Ahead of the ATP World Tour Finals, which will be played from 9 to 16 November, we come back on the season of each of the eight singles players who will take part in the Final Showdown, from number 8 to number 1.
5: Andy Murray
A year of comeback
Saying that Andy Murray had a good season would be a lie, but saying that he had a bad one would be just as much of a lie. When all is said and done, Murray had the normal type of year which the vast majority of players coming back from a surgery have (the Brit lost three months in 2013 due to a back surgery). It was, for him, a season full of up-and-downs and of not so spectacular results. However, regardless of those results, he still managed to finish it among the eight best of the Tour.
In fact, we can describe Murray’s 2014 as two distinct seasons: the one before the U.S. Open, and the one starting with the Asian swing.
In the first part of the year, the Scot had average results. Good, but below par for a player of his usual calibre, with his best result coming where we least expected it: at the French Open, in which he bowed out to Rafael Nadal in the semifinals. He also reached the semifinals in Acapulco, but except for those two events, he was unable to move past the quarter-finals of any tournament, and went through moments that could have led us to think that he would never again be the player that he used to.
This is not knowing Andy Murray.
After changing coaches and bringing Amélie Mauresmo on board in May, he went through a natural adjustment phase, and then success was awaiting him.
The tide turned in the Asian swing for the Brit, and led to an exemplary end of season, with titles in Shenzhen, Vienna and Valencia, a semifinal appearance in Beijing, quarter-finals in Paris-Bercy, and a round-of-16 in Shanghai, results which permitted him to qualify for the Final Showdown for the seventh consecutive year.
Most importantly, this is when the real Andy Murray came back, the one who finds his best tennis when he has his back to the wall, and who usually fights dearly (and at times ugly) until the very end.
The one who has everything to soon be back where he belongs: in the top 4.
(Photos: Getty Images)