Andy Murray - The New Mishiha in Tennis

 After 11 years of chasing the best men in tennis, Andy Murray has passed everyone and taken over the No. 1 ranking in the sport. Murray, who has spent 76 weeks at No. 2 since first reaching the mark in 2009, is the first British male to rank No. 1 in the history of Emirates ATP Rankings (since 23 August 1973).

       He is the 15th European player to rank No. 1 and owns the ATP World Tour record for most time between becoming No. 2 and No. 1, having debuted at No. 2 on 17 August 2009.
 
       Andy Murray stands on top of the mountain, the 26th player to rise to No. 1 in the Emirates ATP Rankings – and the oldest first-time No. 1 since 30-year-old John Newcombe in June 1974. More than seven years after the first ranked No. 2 on 17 August 2009, Murray’s seven stints in second position have totaled 76 weeks.

       Andy Murray has worked so hard to reach the top of his sport that he intends to stay there for as long as he can. There is every chance he will still be No.1 in the world when he returns to defend his Wimbledon title next June and he may even be Sir Andy by then.

       Reaching the summit, in his 12th season as a pro, is a reward for Murray’s dedication, perseverance and improvements – both mentally and technically – in a golden era for men’s professional tennis, led by the dominance of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic over the past 13 years.

In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years, having claimed his first grand slam title at the US Open the year before, shortly after winning the Olympic singles title for the first time in London.
After 11 years on Tour Murray is reaping the richest dividend on his investment of hard work, sacrifice and commitment. Those qualities might not be as glamorous as pure talent but all champions have them. If Murray stays fit and enthusiastic, he is perfectly placed to add to his three majors, given Djokovic’s new vulnerability and the gap to the next tier of contenders.

      Roger Federer, at 35 and out of the game with knee and back problems since late July, and 30-year-old Rafael Nadal, cut down by a wrist injury at Roland Garros that forced him to miss Wimbledon and coming off his poorest season in a decade, have a lot of work to do to 

re-establish themselves as frontline challengers. The odds are against them. They have taken substantial ranking hits, Federer out of the top 10 for the first time in 14 years, down at 16, and Nadal slipping to ninth.     

        Only Djokovic is a realistic challenger to Murray’s No.1 ranking but there is a definite sense, his iron will is not what it was – although he is still an extraordinary player and will probably close the two-title gap on Nadal’s 14 majors and perhaps overtake Federer’s 17. Yet his aura has dimmed. He may soon question his passion – or he may be revitalized by the challenge. Five months ago he led Murray by more than 8,000 ranking points. Now he has the task of defending the points he gathered like berries on a bush at the start of 2016, a year that promised much but finished in disappointment and maybe a little concern.

      In 2013, Murray became the first British man to win Wimbledon for 77 years, having claimed his first grand slam title at the US Open the year before, shortly after winning the Olympic singles title for the first time in London.
After 11 years on Tour Murray is reaping the richest dividend on his investment of hard work, sacrifice and commitment. Those qualities might not be as glamorous as pure talent but all champions have them. If Murray stays fit and enthusiastic, he is perfectly placed to add to his three majors, given Djokovic’s new vulnerability and the gap to the next tier of contenders.

       Roger Federer, at 35 and out of the game with knee and back problems since late July, and 30-year-old Rafael Nadal, cut down by a wrist injury at Roland Garros that forced him to miss Wimbledon and coming off his poorest season in a decade, have a lot of work to do to re-establish themselves as frontline challengers. The odds are against them. They have taken substantial ranking hits, Federer out of the top 10 for the first time in 14 years, down at 16, and Nadal slipping to ninth.

       Only Djokovic is a realistic challenger to Murray’s No.1 ranking but there is a definite sense, his iron will is not what it was – although he is still an extraordinary player and will probably close the two-title gap on Nadal’s 14 majors and perhaps overtake Federer’s 17. Yet his aura has dimmed. He may soon question his passion – or he may be revitalized by the challenge. Five months ago he led Murray by more than 8,000 ranking points. Now he has the task of defending the points he gathered like berries on a bush at the start of 2016, a year that promised much but finished in disappointment and maybe a little concern.                                                                                                                                                                              JP


 
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