This is a new weekly series which I am trying to develop, in which, I take an athlete; past or present, top of their sport or otherwise, and quite simply document their career and achievements. It will give me the opportunity to discover new sport stars, find out about niche sports and give a platform for me to display my findings I otherwise would have never sought out.
So, with the Davis Cup making its return this weekend, I thought what better way to kick off this series than with Britain’s catalyst for last year’s success, Andy Murray.
From Dunblane, Scotland, this superstar of men’s tennis, currently ranked world number 2, burst onto the scene in 2004 when he claimed the junior US Open title following on from several good wins at ‘Futures Events’ throughout the year. He claimed, also, the BBC Young Sport Personality of the Year award, making him for the first time known amongst the British public.
Murray turned professional in 2005, the year in which he competed at Queens and Wimbledon for the first time. He reached the third round at Wimbledon, his first ever appearance in a Grand Slam main draw, beating 14th seed Stepanek, before taking Argentinian David Nalbandian to 5 sets. It would be a sign of things to come for Murray who announced his presence on the world stage.
Eight years on, Murray left the lushious lawns of SW19 victorious, becoming the first Brit since Fred Perry in 1936 to lift the acclaimed prize and claiming his place as one of British sports finest ever athletes. However, the journey was a long one for the Scot, who has, since turning professional in 2005, reached 5 Austrailian Open finals without triumphing, lost out in the US Open final in 2008 and seen Roger Federer defeat him in the 2012 Wimbledon final.
That final, though, and the the tears which Murray shed in the aftermath proved to be a major motivation for him. The next 12 months would be the most successful of his career to date. His first Grand slam success came at the 2012 US Open on the back of a stunning gold medal winning campaign at London 2012 where he defeated his Wimbledon nemisis Roger Federer in the Gold medal match. Novak Djokovic stood in his way on a blustery night in New York, and Murray after relinquishing a two set lead, held his nerve to claim his first major crown. Wimbledon success would follow, and at that point, Murray held two of the four slams as well as an Olympic gold medal.
Djokovic who now has a stranglehold on the mens game has prevented Murray from adding to his Grand Slam tally; but last year the Brit secured another piece of the tennis jigsaw by leading Britain to Davis Cup glory. Dedicated to his nations cause Murray won every rubber in which he competed, singles, and doubles alongside his brother Jamie. He won the decisive match away to Belgium in the final on a remarkable point to seal a tremendous campaign for the Brits.
Away from the court, Murray married Kim Sears in 2015 and the couple recently had a daughter, Sophia, in February of this year. Murray who always seems to hold back on his personality during press confrences is said to be a really funny guy off the court. He has taken part in numerous charity events over the years and is undoubtedly a true ambassador for British tennis and sport in general.
Knighthood anyone ?