Andy Murray: A British Sporting Icon
Andy Murray is one of the great British sporting heroes and a brilliant example of grit, determination and skill. Like most sporting heroes he receives a huge amount of praise when things go well and, unfortunately, a large amount of flack when they don’t. He represents excellence in a sport that many see as the ultimate individual British sporting achievement.
Murray was born in Glasgow, Scotland. His maternal grandfather Roy Erskine was a professional footballer in the late 1950s, playing for Hibernian Football Club, who Murray now supports. As you probably know Murray’s elder brother, Jamie, has his own successful tennis career playing on the doubles circuit.
Murray began playing tennis at the age of three when encouraged by his mother Judy, often seen supporting him at matches, especially Wimbledon. He played in his first competitive tournament aged five and by the time he was eight he was competing with adults in the Central District Tennis League.
When he was 15 years old he was asked to train with Rangers Football Club at their School of Excellence, but declined, opting to focus on his tennis career instead. He chose to move to Barcelona, Spain, where he studied at the Schiller International School and trained on the clay courts of the Sánchez-Casal Academy, coached by Pato Alvarez.
His achievements are impressive for a 29 year old, in 2017 he was created a Knight Bachelor in the New Year Honours list, and he has won BBC Sports Personality of the Year award a record three times.
Andy Murray is currently ranked number one in the world since the 7th November 2016. He is the British No.1, 2012 US Open Champion, 2012 and 2016 reigning Olympic Singles Champion ( a record), the 2013 and 2016 Wimbledon Champion and was a member of the victorious Great Britain Davis Cup squad in 2015.
In 2013 Andy broke the British losing streak at Wimbledon by winning the coveted men’s singles title, the first man to do so in 77 years. He then went on to repeat this incredible feat by winning his second Wimbledon title in 2016. Wimbledon was at last back in British hands, care of the Scots.
Currently on 45 career titles, Andy is Great Britain’s most successful tennis player of the Open era, the first Briton to reach 500 ATP match wins and his maiden grand slam title ended Great Britain’s 76-year wait for a male grand slam champion.
In 2013 Murray bought Cromlix House, an elegant 15 room Victorian Perthshire mansion, for £1.8 million which he opened as a five-star hotel in 2014. It boasts the Chez Roux restaurant, overseen by the legendary French chef Albert Roux and run by award-winning executive head chef Darin Campbell. The critically acclaimed restaurant is housed in a glass-walled conservatory overlooking the grounds and offers diners a ringside view of the chefs at work in the extensive open kitchen.
Murray began dating Kim Sears, daughter of player-turned-coach Nigel Sears, in 2005. Their engagement was announced in 2014 and they married on 11 April 2015 at Dunblane Cathedral in his home town. The couple now have a daughter, Sophia Olivia, who was born in February 2016. He revealed that he took his longest voluntary break from tennis ever for her birth, which gives a little indication of the dedication world championship tennis requires!
Murray has been coached by Ivan Lendl since 2103 and is playing more offensively, improving his second serve, forehand, consistency and mental game. Though Murray has often expressed admiration for his on site coach Jamie Delgado with whom he has a close relationship, communicating regularly over tactics and playing conditions.
Murray uses the whole court when he plays and is happiest with a defensive baseline strategy, but is still known for his returns. Professional tennis coach Paul Annacone stated that Murray “may be the best counterpuncher on tour today.” He has excellent reach and is a great strategist, anticipating his opponents plays. His serve is one of the fastest around, reaching speeds of 130 mph or higher, winning many early points, simply and swiftly.
He is currently experiencing problems with a tear to his elbow that means he can play, but cannot serve at his best. He will miss a few tournaments because of this but Murray is a man who has lost quite a few games on his way up the rankings and endured quite a few injuries, but he has never let this slow him down for long. He will return better than ever. As he said after the recent loss at the Australian Open.
“It’s just tennis”
Except Andy Murray knows full well it’s actually about being the best and proving it again and again. He has the physical and mental strength that this incredibly competitive sport requires. The ability to perform day in day out at the highest level. That competitive spirit of his that kept him fighting against seemingly endless odds from a young age is the real drive here and it means we will be seeing many more wins from this Scottish champion. We wish him many more wins and look forward to seeing him play at Wimbledon again.