Hat off, racket drops, and tears of pride shed throughout the United Kingdom. After 77 years, Andy Murray made history as the first Brit to win Wimbledon in 2013, and had his name etched into Grand slam history. Regarded as one of the greatest tennis players in the modern era, Andy Murray’s success is an inclination if ever labelled as “Overnight Success.” He had to work his way up the rankings, lost numerous matches along the way, and received a fair portion of criticism from media outlets for his fiery temper. Today, we dive into the journey of a man who worked his way up the ladder with many obstacles, and though some may not call him an inspiration, one can but wonder how devoted a person can actually be in achieving their goals.
Flashback five years prior to 2013, the setting is situated at the US open. Andy Murray had entered his first Grand Slam final against Roger Federer. When he lost the match to Federer, Murray had the courage to admit his immaturity. “I was very immature; both physically and in terms of my craft. It does seem an age ago, but it is only five years.” Similar to his loss to Federer, Murray reached landmarks in other grand slam tournaments, but suffering major losses all at crucial stages. Though he could have reacted negatively, Murray took it as a learning opportunity to improve his overall game and another important step in his journey to glory. “But as things have transpired, it has been about reaching landmarks such as my first final in Australia(and losing), my first French Open semi-final(and losing), and my first Wimbledon(and yes, you guessed it, losing). Beating Rafa in New York in 2008 at the time may not have seemed to be of major relevance, because I went on to lose the final, but it was another crucial step in the right direction.” 2013 arrived, Murray was World No.4, and the buildup for Wimbledon had commenced.
Bad news had arrived. Murray’s back injury made him unable to play at the French Open. However, Murray took advantage of missing out on clay to prepare himself for the grass season which eventually led to Wimbledon. His first stop was at Queens Club. “The weather was so cold in Paris, that it would have done my back no good at all to compete there. Instead I was at Queens Club, working on my routines, away from everyone bar my team and the odd photographer. I could go about my business quietly.” The quiet practice that Murray had conducted, seemed to have payed off, as he successfully clenched his 4th Queens Club title defeating Marin Cilic in a exciting game of three sets. (5–7, 7–5, 6–3). More than any player in the history of the tournament. Even if he had minor slip-ups during the tournament, Murray took the chance and went for it. “I made some bad mistakes against Cilic, but I kept going for it. I was willing to take chances and felt like I was dictating a good many of the points.” Murray then gave his verdict to add a few more days of practice and possibly, few more matches before Wimbledon would be underway. “I created loads of chances, and with a few more matches and a few more days of practice, I believed I would do a better job converting them at Wimbledon and would hope to eliminate the little slip ups.”
The day had arrived. The grass was being lawned, and the first matches commenced. As the days passed, luck eventually sided with Murray as the major barriers in his path, Rafael Nadal, and Roger Federer were knocked out. The media turned into a frenzy, of the open vacancy for the new Champion. All had one name in mind. A name which was being disregarded as unlikely to win Wimbledon: Andy Murray. Murray, had no shocking reaction to what took place. “‘This is Andy Murray’s Wimbledon to win’. ‘If he doesn’t get to the final, it will be a catastrophe.’ That’s why I don’t get obsessed with draws. But its hard to block out all that sort of talk and avoid complacency.” It became clear that Murray was the strong candidate. And it was proven right as he reached the final of Wimbledon to face his rival and best friend Novak Djocovick. Murray described accurately how the match was expected from him and the entire audience. “Full of deep-hitting, energy sapping rallies. Novak striking the ball out of the middle , and both of us looking for that essence of authority.” Finally, the moment arrived, which made every sit on the edge of their seats. Championship Point. Murray took the serve and what happened in that exact moment was described by Murray. “My serve could not have been better but Novak got that one back as well, hanging out a racket. I had to quickly get my feet into a position where I could play an off-forehand which wasn’t one of my best. He took aim with a backhand down the line…and netted it.” GAME. SET. MATCH. Andy Murray had made history had the impossible turned into possible.
The struggles, and hard work that Andy Murray put to get where he did, shows that we all as people, have the ability to accomplish our goals. Moreover, his journey so far has helped us visualize that to get where you want, you need to ask two pertinent questions to yourself: “What am I doing or going to do to get there?”. And “Am I ready for the hard work and failure that will come along the way?” Murray lost countless grand slams before reaching Wimbledon, and took each loss as a lesson to reflect upon his mistakes and progress forward. So know your goals, know how to get there, embrace failure, broaden your horizons each time you do, and forever be known as an influence to this world.
Author Bio: Murtaza Hussain
- Quotes – Andy Murray’s book 77: My Road to Wimbledon Glory
- Murray, Andy. Seventy-Seven: My Road to Wimbledon Glory. Headline, 2014
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