World No. 2 Andy Murray is on an all time career high in 2016. Having brought glory to Britian once again by defending his gold medal in the Rio Olympics 2016, Murray is in fine form. 2016 has been good to him and with a Wimbledon title and a gold medal in his tally, he really shouldn’t be complaining.
Let’s take a look at how the British Number 1 has fared so far this year.
Grand Slams (and there’s still the US Open to go!)
Starting the year on a strong note, Murray eased into the finals of the Australian Open.But success was not to come so immediately or easily as arch-nemesis Novak Djokovic was armed with all the right equipments to seize the title and defeat Murray. With a 6-1,7-5,7-6(3) win over Murray, Djokovic equalled Rom Emerson’s record of 6 Australian Open titles.
It was Djokovic’s fourth win over Murray in the final of these championships.
To attribute any special credit to Djokovic on this circumstance would be meaningless as it was the easiest of the last lot of final matches they have played against each other. Murray, meanwhile, has somehow messed up all five losing finals at the same slam, an Open Era record he will not be hollering about – although, as he says, he has done well to reach those finals, the first of which came against Federer in 2010.
In the courtside interview, after the poor show of statistics on the board, Murray said, “I feel like I’ve been here before. Congratulations Novak, six Australian Opens, an incredible feat, and incredible consistency the last year."This is the worst match I’ve ever played,” Murray was heard saying, within earshot of his perplexed coach, Amélie Mauresmo.
Following the Australian Open, Murray improved and continued to play a strong game. He defeated the defending champion Stanlisas Wawrinka in the French Open semi-finals and advanced to the finals where again his arch-rival awaited him.
He became the first British player since Bunny Austin in 1937, to enter the finals of the French Open but he wasn’t able to win it. After three hours and three minutes, the World Number 1 prevailed 3-6, 6-1, 6-2, 6-4, his 24th win against Murray in 34 matches.
Djokovic’s prowess over the game was indeed remarkable and his dominance, unquestionable. Under such circumstances,finally in Wimbledon 2016, Murray tasted Grand Slam victory.
With opponent Milos Raonic having taken care of Roger Federer in the semi-finals, and Djokovic falling prey to Sam Querrey in the 3rd round, the path was clear for Murray. Milos posed as difficult opponent but he soon overcame his challenge and went on to win his 3rd Grand Slam, 6-4, 7-6(3), 7-6(2).
Masters 1000 and 500 events
To take revenge on Djokovic, Murray succeeded in winning the Rome Masters 6-3, 6-3. Clay Court King Rafael Nadal defeated Andy Murray’s hopes for claiming a Monte Carlo title by battling him gruelly in the semi-finals, trouncing him 2-6, 6-4, 6-2
He missed the Rogers Cup to take some rest and prepare for the Olypmics where his performance would be under the scanner and quite crucial. He won his fifth Queen’s Club Crown, by defeating Milos Raonic.
His form was impeccable in that match and playing blistering forehands and shooting great backhands and engaging in ample rallies, Murray owned the court. In the Madrid Open, Murray started off shakily against Radek Stepanek to advance to the finals of the Madrid Open. Again, victory didn’t come easy to him as Djokovic clinched the title from the defending champion in 6-2, 3-6, 6-3.
Djokovic broke Murray's serve in the opening game and the 2011 winner clearly overwhelmed the struggling Murray by landing powerful shots at every interval. In the second set, however, the Murray’s serve started to find the correct footing and, having won just 17% of points on his second serve in the first set, he increased it to an amazing 60% in the second.
However, Murray should be credited with defeating Madrid-favorite Rafael Nadal earlier in the tournament in 7-5, 6-4. The semi-final results broke many a heart, seeing Nadal lose.