Andy Murray has remained levelheaded as the British media heaps praises on the new world no.1, but Murray’s rise to the top of the rankings could be the catalyst for further Grand Slam success, as men’s tennis experiences a changing of the guard.
When you consider Andy Murray’s record in Grand Slam finals, it’s easy to say the Scot’s career is nothing more than a missed opportunity. Eleven Grand Slam final appearances have yielded just three wins, including five Australian Open final losses .
However, as Roger Federer’s age catches up with him, and Rafael Nadal’s place among tennis’ elite begins to slip away, perhaps now is Murray’s chance to dominate the game. He has so often been left in the shadow of Federer, Nadal, and Novak Djokovic’s successes, struggling to impose himself on those three great champions, who have 52 Grand Slam titles between them.
Indeed, Djokovic has experienced something of a blip since completing a career Grand Slam by winning the French Open in June, and Murray has pounced to claim the top spot in the ATP rankings. The 29 year-old has been in scintillating form in recent weeks – his victory at the Paris Masters last night earned a sixth ATP title in 2016.
At 29, Murray is the second oldest player in tennis history to debut at world no.1, but rather than slowing down, his game seems to be maturing with age, much like a fine scotch whiskey. It’s now a question of whether Murray can convert his ability, which few can match, into Grand Slam titles.
Attention will turn to the ATP finals which begin at the O2 in London this Sunday, and Murray has stated how he wants to perform well at an event where he has traditionally struggled. However, Novak Djokovic will be reeling from losing his top spot, and will be desperate to arrest his recent slide.
One thing’s for certain, while perhaps the decline of Federer and Nadal – and in recent weeks, Djokovic – have certainly aided Murray in reaching the top of the world rankings, the Scot has reached a level of performance that is unmatched in his career so far. If Murray can stay focused, and add those Grand Slam titles that have so often eluded him, there’s no reason why he can’t stay in that top spot for a long time.