The last time tennis celebrated 4 different men’s Grand Slam champions in the same year, it was 2003. Andre Agassi won his last Slam and Roger Federer had won his first Slam.
Fast forward 9 years and Roger Federer, that ageless scamp, is still winning. But this time, he shares the lime-light with the men that occupy the very top of the men’s game. Three of those four players had been on the winner’s podium before. Fed, of course, is the winningest winner of them all, but Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic have both had their turns playing the role of His Royal Highness on the men’s tour.
Those 3 are going to have to make room on the winner’s stage now, though. Because Murray is suddenly a factor. And by a factor, I don’t mean “he’ll probably get to the semi-finals where he’ll lose to Rafael Nadal”. I mean a FACTOR. As in, a player who will now enter discussions as a legitimate contender for titles that don’t have the word “Masters” in them.
And it all started with Olympic gold. Oh, sure. He’s been in 4 Grand Slam finals. He’s been close. But when push came to shove, in the biggest of moments, it was always the other guys who had the goods when the pressure was on. But then the Olympics. At home, with the pressure of a crowd desperate for a win on their own soil. And he was up for the challenge.
Murray wasn’t always fabulous during this fortnight. I might even describe his match against Marin Cilic diabolically bad. But that’s what Federer, Nadal and Djokovic have had going for them that Murray didn’t before – confidence in their ability to win even when their games weren’t up to scratch.
He has that now. I don’t know if he is ever going to have a year like Rafael Nadal did in 2010, Djokovic in 2011 or Federer for the second half of the last decade. But he showed something in Monday’s final that hasn’t been fully apparent before – resilience.
In the end, it might actually work in his favor that the final against Djokovic went 5 sets, because he has proven that he can suffer a downturn in a match and come out the other side with a win...and that knowledge is going to make Andrew Murray someone to reckon with.
Sat 06/07 06:31
Tennistalk says farewell
Thu 06/06 04:05
Novak Djokovic's unsung hero
Tue 21/05 15:52
Another Federer and Nadal match disappoints
Fri 17/05 18:03
Bill Tilden and the effects of moral bankruptcy on a legacy
Tue 19/03 21:01
Professor Federer teaches us a thing or two
Mon 18/03 15:43
Nadal makes the cleverest comeback in tennis history
Fri 01/02 22:00
Nadal's return at Vina del Mar
Thu 15/11 16:54
Federer and company make no room at the top for youth
Tue 11/09 20:24
Murray joins the ranks of Grand Slam elite
Fri 17/08 19:45
There is something about Roger Federer
Mon 13/08 23:05
Tennistalk is in Cincinnati again
Tue 12/06 16:21
The French Open, Nadal's personal playground
Wed 09/05 14:58
Novak Djokovic takes up skating at the Madrid ice rink
Thu 29/03 14:30
Nadal and Spain give French TV a punch in the mouth
|1. Djokovic||12 500 pts|
|2. Murray||8 750 pts|
|3. Federer||8 670 pts|
|4. Ferrer||6 970 pts|
|5. Nadal||6 385 pts|
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