Andy Murray has been one of the 4 best players in men's tennis this decade. He has frequently challenged the 'Big 3' of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic for the biggest titles in the sport.
Murray has brought plenty of joy to his home nation, keeping the British flag flying high at all the big tournaments and especially at Wimbledon. After suffering a serious hip injury in 2017, which required surgery and extensive rehabilitation, Murray has spent a great deal of time trying to get back into the top echelons of men's tennis - which has made him even more of a crowd favorite than before.
Best finish at each of the four Grand Slams:
Australian Open: Runner-up (2010, 2011, 2013, 2015, 2016)
French Open: Runner-up (2016)
Wimbledon: 2-time Champion (2013, 2016)
US Open: Champion (2012)
Highest Ranking: No. 1
No. of weeks at No. 1: 41
Style of play, strengths and weaknesses
Murray is a counterpuncher by nature, spending most of his time on the court several feet behind the baseline. He is very quick and has fantastic anticipation, which enables him to retrieve even the hardest hit shots and return them with interest.
Murray's backhand is his stronger wing, and he is equally comfortable going crosscourt or down the line with it. His backhand slice is also a very effective shot, and he uses it as both an offensive and a defensive tool.
Murray's forehand is relatively weaker, but over the years he has worked on the shot to make it stronger. His crosscourt forehand has become a solid weapon, and his forehand passing shots on the run are especially lethal.
Murray is widely considered to be one of the two best returners in the world, along with Novak Djokovic. He has defused many big servers' games by getting even their most powerful serves back in play, and his ability to attack the second serve is second to none.
The Scot has a good drop shot and lob, and he frequently uses those two shots in combination to change the tempo of a rally. He doesn't come to the net very often, but has shown soft hands and crisp reflex volleys whenever he's found himself in the forecourt.
Murray's serve is his biggest weakness, especially his second serve. His first serve is flat and quick, but his first serve percentage is often lower than expected of a top player. His second serve lacks pace and spin, and usually sits up for the opponent to attack it.
Significant Andy Murray records
Murray's list of records is pretty impressive; the most remarkable of those records are as follows:
- Most Olympics singles gold medals: 2 (2012, 2016)
- Most runner-up finishes at Australian Open: 5
- Only male player to win a Grand Slam, a Masters 1000, an Olympic gold medal and the year-end championships in the same year (2016)
Murray was born in Glasgow but grew up in Dunblane, a town in the Stirling council area of Scotland. He attended Dunblane Primary School, and was present during the infamous Dunblane school shooting where Thomas Hamilton shot dead 17 people.
He and his brother were both introduced to tennis by their mother Judy, who continued being their coach and mentor until they joined the pro tour. Jamie Murray, Andy's older brother, is an accomplished doubles player who has won two Grand Slams.
Andy Murray's wife is Kim Sears, who is the daughter of former tennis pro Nigel Sears. The two have a couple of daughters - Sophia Olivia born in 2016, and Edie born in 2017.
Murray is a vocal feminist, having publicly spoken out on numerous occasions about the need for equality between men and women in tennis. He was knighted by the British royal family in 2017, earning him the title of 'Sir'.
Murray's biggest curse is that he was born in the late 80s. Playing in the same era as Federer, Nadal and Djokovic has proven to be a huge disadvantage for Murray; many believe he would have won close to 10 Grand Slams if he had played in any other era.
Nevertheless, the Scot has still managed to carve out a Hall-of-Fame worthy career for himself, which has earned him the respect of both fans and experts. He has won 3 Slams, 14 Masters and 1 year-end championship and reached the No. 1 ranking, making him a legitimate contender for inclusion in the best players of all time list.
Moreover, he has achieved something that none of the Big 3 has - winning 2 Olympics singles gold medals. That achievement will always put him on a unique pedestal in the history books.
He has played several epic matches in his career, showcasing his grit and never-say-die attitude. Matches like his 2012 Australian Open semifinal against Djokovic, 2012 US Open final against Djokovic, 2016 Olympics gold medal match against Juan Martin del Potro and 2016 World Tour Finals' semifinal against Milos Raonic are considered among the best in the history of tennis.
Murray is widely credited with winning the 2015 Davis Cup single-handedly. He played both singles and doubles in most ties that year, taking on the lion's share of the responsibility and ensuring that his team emerged victorious at the end.
For the British fans and media, Murray has been nothing short of a hero. In 2013 he became the first male British player to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, and he repeated the feat 3 years later, cementing his 'British legend' status.
Murray has also made several headlines with his pro-equality comments, and is regarded as a flag-bearer of feminism in the sport. He has frequently defended equal pay for men and women at tennis events, and in 2014 he made the path-breaking decision of hiring a woman - Amelie Mauresmo - as his coach.
Murray's contribution to the sport - as a player, competitor, media darling and feminist - will be remembered for a long time to come, irrespective of how many Grand Slams he ends up with.
Social media presence:
Andy Murray Instagram: @andymurray
Andy Murray Twitter: @andy_murray