On Sunday, Andy Murray put an end to a 12-match losing streak against the three other players of the “Big 4” when he dominated Rafael Nadal 6-3, 6-2 in the Madrid final, a very important title on many aspects.
First of all, as the great Manolo Santana mentioned in his speech during the trophy ceremony, we have never seen the Scot play as well on clay. Santana was only referring to the final, but this applies to the whole of the last two weeks, in which we have seen Murray winning his first two titles on this surface which was, until recently, giving him so many problems. Furthermore, his play of the last fortnight has been the most aggressive we have seen from the world number three in a long time, dominating and dictating the play from the baseline as well as at the net, on top of seeing a clear improvement in his second serve, his Achilles heel for many years.
Consequently, it comes as no surprise to see him undefeated on clay so far this season, and after defeating three top 8 players in his last three matches: Milos Raonic (now ranked number four in the world), Kei Nishikori (inflicting him his first defeat on clay in 2015), and Rafael Nadal.
As a matter of fact, Sunday’s win was Murray’s first on clay against Nadal in seven encounters, also making him only the fourth player to beat the Spaniard on his favoured surface. Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic, and Horacio Zeballos also accomplished that rare feat. Furthermore, the Brit joined Federer and Nadal, the only two other players to have won Madrid on both surfaces (clay and indoor hard).
The Madrid crown is the Scot’s 33rd overall, a number that includes two Grand Slams (U.S. Open 2012 and Wimbledon 2013), an Olympic gold medal (London 2012), and 10 Masters 1000, among other titles.
With Amélie Mauresmo and Jonas Björkman on his team on top of his talent and the commitment to his work which has characterised him for years, Murray, recently married to long-time girlfriend Kim Sears, does not seem to fear neither matrimony nor the Wimbledon effect.
Becoming the first Brit in 77 years to win Wimbledon was not an easy task, but as it happens with every challenge the man from Dunblane sets himself, it is only one more step forward in a very successful career.
As he has been doing every since his arrival on the Tour, Andy Murray knows that he is there to accomplish important things and works towards the realisation of each of his goals.