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By Ajay Tyagi
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“I can't think of any player during my time who played like Andy. He is special. I have never seen anybody like him before. I've never seen anyone like that. Andy has all the shots, and great hands. He is going to become the best player in the world ”
- Bjorn Borg
Well, he is pretty much there. He is where he should be – almost on top of the world ! ( Murray held the No. 2 ranking position for two weeks, from August 17, 2009 to August 31, 2009 which makes him the highest-ranked British player since Fred Perry and is currently ranked fourth in the world ).
He debuted in year 2004 as 407 ranked player and today, 5 years later, he is vying for the numero uno spot in the rankings.
Pave the way guys , Andy Murray- the lanky Scott has arrived and is here to stay!
Murray came in as a stock model but soon changed his machine's exhaust, cam shaft and the air filter as he vroomed past the rest on the race track to become one of the most lethal opponents to have, a nightmare for those on the opposite side of his court.
He has transformed himself from being a teenager to a man in no time. He has nothing more left to prove to the world. His racquet is his sword and he wields it with effortless ease, and needless to say his precision is worth every word of praise.
He can hit the ball softly and he can hit it hard. He can play from the baselines and he can also move to the net when it suits him, although he is much of a baseliner.He makes it very difficult for his opponents and they find it confusing to play him, and to get past his rock solid defence.
Looking back at his past... Andy Murray would not be setting the tennis courts ablaze had he not survived the infamous Dunblane Massacre of 1996 where 17 people died and Murray went hiding for cover in a classroom. Fortunately, he lived to tell the tale! And hold on...To rule the tennis world too!
He later recalled the tragedy and said....
" Some of my friends' brothers and sisters were killed. I have only retained patch impressions of that day, such as being in a classroom singing songs The weirdest thing was that we knew the guy (Hamilton).
He had been in my mum's car. It's obviously weird to think you had a murderer in your car, sitting next to your mum. That is probably another reason why I don't want to look back at it.
It is just so uncomfortable to think that it was someone we knew from the Boys Club. We used to go to the club and have fun. Then to find out he's a murderer was something my brain couldn't cope with. I could have been one of those children......................."
He shone brightly in Junior US Open in 2004. He also reached the semifinals of the French Open juniors tournament that gave him his first ranking point from a senior tournament. Soon, he had a wild card entry to Wimbledon.
He went into his first senior Grand Slam tournament ranked World No. 312 and caused a major upset when he shocked 14th seeded Radek Stepanek, and the world, in straight sets in the second round thereby becoming the only Scottish player to have entered the third round at Wimbledon.
Further on, in the very first year of his career, he jumped 343 places to end the year at an impressive 64 en route to which he had to face several top ranked players and achieved the BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year 2005.
He waved goodbye to 2006 with a career best 17th rank - courtesy his first ATP title, the SAP Open in San Jose, California. He defeated former World No. 1 players Andy Roddick in the semifinals and Lleyton Hewitt in the final. Later he reached the fourth round of the Wimbledon Championships owing to his victory over number 5 Andy Roddick.
Then came the ATP Masters Series event in Cincinnati where he added another feather to his already full cap as he bacame one of the only two players to have overwhelmed Roger Federer in that year (2006). Next up was the US Open where he outplayed world number 11 Fernando Gonzalez in the third round but was ousted by Davydenko in the fourth. So much in so little time.... tremendous !
The years ahead brought him more glory and laurels as he went on to defend his San Jose title. On his way to the semi finals at the Indian Wells, Andy blasted away number 4 Nikolay Davdenko but could not secure a berth in the finals due to the loss against Novak Djokovic in the semis. All of that saw him rise to the 12th rank. In no time Murray had clinched a place in the top 10 ousting Tommy Haas from his position.
Year 2008 saw him scale further heights, unreachable for many. He won 5 ATP Titles to take his tally to 8 and notch up the 4th place in the ATP Ranking charts. The shining star on his resume was his win over Rafa in the semis of the US Open that deprived millions of fans from witnessing yet another entertaining, engrossing and enthralling encounter between the Spaniard and Genius Fed. However, he succumbed to the Swiss. He has also qualified for the Masters Cup in Shanghai for the first time in his career. His quarter final appearance at the Wimbledon can't be overlooked either.
In a short but prolific professional career, the Scott has been involved in a few controversies with his honest and blatant statements that have stirred up the tennis world.
He was fined heavily for swearing at a match official during a Davis Cup doubles match against Serbia & Montenegro. He swore at the chair umpire after a decision that put the Britain team 2-1 down in the tie.
He accepted his misdemeanor and said that they had got an absolute shocker and that he told the umpire how bad he was. He had also refused to shake hands with the umpire after the match.
Another incident that put him in media's bad light was when he stated that every professional player knew match fixing was a part of the game but later retracted his comments.
That was not the end of the bumpy road for Andy
....To be continued.
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