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By Akshay Kohli
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“You are too good of a player to not win a grand slam, so don't worry about it” said Roger Federer after he humbled Andy Murray in the 2010 Australian Open final. Murray did not let Federer down as on 10th September 2012, he lifted the US Open title, forcing his critics to eat their own words. One needs a great heart and an immense will to continually persevere to live up to the ever swelling expectations of a Slam-starved nation.
In 2004, Murray lifted his first junior Grand Slam at the US Open and 8 years later he did it again-this time by lifting the US Open Men’s Singles Championship. Let’s go down the memory lane and look at The Making of a CHAMPION.
2005-2008: Initial years
Murray made a giant leap in the rankings in 2005, proving that he can engage in a nip-and-tuck battle with the big boys on the tour. He finished off 2005 as World No. 65 and went into 2006 without any anticipation about what was in store for him. A Top-20 finish got him into the spotlight alongside Novak Djokovic as both the players kept climbing the ladder slowly and steadily.
He kept climbing the ranks in 2007 with a finish just outside the Top-10 at No.11. He cracked the elusive Top-10 in summer but fell short of sustaining the rank. With injuries haunting him, he came back strongly at the year with the world eagerly waiting for the some fireworks from this Scot.
2008: The rise continues
Murray’s rise to the top kept going on as he won 5 titles in 2008 and reached a season ending rank of No.4, the first British man to achieve this feat in 36 years. The best part about this season was that he saw extremes and his form swayed like a pendulum. He reached his first ever season ending masters and this must have given him the desire to escalate his game to another level.
2009: The breakthrough year
2009 was the year Murray stole and broke hearts. ATP was experiencing Murray at his prime best as he
won a career best 6 ATP World Tour titles along with a career high ranking of No.2 in the World. He achieved this feat by overtaking Rafael Nadal, shattering some hearts by doing so. Though he finished the year at No.4 for the second year running, he proved to be a force to reckon with.
2010: Staying on course
2010 was a rather dry season for the Scot as he managed winning just 2 titles (less for a player of his caliber) after a tremendous start to the year, by reaching the finals of the Australian Open. He failed to live up to the expectations by not performing for the remaining part of the year after but finished strongly at No.4 in the World, hoping to turn things around in 2011.
2011: The Scot arrived
For a fourth straight year the Scot continued his supremacy over other players but was not able to realize his Grand Slam goal, losing in the finals of the Australian Open again. He bounced back strongly in 2011, making a strong statement that he is not done and will not give up so easily. He won 5 titles including a perfect win-loss record at the Asian Swing.
2012: The time is NOW!!!
Well, after a fourth Grand Slam loss at The Championships this year and people questioning Murray’s ability to win the big one, Murray came back strongly to first win the Olympic Gold at The All England Club and then complimented it up with his first Grand Slam title at the US Open. It seems like the cloak of invincibility finally rested on this hard working man from Scotland, who also sealed a place in the Year Ending Championships
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