Murray’s Loss at Wimbledon Continues Tennis’ Greatest Drought

July 9, 2012 – 1:01 am by Hickey

Andy Murray was poised to become Great Britain’s first men’s Wimbledon champion since 1936 on Sunday after taking the first set from Roger Federer, but R-Fed bounced back (it’s a tennis joke, get it?) to show why he’s the best of his and maybe any era in a 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 win for his 17th major title.

Murray put up a fine fight as the first British men’s Wimbledon finalist since Bunny Austin in 1938 — so long ago that a man could be named Bunny and taken seriously — but that wasn’t enough against the supernatural powers of Federer.

Thus, Britons will have to wait another year for Murray to break through and become their first champ since Fred Perry in 1936.

But they are far from the only fanbase which has waited a long time to see a champion.

Here’s a look at some other major droughts after the jump:


Chicago Cubs: Sigh. The Cubs are the poster children for championship droughts, having gone since 1908 without a World Series and 1945 without getting there. They were the premier franchise in the National League around the same time that Brits were dominating at Wimbledon, winning pennants in 1929, ’32, ’35 and ’38 but losing the Series each time.

Washington: The Senators had two separate incarnations that both earned the catchphrase “First in War, First in Peace, Last in the American League.” The Nationals are poised to make the playoffs for the first time in their relatively short history, and will be attempting to become the first World Series participant from DC since 1933 and the first champion since 1924.


Sacramento Kings: The most well-traveled franchise in sports is also the longest to go without a crown in the NBA.

The Rochester Royals, a charter member of the NBA, were league champions in 1951. Then they moved to Cincinnati. And then Kansas City, with multiple games in Omaha thrown in for good measure. And then Sacramento.

None of those moves have equaled success for the franchise, which is again seeing its future in flux as its current owners have made their desire to leave Sacramento no secret.

Perhaps Rochester is the place to return to.


Detroit Lions: The Lions have not won an NFL championship since 1957, and are only one of four NFL teams to never make the Super Bowl along with the Browns, Texans and Jaguars.

The Browns last won the NFL title in 1964. The beleagured Buffalo Bills have also won a title more recently with back-to-back AFL crowns in ’64 and ’65. So too have the sorry San Diego Chargers, the AFL champs of 1963.


Northwestern: The Wildcats have managed to miss the NCAA Tournament every single year since its inception in 1939.

Perhaps the most galling part of this drought is the fact the first Final Four was played in their home gym.


New Mexico State: The Aggies’ bowl drought makes Indiana football look downright competent.

New Mexico State has not reached a bowl game since 1960, a fact that seems inconceivable in an era where all you have to do to make a bowl game is finish .500. It doesn’t promise to get easier in coming years with New Mexico State and Idaho poised to be the only remaining members of the Western Athletic Conference. My guess is both schools will have to become football Independents, which means a tougher schedule with no automatic bowl tie-ins.


Switzerland: The Swiss may have the Wimbledon champ, but don’t look for them to win any wars any time soon. The Swiss have not been directly involved in any armed conflict since their own civil war in 1847, which led to a whopping 86 deaths.

With nothing else to do in the years since, their army has perfected the art of making knives that can’t actually kill anyone.

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