Few words rile up professional athletes as much as the term mandatory does. So one can understand why Andy Murray is in a tizzy. Britain has made it to the Davis Cup final against Belgium in a streak reminiscent of that Englishman winning Wimbledon drought he snapped. Only one thing could ruin this and that is the mandatory year end championships. The surfaces could not be much more different in the two events. Let us examine if Murray will make it to the Final.
Here is where he is putting his money where his mouth is. By attending the year end championships, he gets 100,000 pounds. Each victory he racks up is another 100k. Finally with all the additional prize pool, he could eclipse 1M if he goes on a monster run. SO why are organizers so determined to force Andy’s hand in to the year end championships? It is in London and he would be one of their main draws. Now he could play both but let us examine the time line and details to do so.
Home nation gets to decide the surface and Belgium still has two weeks to declare. The normal hard court option would make it easy to do both but the Belgians are not going to play kindly. They are going to opt for clay. While it does mess with Murray, it is at least consistent with the surface choice they have opted for as of late.
Even a legend like Federer found this back to back to be daunting. Right out of the get go, he got crushed by Monfils in the first match. After that, he was able to recover and carry the Swiss to victory. Can a more fragile Murray do this? At least he is being forward thinking in this to give the organizers the chance to work around his abscence. Look for him to take the fine and opt out for King and Country this year.