Search This Blog

Monday, July 8, 2013

New Day New Age

Andy Murray won the Wimbledon men's draw, becoming the first Englishman to win the Grand Slam event since Fred Perry in 1936. Murray defeated #1 ATP ranked Novak Djokovic in straight sets, 6-4, 7-5, 6-4, in a three hour long final match. The final game of the final set contained enough drama for even the most casual of interests in sports (let alone tennis). There were four championship points following a rally by Murray from 40-0 to have a chance to take the set and match. This followed Murray falling behind 4-2 to start the final set.

If ever there were a sports personality that a casual sports fan could get behind, it's Murray. Most of us love underdogs, all else equal. While Murray, perennially ranked in the top 10, is not an underdog in the conventional sense, he has come to the precipice of Grand Slam glory several times in his career and come up snake eyes until recently in his career. Add to the equation that England has not had one of its own celebrate a Grand Slam win on its soil, and this story has the ingredients of a legend.  

Murray was eliminated in the finals of the 2008 U.S. Open, and the 2010 and 2011 Australian Opens. Murray came close, but so far away from ending Britain's drought in Wimbledon in 2012, losing to Roger Federer in four sets. Four trips to Grand Slam finals...four times a runner-up.

The tide appeared to turn last year for Murray when he defeated Djokovic in the U.S. Open finals. Murray's first Grand Slam win was against a man who has become his nemesis and has dominated tennis in recent years. Murray was stopped short again by Djokovic at the Australian Open finals earlier this year. Finally, on Sunday, Murray broke through, getting the monkeys of both Wimbledon and Djokovic off of his back.

Murray broke into the fraternity of Grand Slam champions last year. 2

Being no more than a casual fan of tennis myself, I will not pretend to understand the moving parts that turn the gears behind the scenes in the game. In spite of losing to #2 Murray, Djokovic is still ranked #1 in the world. However, I do not need to understand the more technical aspects of tennis to understand trends and patterns in sports.

Murray had been perhaps the game's biggest bridesmaid before last year's U.S. Open, less than a calendar year ago. In the last 10 years, Grand Slam events have been dominated by Rafael Nadal, Federer, and Djokovic.  In his early 30s, Federer's name has appeared somewhat less frequently in the final brackets of Grand Slam tournaments in the most recent years. Could Murray be pushing Federer out of tennis' "Big Three"?

How tennis' circle of life plays out is yet to be seen. There is one Grand Slam event remaining this year, the U.S. Open in Flushing Meadows, New York next month. However this year ends, Murray has placed himself at the forefront among tennis' biggest superstars. From my vantage point, it appears that there are prosperous years ahead for Murray and England.    

Win or lose, Murray already has a nice prize, his wife, Kim Sears. 3
Don't forget to vote in the fan polls!

To advertise with The Daily Hat Trick, or to submit a guest column, please contact the editor at

The Daily Hat Trick is sponsored by Sports N Stuff. For great deals on jerseys, shirts, cologne, and other guy stuff, visit

1) Image from
2) Image from
3) Image from

No comments:

Post a Comment