“Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome the world number one, Andy Murray.”
This is a sentence that we will hear a lot as of Monday, and every time he will step onto court in London, during the ATP World Tour finals.
Andy Murray has clinched the head of the ranking, this Saturday. It happened in a quite anticlimactic fashion, when Milos Raonic announced his withdrawal from their Paris-Bercy semi due to an injury. (The Canadian might, as a matter of fact, not even play in London because of it.) And just like that, the Scot was assured of becoming the first British men’s singles world number one. His fate was sealed… at least for now.
But whatever happens in London, for the rest of his life, Murray will be able to say that he has been the number one player of the ATP.
I can scarcely believe it.
Those who have known me for a long time are aware that I have been an admirer of the Lowlander since his first steps as a tennis professional. I first saw him play at Wimbledon 2005 and fell in love with the game of this 18-year-old lad. And his habit of cussing at himself made me laugh.
A thought that has, now, become reality. Perhaps it did not happen in the most ideal way. However, considering the great season he is having, this is a just reward.
I am over the top with emotion.
After his undergoing a back surgery, at the end of 2013, I never thought that it could happen. I hoped and wished it, yes, but I did not believe he could get to the highest step of the ATP podium, especially seeing the domination of Novak Djokovic.
But right now, I am writing about Andy Murray as world number one.
I still can scarcely believe it.
Perhaps, as some will argue, he does not have Roger Federer’s charisma. But who does? Roger is unique.
For me, Murray is the embodiment of hard work and dedication, of an impeccable work ethic, of perseverance, and of the capacity to overcome whatever obstacle that is inevitably thrown in someone’s way. Of making the most of his talent and furthering his limits.
When he starts swearing on court, it is not the best attitude, maybe, but that is how he is. He takes things very much at heart and desperately wants to win. However, he only puts this rage onto himself (and his team). We rarely see him insult a rival. He also never takes his rage out on ball kids, and only sometimes on chair umpires. In his own way, he is a gentleman, both on and off the court. (And I love his witty, sarcastic sense of humour!)
Andy immensely and completely deserves what is happening to him. This season only, he made three Grand Slam finals and won one of them (Wimbledon), he won his second consecutive Olympic gold (although it does not give any points), he won two Masters 1000 and made two other finals and is now in the final of the last one of the year, and he was crowned in three ATP500 events. A season worthy of the best player in the world.
Now, the hardest starts for the Scotsman: staying on top.
But today, it is time to enjoy those five little words: Andy Murray, world number one.
A thought for Judy Murray
A few months ago, Jamie was at the top of the doubles rankings. And now, Andy is number one in singles.
It is impossible not to think about this happy and proud mother.
(Photos: Getty Images)