Cheryl Murray

  • Murray joins the ranks of Grand Slam elite

    2012-09-11 20:24:18

    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.

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It was coming and it came. In fact it came in Wimbledon till the long game of te second set in the final. he played brilliantly all throughout and the last two and half sets of that match was the perfect learning for Andy to display the ruthlessness with which he bulldozed roger in the OC. It had come and he had finally arrived. He is now playing with the sole purpose of winning at all costs and events. He can now handle the other three more comfortably having the monkey off of his back and the crack in his brain repaired by Ivan, the terrific! He should be winning a few more in the coming years. Glad to see him and the mom happy.

newfangkc , 9/15/12 8:40 AM

Brilliant article Cheryl. Thank you. Am hoping the Olympic win is to Andy what the Davis Cup was to Nole, a catalyst for greater things. That's not to say I think Andy will have anything like Nole's 2011 though. That year was phenominal and don't think it will be repeated any time soon..
But, the really exciting thing for us fans is, how many slams will he get and can he get to No 1?
Yippee! Andy's time has come :)

deuce , 9/15/12 9:22 AM

I was at his semi, and part of me still can't believe it.
Can't argue with James Bond, though. :-)

mara002 , 9/15/12 9:29 AM

Ooh mara002....soooo envious! :)
I still can't quite believe it either. So long coming.

deuce , 9/15/12 10:04 AM

It was an absolute JOY to watch Andy deny wots-his-face the gold medal - and in such a convincing manner. That "when was the last time a Brit won a slam... 150,000 years or something?" tasteless mind game "joke" from the 2010 AO backfired on Smugalot, especially now that Andy's won the USO as well.

Well done Andy, here's hoping for more GS titles for you - preferably at the expense of your swiss whipping boy.

jean , 9/15/12 11:09 AM

Andy is a late bloomer like Ivan Lendl.Just took his time to realize his potential.

hrsikesa , 9/15/12 4:40 PM

Noooooo, spam spam go away. :(
Andy's thread is here to stay ;).....

deuce , 9/16/12 4:05 PM

Deuce: I had a housefull of summer guests and had difficulty trying to watch the USO let alone keep up with TT but I was with you in spirit watching Andy's coming of age.

It wasn't always easy to keep faith but from the moment he linked up with Lendl (what an inspired choice that was) I felt quietly confident we would see him take his rightful place at the top of men's tennis.

Reading the above reminded me of one of the earliest blogs by Cheryl which resonatated with me at the time so I hunted it down. I hope Cheryl will not mind me resurrecting it.

If you have never read it, here is the link:

BTW: I've also just caught up with watching Andy's post USO chat show appearances.
A far cry from the taciturn mumblings we were treated to back in the bad old days.

ed251137 , 9/18/12 9:16 AM

ed honey, I always knew u were there with me in spirit :) My word, we've shared some tough times behind that old sofa over the years. But in many ways this win is all the more special, now he's actually done it and stopped being a "nearly man" of course, precisely because of his heart breaking losses.
Shame about our doubles loss wasn't it? We were so close.......;) I thought it was very sneaky of Serena to serve under arm, just when we were getting used to those bullets.
Just off to check out your link :).....ouch, jaw ache...;)

deuce , 9/18/12 12:53 PM

Couldn't get that to work? Is it possible to access archive on here?
re "taciturn mumblings" Andy's really shy. Never gonna love the spotlight, I guess. Just an ordinary guy who plays extraordinary tennis.
Kevin Mitchell, whose a big fan, calls him a "shy superstar."

deuce , 9/18/12 1:00 PM

Hope this works.

If not, go to the 'Blog' section, click on Cheryl Murray, then click on View All Posts at the bottom of the Archive list; scroll down to 3/5/08 which is 3rd from the bottom of the list.

Bummer about our match but it was bad sportsmanship to accuse me of faking my injuries :-(

btw: Feeling rather chipper. Took delivery of my new car yesterday and drove for the first time since the accident.

Did you see him on the Nick Fallon show? I thought he was adorable and seemed very relaxed - not at all shy: 1

ed251137 , 9/19/12 12:25 AM

Sorry: clicked on the wrong link.
3rd time lucky

ed251137 , 9/19/12 12:29 AM

^Brilliant article, ed spot on! Blood pressure rising a tad though, lol. Why Cheryl is my favourite tennis journalist, even above the mighty Tignor. Not creeping, not my style, she just is.
SOOOOOO glad you're feeling chipper too. It's been almost a year since your horrible accident.
Goodness how you need a car in "rural France" too, so glad you've got one at long last.
I live in rural England and my word, "What is a bus?"

deuce , 9/19/12 8:01 AM

Yes have been glued to the New York chat shows. Andy has been having fun and, as u say, so relaxed. Saw one with a Kelly and another? Thought she was excellent, really put Andy at ease.
Such happy days :) long may I have jaw ache!

deuce , 9/19/12 8:06 AM

Thanks for the link ed! Great article by Cheryl.
Tignor's article on Muzz is brilliant too. 4il6U

holdserve , 9/19/12 3:34 PM

deuce, that's a very lovely compliment. I really like Tignor, so I take that as high praise indeed. that you remembered this article from so long ago! Amazing that Murray was ranked low enough back then to be a first-round opponent of Rogerer. :)

cherylmurray , 9/20/12 4:48 AM

Nice piece, cheryl - looks like you're converted at last :-D

alex , 9/21/12 8:34 PM

This was a lovely blog and well deserved for Andy Murray! It's a good thing to see his fans still celebrating his first slam!

This renews my faith in humanity. Goodness, decency, a guy finally triumphing after such a long time. This is where I want to be. This is what it's all about.

It's about love and joy and redemption!

Nativenewyorker , 9/22/12 8:15 AM

Hi jean...still talking about Roger Federer I see

ts38 , 9/22/12 11:03 PM

Deuce, NNY and other victims. I have just had a Eureka moment: it took a while for the penny to drop but there's a marked similarity between the current spate of attacks and the pattern of those around this time last year.


ed251137 , 9/23/12 10:15 AM

Lol ed., the bus was just leaving :) Glad u were able to "leap" on...;)

deuce , 9/23/12 10:45 AM

ed251137, 9/23/12 10:15 AM,

I am not sure I understand. I have to think back to last year. But I know that you can't say much on here.

We are victims!


Nativenewyorker , 9/23/12 11:09 AM

Has Murray played Basel before?


Conspirator , 10/19/12 3:03 PM

Muzz played Basel only once in 2005, his first year as a pro. He beat Berdy but lost to Gonzo in the QF.


Conspirator , 10/19/12 5:32 PM

Wonder why Murray picked Basel this year?


Conspirator , 10/19/12 7:00 PM

Cheryl and Ricky: Trust you are both busy writing your end of term reports


ed251137 , 11/22/12 5:02 PM

^^Is Conspirator having debates with himself now?
He might need some company Nadal fans.

Twinge , 11/22/12 5:49 PM

You keep contradicting him Twinge.


ed251137 , 11/22/12 6:41 PM

Then that would make me the `Contradictor`
wouldn't it?

Twinge , 11/22/12 6:53 PM

Touche. It would

#Accent acute

ed251137 , 11/23/12 12:49 AM

Is this how Andy celebrates becoming one of the elite?
Check out the ball girls. Very Floridian?

jmk , 11/26/12 2:29 AM

2012 U.K. Sports Personality of the Year award shortlist with odds

Bradley Wiggins 2/5
Mo Farah 5/1
Andy Murray 8/1
Jessica Ennis 10/1
David Weir 25/1
Ellie Simmonds 50/1
Rory McIIroy 100/1
Sir Chris Hoy 150/1
Ben Ainslie 150/1
Sarah Storey 200/1
Nicola Adams 250/1
Katherine Grainger 250/1

ed251137 , 11/27/12 12:26 PM

^^^^My vote goes to Elie Simmonds. One of those Olympians I had never heard of before who just grew on me with her fearlessness...........

rafaisthebest , 11/27/12 1:16 PM

The difficulty second guessing the winner is that it is decided by public vote on the day and we know how unreliable that can be.

Wiggins is still the favourite to win. At any other time I would have bet on Wiggo but the image of cycling has taken such a bashing in the wake of the LA affair I have a suspicion it will not be he. If the crowds at WTF are anything to go by then it would be amazing if Andy were to buck the odds so his chances look slim. I think it will be Mo Farah whose Olympic performance and personality so capured the imagination of the public including all the commentators

RITB: Both Ellie Simmonds and Andy Murray have previously won the Young Sports Personality Award.

ed251137 , 11/27/12 4:01 PM

Conspirator, 10/19/12 5:32 PM
#FaultyTowers.... :->... I have no clue what this had to do with anything, probably nothing on purpose... but regardless, Faulty Towers is one of the funniest series I have ever seen on any tv channel. And they knew well enough not to make it endlessly, just for a few seasons.

chlorostoma , 11/28/12 4:40 AM

chlorostoma: There's something about a certain type of English hotel which invites this sense of humour. Possibly because Faulty Towers was perilously close to the truth at the time this series was made. Do you know the Julie Walters sketch Two Soups?


ed251137 , 11/28/12 5:19 AM

"Basel" Fawlty


Conspirator , 11/28/12 1:20 PM

A tad obscure but clever nevertheless


ed251137 , 11/28/12 1:40 PM

Has anyone posted this delightful article about Murray and Vilas? rer.html

jmk , 11/30/12 5:09 PM

Oh yes how delightful it was..
You must be a fedal fan to think so.

Twinge , 11/30/12 5:25 PM

Oh dear. It seems I am wrong again. I liked this piece because I was tired of reading negative articles about Murray, complaining because he had not racked up numbers comparable to Djokovic?s, his contemporary. I liked it because it said that what he had already accomplished was worthy of a statue to him in his home town. I liked it because it praised Murray and Vidal for their inspirational likability, that didn?t have to be measured by where they stood in league tables of how many titles of this and that, or by their records as compared to other perhaps more often praised players of their own time. I liked it because it suggested that you could be admirably good at what you did, without necessarily being the very best compared with others. I like Bottom?s version of the well known saying ?comparisons are odorous?--and too often they stink. But I do see that it is possible to read the article as insulting to Murray if it is taken as implying that he?ll never be the very best. That wasn?t my intention, and I didn?t think it was the author?s intention.

jmk , 12/1/12 1:19 AM

I dont think you are wrong at all jmk. Andy is one of my top favourites and I didn't feel the article was negative in the least. I am surprised Twinge took that view because like all hard and fast Muzza fans he has waited a long time for hope to triumph over experience and has become pretty battle hardened. I guess he just didnt want to hear or read anything which would detract from the euphoria of the moment.

ed251137 , 12/1/12 6:21 PM

The article definitely discounts Muzza. In my opinion he is just as great as the other three. Had he been Fed's age and Fed Andy's, he would have been the one with 17 slams. Not only was he disadvantaged by coming along after Fed and Rafa and around the same time as Nole, he has always had, by luck or design, devilish draws. His quarter is usually the toughest and he meets Rafa, rarely Fed in semis. The double disadvantage is that Rafa is a tougher opponent for him than Fed and being on Rafa's side he is deprived of scheduling advantages of Fed's side.
Then the veteran Fed, past master at mental games, messes with young Andy's mind.
The first slam is always the most difficult, the second slightly less but thereafter Andy will fight others on an equal footing (mentally- he is already equal, talent and dedication wise)

holdserve , 12/2/12 1:23 AM

Holdserve, 12/2/12 1:23 AM
Although I do not see the article in the same negative light, on this occasion I agree with everything else you have said apart from the 17 slam scenario.

That is a tad optimistic. The principle holds good but the hypothetical forecast should surely be adjusted to take into account the effect a younger, less confident Fed might have had on the results of Rafa and Nole. Not to mention other players - like Roddick and Delpo for a start.

ed251137 , 12/2/12 10:38 AM

ed251137 , 11/28/12 5:19 AM

thank you for the link to the Two Soups spoof. My wife and I enjoyed watching it, we don't think we had seen it before. Love the Brits' sense of humour.

chlorostoma , 12/4/12 3:58 PM

chlorostoma: Thought you would enjoy it as you liked Fawlty Towers. Julie Walters, who I love as an actress, is hysterically funny in several series written by Victoria Wood.
(there is a lot of her material listed on that link)

ed251137 , 12/4/12 10:55 PM

ed: thank you. We have seen a lot of Julie Walters, but not the two soups. Cringey sometimes but hilarious: ab-fab.

chlorostoma , 12/5/12 3:40 AM

IMO not all Ab-Fab stood the test of time. The early episodes were the best, no?

ed251137 , 12/5/12 7:17 AM

I agree: the early episodes were beyond what most comedians have achieved. The two of them really let themselves go far into buffoonery. A society without enough all out buffoons is in trouble and that I mean seriously.

chlorostoma , 12/5/12 4:05 PM

Same goes for TT ;-)

A little buffoonery goes a long way.


ed251137 , 12/6/12 11:20 AM

Muzz thinks he can win french open!
I now await the onslaught of the cynics, heh, heh :-)
I'd have settled for reaching the SFs, but muzz has now got me thinking, why not?
No reason why he shouldn't be able to do better on the clay, and lendl has helped him in just about every other way - he certainly knows what it takes, a clay master himself who only reached R4 and QFs in Paris the two years before he won RG for the first of his three times (nearly half his slam count of 8).
Go muzz, prove 'em all wrong again :-)

alex , 2/4/13 9:16 PM


Why not indeed? And I mean that entirely straight.

unless.... (this had be said)

Rafa remains healthy and injury free.... as he doesn't seem to need to be at his best mentally (2011) or physically (2012) to do the RG, heavy rain or not.

chlorostoma , 2/4/13 10:22 PM

Or rqfa could always have an off-day against someone like verdasco ...or even muzz;)

alex , 2/4/13 11:06 PM

^^^ Highly unlikely at RG. The 2011 Isner match was the exception, not the norm. By QF or SF stage at RG, Rafa is almost unbeatable, unless he's playing with an injury again.

luckystar , 2/5/13 2:33 AM

didn't say i was expecting it :) ... unlikely, but not impossible ... just steering away from the rafanatic "invincible" route.

alex , 2/5/13 11:58 AM

Rafa and Andy have had some very competitive, fun matches on clay where ultimately the inevitable occured, but for a set or 2 it at least looked like it could have gone either way.
I believe that when Rafa is playing his best on clay he is impossible to beat, there is simply no one out there that can beat him on this surface.
However he is not always playing his best on it.
Novak has to be the favourite for RG after Rafa, but to me Rafa will have to be playing at a considerably better level than 50% if he wants to defend his throne or there will be an upset. He will have to play well against Novak, even if not at his very best & perhaps over 5 sets this time.
As for Andy sure he can win RG (Rafa even said as much after one of their Monaco bouts) but not until he has improved on this surface & not until Rafa retires.

Twinge , 2/5/13 12:29 PM

"just steering away from the rafanatic "invincible" route..."

He almost is on clay Alex, he has only ever had a handful of defeats in 10 years!
On every other surface however he is not and that is also a fact.
Although he is pretty much the best grass court player now when fully fit.
Or was.

Twinge , 2/5/13 12:43 PM


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Current ATP-rankings

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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