Continuing our series ranking the greatest tennis players of all time, we have decided there has to be a place for the finest British sportsman of all time, Andy Murray.
Any suggesting that Murray should be hailed as the ultimate British sporting icon sparks debate, yet his remarkable list of achievements that include two Wimbledon titles, two Olympic gold medals ad a Davis Cup win in an era of the sport that has been dominated by, arguably, the three greatest players of all-time deserves to be recognised as truly exceptional.
Take a bow Mr Murray. You are a worthy No 9 in our list of tennis greats.
Born: May 15th 1987 in Glasgow, Scotland
Year Turned Pro: 2005
Grand Slams: 3
Australian Open: Runner-up 2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016
Wimbledon: Winner 2013, 2016
US Open: Winner 2012
French Open: Runner-up 2016
Olympics: Gold medal 2012, 2016
Total Tour wins: 46
Win/loss record: 673–196
He may not have the weight of Grand Slam titles to compare to many in our Tennis365 Hall of Fame, but Murray ticks so many boxes as we look to salute the game’s true giants.
As the first British player to win Wimbledon in 77 years, Murray cemented his place as one of the all-time sporting greats in his homeland, yet his legacy in the game deserves to be elevated when a number of key factors are considered.
To have achieved as much as he had in undoubtedly the greatest era of the game makes his accomplishments all the more impressive, as he joined Stan Wawrinka as the only players to consistently challenge the triumvirate of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the biggest titles in the game.
Aside from reaching 13 Grand Slam titles and climbing to the top of the world rankings despite the incredible level of competition, he was up against, Murray’s record of winning 14 Masters 1000 titles puts him ahead of Peter Sampras, Boris Becker and Jimmy Connors as he ranks fifth on that list and he is also the only player in history to win two Olympic Gold medals.
Throw in a Davis Cup that he vitally won singled-handedly in 2015 and it is fair to suggest the Scot has achieved more than he dared to imagine as he made his way in the game from humble beginnings in Dunblane, Scotland.
“He is the greatest British sportsperson of all-time,” declares his former coach Mark Petchey in an interview with Tennis365. “I know this is a good debate and people are going to have different views on who should be and who shouldn’t be.
“I might be biased as I admire Andy so much, but I just think in terms of the fact that his opponents can impact his performance, the things he has to do in terms of overcoming them tactically, he deserves to be recognised as the best British sportsman ever.
“As for his place in the game of tennis? Well, he deserves to be recognised as one of the all-time greats when you put together everything he has achieved both in terms of his Grand Slam record, his Masters titles, getting to world No.1, the Olympic gold medals and the Davis Cup win.”
Murray’s success in last October’s European Open added to an already glittering legacy, as he came back from two years of injury agony to beat Wawrinka in the final in Belgium to claim a 46th career title.
“Winning that title against Stan was one of the great moments of my career,” reflected Murray of the latest and hopefully not final title of his career. “After an operation like the one I had, you wonder if there will be any more moments like that and that’s why it meant so much.
“In terms of big titles, I have won events that were much bigger than that, but it terms of what it took to get to that events and lift the trophy, that was the hardest tournament I’ve ever won. After everything that went on, I never expected to do that so soon.”
Follow Kevin Palmer on Twitter @RealKevinPalmer
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