One is the number, Murray is the name
By Étienne Fermie
It has been an extraordinary year for Andy Murray. An Olympic gold medal, a third grand slam win at Wimbledon, and a remarkable winning run that saw him become the year end world number 1 in the Emirates ATP World Rankings.
It would be harsh to suggest that 2014 and 2015 weren’t good years for Murray; he did reach a grand slam final and semis after all. But it felt that after the ecstasy of claiming his first two majors previously, he could have been winning more.
And boy was that to be the case in 2016. Twice he beat his previous record for consecutive victories. Winning 22 consecutive matches in the summer, before finishing the year on an astonishing 24 match winning streak that saw him make up a staggering 8,000 points in the rankings to overtake the previously seemingly untouchable Novak Djokovic.
This year has seen Murray add more consistency to his performances. Other than a slight dip in March, he has time and time again been if not winning tournaments, at least getting very deep into them.
Of course he is capable of breath-taking demolitions, take his 6-1, 6-2, 6-2 trouncing of Grigor Dimitrov in the US Open 4th round. But Murray has also added more of a steely resilience, being able to turn around matches that he seemed certain to lose, his comeback from a set and a break down against Milos Raonic in the Queens Final back in June being a perfect example. A perfect blend of these two traits is what has made the Scot the greatest tennis player on the planet.
Having claimed the world number 1 spot in Vienna, all eyes were on the ATP World Tour Finals, as Murray met Djokovic for the first time since the Roland Garros final back in May. Murray’s critics argued that he had to beat Djokovic to truly justify being labelled the world number 1. And beat him he did. 6-3, 6-4, in a final that was much more comfortable than anyone had imagined it would be. Even Djokovic himself admitted “there was no serious chance for me to win today’s match”, going to say, “He was just a better player all in all.”
Murray will now be looking ahead to a 2017 season where he will have a serious chance of adding to his three grand slam titles. The question that can now seriously start to be asked is, could Andy Murray be the greatest British athlete of all time? If he can add to those three slams, it will be difficult to say no.