Be he predominantly Scottish, British, or European, the Andy Murray Story is a human triumph.
Murray’s heartbreak history with tennis goes back way before last year’s Wimbledon, having lost 3 previous slam finals, set-less I might add.
The prestige of Wimbledon for British players however seemed to make Andy’s runner up plate at SW19 all the more tragic. Four slam finals. Four defeats.
But then came a wonderful British summer.
Britain smashed all sorts of targets at the London Olympics, but amidst the chaos an athlete was stirring. At least poetically, the scales of justice saw Murray win gold against his adversary Federer. Only later would it seem as momentous as it was.
Andy headed to New York scarred by slams gone by, but nursed back to some kind of health by a British summer that had brimmed with success. With Nadal withdrawn, Federer slain at the quarters and Berdych toppled, Murray set up a second slam final against Novak, and in suitably stormy conditions, won a 5 set epic.
An Australian Open runner’s up spot began the 2013 season, but any fears that Murray might be a one hit wonder were allayed by his greatest triumph as Murray conquered the tournament that had threatened to break him twelve months previously. His home Grand Slam and tormentor of the British for years, Wimbledon, was tamed.
This was 7th heaven for Murray. In his 7th slam final, on the 7th day of the 7th month, seventy-seven years on from Fred Perry’s 1936 victory, he beat Djokovic in straight sets. It was one of the most impressive mental sporting performances I’ve ever seen.
In finals gone by, Murray has been broken, thwarted, or in some way had his momentum stopped. This would often lead to catastrophic collapses and invariably set defeats, but these seemed mere distant memories this time around, as Murray found the strength to overcome the disappointment of having his serve broken or giving away positions of dominance.
His final game was representative of everything British tennis has gone through on the grass since Henman started teasing us. From 3 championship points, Murray convinced us Wimbledon wasn’t for him on 3 separate occasions with Novak earning break point chances, only for Andy to whip them from under his nose just in time.
When Djokovic slammed a backhand into the net, he slammed all those years of ‘nearly’ this and ‘almost’ that as well. The feeling was one of delirium, but the victory spells more than the end of the Fred Perry stats.
With Wimbledon, Andy won his home grand slam as well as becoming a multiple grand slam holder. He dominated the world number one in such a way as to suggest a new era of tennis has befallen us. It was once Roger and Rafa, it may now be Novak and Andy.
When he took his first major in New York, I thought 3 or 4 would be his target. I am now convinced 7 or 8 is an eminently achievable tally. The next four years could see Murray and Djokovic going toe to toe for all the big prizes. It’s exciting times.
But the story for now is simply this: one man, twelve months, two slams and a massive monkey off the collective British sporting back. Andy Murray; the boy done good.Tweet