Roger Federer has won 17 Grand Slam single titles, while Rafael Nadal has won 14 titles. Novak Djokovic recently joined the two-digit league with 10 titles to his name. All three of them have been World No. 1 in the past (Djokovic is the current one).
Andy Murray, the current World No. 2, has only two GS titles to his name. Does this contradict the statement that a player is successful only if he/she has multiple Grand Slam titles? Or is success beyond the titles & more about consistency and the level of play?
Is writing off Murray as ‘lucky’ for his number two ranking actually justified? Let’s find out whether Andy Murray deserves his spot.
Murray became the World No. 2 on October 12, 2015 but this is not the first time he has achieved this feat. Times were different when he first became number two in August 2009 after he made his debut semi-final appearance in Wimbledon. Now, he has two Grand Slam titles, which are the 2012 US Open and 2013 Wimbledon ones respectively, along with an Olympic gold medal in singles and silver medal in mixed doubles. Luck cannot take you far in the absence of talent and hard work.
Here are the top five reasons why Murray deserves to be the world number 2, despite not having as many wins as the top guns.
In order to be among the best, one must have at least one lethal weapon. Let us not forget that Murray has the best two-handed backhand in the game today with a low error rate. His backhand is considered to be better than Novak’s. He adds variations to his shots and often changes the pace to surprise his opponents.
Andy Murray plays one of the best lobs in the game. He is extremely good with passing shots and he plays them with great finesse. He also has a very strong first serve, which can go as fast as 145 mph. His athleticism and ability to retreat & attack during rallies plays a big role in having an extra edge over other players. It enables him to win points even from defensive positions, which is a mark of greatness in itself.
He has the ability to anticipate and react fast to his opponents’ shots. Due to this fact, he is also one of the best returners in the game and hence, he is rarely ever aced.
This fact is quite evident against big servers like Tsonga, Isner, del Potro, and Ivo Karlovic against whom he has a positive head-to-head (12-3, 5-0, 5-2, 6-0 respectively).
He constructs his points well and has a strong mental game. He has managed to come out of losing positions, regaining control and subsequently winning matches. His famous win over Fernando Verdasco came after being 2-0 sets down and ultimately winning the match 4-6 3-6 6-1 6-4 7-5, later going on to claim the Wimbledon title itself. Clearly, luck cannot solely help in winning matches of this sort.
He has certainly improved his game manifold by getting his momentum back on clay. He won his first clay title at the 2015 BMW Open against Philipp Kohlschreiber in 3 sets and the second title at Madrid against Nadal in straight sets. He made the semi-final of the French Open in 2015 where he lost to Novak Djokovic in a tight 5 set match.
He also celebrated 500+ career wins in 2015. He won his 4th Queen’s Club title against Kevin Anderson & Rogers Cup against Djokovic. He also guided Great Britain to their first Davis Cup final since 1978.
His career record is highly respectable & he is one of the most consistent players right now. The hard work & dedication that he puts in everyday undoubtedly makes him one of the best tennis players in the world.