“I used to think that losing made you more hungry and determined, but after my success at the Olympics and the U.S. Open, I realise that winning is the biggest motivation.” This strong willed and relentlessly determined attitude towards winning is the reason why Andy Murray is my sporting hero.
Murray has proven to be a great athlete during his ten year spell as a professional tennis player, and his record supports this. Since starting his professional career back in 2005, Murray has been an inspiration to British tennis. In the past decade Murray has amassed a total 542 victories compared to a measly 161 losses, a win rate of 77%, which is 17% better than his fellow Scot Sir Alex Ferguson’s win percentage at Manchester united (which stands at 60.2%).
“His athleticism, resilience and perseverance to improve and become stronger is enough to inspire any tennis fan to go out and pick up a racket”
During his professional career Murray has also obtained 35 titles, some of which carried more history than others. How can we forget that extraordinary Wimbledon win back in 2013? History was made for Britain, Andy Murray was named a national hero. The fight he possessed to overcome Djokovic was inspirational, especially given the defeat he suffered in the 2012 final to Federer.
Despite being slated in the UK press constantly for being ‘miserable’ and ‘anti-English’, Murray has fought harder and harder year after year to prove his critics wrong. His athleticism, resilience and perseverance to improve and become stronger is enough to inspire any tennis fan to go out and pick up a racket!
“He works extremely hard on and off the court, training intensively for over 5 hours a day”
His passion is remarkable. I don’t know any other athlete that thrives off the feeling of winning and representing his country more than Murray. He has demonstrated this in his commitment to the Great Britain Davis Cup team, especially in 2015, where he played three matches in three days three times this year, all in close proximity to Grand Slam tournaments – but that didn’t stop him from fighting. His effort has now paid off as Great Britain have made it to the Davis Cup final in Belgium, which is due to be played on the 27-29 November, one week after the ATP World Tour Finals at the O2 Arena in London.
But where does this relentless attitude come from?
It comes from his dedication to his graft. He works extremely hard on and off the court, training intensively for over five hours a day. That he is then able to go and produce consistent displays of endurance and dominance in matches that can last upwards of five hours, in uncomfortably high levels of heat, is impressive. An example of this would be when he won the US Open in 2012 against Novak Djokovic, a match that lasted four hours 54 minutes – which was the equal-longest men’s singles final to have been played at the US Open and the second-equal longest men’s final in the Grand Slam Era. This is why Andy Murray is my sporting hero, because he doesn’t rely solely on his ability. He works tirelessly to not only improve his fitness, but also his performance all in the name of winning.
To come back from devastations, whether it be a big match loss like losing a Grand Slam final, or a personal tragedy, like being involved in the Dunblane Massacre when he was eight years old – and to still walk out on court and produce one of the highest standards of tennis in the world today and in tennis history, requires pure resilience and a strong mental attitude. Professionalism that can inspire generations.
Having won gold at the 2012 Olympics, and being the first British tennis player for 77 years to win the Wimbledon title, the only thing left for Murray to win in order to be the ultimate sporting hero in my eyes and in the eyes of the Great British public, is to bring home the Davis Cup in November, for which I have every faith.
Therefore it is because of his passion, determination, resilience and persistence that Andy Murray, world number two, is mine and many others’ sporting hero.
Image: ‘Marianne Bevis’ via flickr