Earlier this year, Murray was betrothed to his long-term partner Kim in a ceremony in his native Scotland.

Perhaps it’s no coincidence then that the world number four’s form has improved so markedly, as he also picked up the Munich Open title in April.

And after claiming that momentous win over Nadal in the Madrid Open, Murray was seen scrawling ‘marriage works’ in fluorescent green ink on a Spanish TV camera covering the action.

Let’s hope the honeymoon period carries over to June and the start of the grass court season.

Wimbledon Bound

Of course, just prior to the most famous tennis tournament of them all comes the French Open, one of four Grand Slam events in the calendar.

With his recent upturn in form on clay, Murray may well fancy his chances of progressing pretty deep into the tournament, although he won’t be amongst the bookmakers’ favourites – that honour will fall to the likes of Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Kei Nishikori.

Instead, the Scot and his team will be looking ahead to Wimbledon, the jewel in tennis’s crown on the famous grass of the All England Club.

And there is plenty of cause for optimism too: Murray has reached the quarter-finals – at the very least – of the tournament in his last seven visits.

In 2012, he looked on course for his Grand Slam win after taking the first set against Roger Federer, but would eventually succumb to the Swiss sensation.

However, he didn’t let that defeat get to him and returned the following year – once again battling through to the final. This time he took on his nemesis Djokovic, and in a surprisingly one-sided conclusion he took the title in straight sets; thus becoming the first Brit since Fred Perry in 1936 to lift tennis’s ultimate prize.

He suffered a painful loss to Grigor Dimitrov in 2014 following surgery to mend a long-standing back injury, and so in 2015 will be looking to make up for lost time.

And with his new wife watching on from the stands, who’s to say that Murray won’t lift the Wimbledon trophy for a second time.