Throughout his career Andy Murray has not only had to contend with the difficulties of competing with some of the all-time greats like Federer, Nadal and Djokovic but with the noxious idea that he’s a bottler, that mentally he’s simply not equipped to be a legend of the game. On the contrary, Murray’s 2nd victory at Wimbledon not only dispels the idea that he’s mentally weak but actually is a demonstration of his wonderful mental fortitude.
There is no denying that Andy Murray is an inferior player to the aforementioned greats, nor is there any shame in that. He exists in an era where tennis has been graced by three players with indescribable ability, who have broken innumerable records, amassed an abundance of major titles and contributed enormously to the game. Murray has also faced great heartbreak in the game losing several finals to both Djokovic and Federer which led to some doubting whether he had the qualities to win a Grand Slam. It would have been easy for Murray to yield to the forces he was up against, to indulge in self-pity at the misfortune of playing in the generation of Federer, Nadal and Djokovic. But instead he rose to the challenge. The pivotal moment in Murray’s career came in 2012, when he had to endure arguably his most crushing defeat of his career to Roger Federer at Wimbledon.
It’s moments like those which reveal whether someone has the attributes to become a champion. Murray answered in the most resounding fashion possible. Only a month after the devastation suffered at the hands of Federer, Murray faced him again in the final of the Olympics at Wimbledon but this time he produced a masterclass defeating Federer in straight sets. The elusive slam finally came in September 2012 where he beat Novak Djokovic in the US Open and his greatest triumph came less than a year later where he beat Djokovic again to win the most coveted championship in the game. In the years since his consistency hasn’t wavered but he was unable to clinch a third slam until now.
A beaten finalist twice this year, Murray’s hard work was finally rewarded against Milo Raonic in the final. The road to glory was undeniably made easier by Djokovic’s early exit and the lack of fitness of both Nadal and Federer. But Murray delivered an exceptional performance in the final, not having his serve broken once and showcased arguably his greatest asset: his return of serve. The highlight of the match was Murray not just returning a serve of 147mph but winning the point. While Murray will bask in the glory of a second victory at Wimbledon he will now set his sights on Rio, New York and achieving the world number 1 ranking. While a lot will depend on how Djokovic performs in the upcoming months, Murray’s confidence is arguably at its highest. He has the potential to win a few more slams to add to his impressive collection.
Murray embodies the very best of what a champion is: He’s passionate, tenacious and dedicated to the game. For many years he had to endure the agony of losing several finals.
The adversity has made his success all the more gratifying. Even his most ardent critics must now concede he’s one of the greatest British sportspeople to have existed.
Now surely he will get the recognition he thoroughly deserves.