Andy Murray has a special relationship with the US Open. Despite his innumerable wins and many titles, he has always professed a special affection for the hardcourt major.
The US Open has released a short documentary on the rise and the career of Andy Murray on Tuesday, titled “Andy Murray: Never giving up”, celebrating his illustrious career. The documentary shows Murray’s journey at the US Open throughout his career.
The Scot has not only won the tournament as a professional but has also won the junior edition of the tournament in 2004 as a 17-year-old, which put him on the map in the tennis circuit. Following the win, the youngster was looking forward to improving and was looking forward to playing against the top players in the world.
“I’ve not really thought about it like that. I just couldn’t believe it I’d won. I’m really looking forward to playing against the best players in the world. I’ve not really played against anyone who’s been great, not top 100 players and you don’t know how good you’re going to be until you start beating some of them”– said the 17-year-old after the win.
Murray Turns Pro!
The Scot turned professional in 2005 and was offered a wildcard to enter the US Open that year. After winning his first-round match against Andrei Pavel, he lost in the second round to Arnaud Clement in a tough five-set match.
Murray made steady progress throughout the next year, entering as the 17th seed in the 2006 US Open. Despite an early exit, Murray was determined to improve on his game and physicality.
“I can get fitter, improve my volley, my slice. Mentally I can get stronger and you know hopefully in the next few years be one of the best players in the world”– said the Scot after his exit.
Breaking into the top 10 in the rankings for the first time in 2007, the Scotsman entered the 2008 US Open, brimming with confidence.
Murray’s breakthrough campaign
Looking back now, Murray always looked ominous in the build-up to the 2008 US Open. Prior to the tournament, he gave said:
“I feel mentally strong and physically not tired…in the past I’ve felt a bit nervous going into the big tournaments, but not now,” Murray said.
After breezing through the early rounds, Murray defeated then World No.1, Rafael Nadal in the semi-finals. However, he eventually went on to lose in straight sets to Roger Federer in the finals.
Despite falling at the final hurdle, Murray deemed his experience to be amazing and acknowledged his need to improve to win the big tournaments.
“I love playing in front of this crowd, I’ve played three matches on Arthur Ashe, been the best time of my life.”- he said.
Post the 2008 US Open, Murray reached three more Grand Slam finals, never managing to go on to win any of them due to the dominance of the Big 3.
Murray’s first Grand Slam and breaking Britain’s drought!
At the 2012 US Open, he went on to reach the fifth Grand Slam final of his career, managing to finally win this time against Novak Djokovic in an epic battle which was the longest final in the history of the US Open. The scoreline was 7-6 (10) 7-5 2-6 3-6 6-2 as the Scot won his maiden Grand Slam.
“I don’t know how I managed it to overcome in the end. I guess close to five hours I’ve had some really tough matches with him in the past and just managed to get through,” Murray said.
Murray thus became the first British man since Fred Perry in 1936 to win a Grand Slam title, breaking the British Grand Slam drought. The win also solidified his presence at the top of the men’s game, with the Big 3 expanding to the ‘Big 4’ owing to his performances.
Murray went on to win two more Grand Slams and numerous titles in what has been an exceptional career. Despite his current struggles with injury and form, the 34-year-old has never given up and continues to fight and persevere despite the tough times.