There is a lot to cheer about in tennis this year, if you’re a fan of Andy Murray. Once again, he became champion on British soil. He just won the ATP World Tour Final title, beating Novak Djokovic in two sets (6-3 and 6-4 respectively) at the O2 Arena in London; he is now officially the World Number One. Murray’s victory also ended Djokovic’s four straight victories of the competition, and the opportunity of equalling Federer’s record of six titles.
This encounter between the two was the 35th and it was a distinctive occasion for both as they met in the championship match on this stage, with Murray saying “it’s very special playing against Novak in a match like this”. As Murray won, his opponent in the final also congratulated him: “he deserved to win, he is the best player”. Throughout the competition, Murray only lost two sets (one to Kei Nishikori, the other to Milos Raonic). His hardest match was against Raonic, which he narrowly won 2-1 in sets, both were tie-breakers.
His road to World Number One wasn’t easy at all, considering tennis fans have been watching him playing professionally for as long as they can remember. He became British Number One in 2006, then entered the top ten in the ATP rankings. His first grand slam final was the 2008 US Open, but lost to Roger Federer. He would have to wait for his first grand slam title in 2012, also at the US Open. As he rose to prominence, he seemed to be under the shadow of players who were ranked higher than him, especially Federer, Nadal and Djokovic, all whom have rivalries with the Scot. As Federer and Nadal had fallen out from the top four, he and Djokovic replaced them as the top two, with several players in the top twenty taking different spots, rising and falling from time to time.
He has proven himself through hard-work that he can rise as we enter an era with increasing competitiveness. He has won 43 titles so far, 8 of them in 2016 (most in a year for him), with major ones such as the 2016 ATP World Tour Final, The Championships Wimbledon (his first in 2013) and 2 Olympic golds (2008 and 2016).
I’m not a huge fan of tennis, but the guy can play. It feels like forever, but Murray finally earned his World Number One spot. Well done Andy!