Tag Archives: Andy

His greatest achievement so far?

Exhausted and emotionally drained, Andy Murray fell to the ground, finally releasing the iron grip that carried Great Britain to their first Davis Cup triumph since the days of long trousers and cigarettes between points.

It had been 79 years since Britain last accomplished the feat, sustained by the dream team of Fred Perry and Bunny Austin.  

As Murray’s conclusive, sublimely executed backhand lob sailed over a prone David Goffin and several inches inside the baseline, the Scottish superstar crumbled to the ground in elation, having carried his team throughout the competition. 

Andy Murray
Andy Murray

Belgium’s Flanders Expo in Ghent provided the stage from which the drama unfolded, with the home side selecting a slow clay surface in an attempt to negate Murray’s influence.

That theory proved futile, with the world number two virtually as adept on all surfaces in 2015, as showcased in a thrilling French Open semi-final earlier this year, where world number one, Novak Djokovic, required five sets to dispense with the Scot in one of their many memorable encounters.

Others contributed to GB’s four excellent wins. James Ward’s unexpected 15-13 fifth set triumph over USA’s John Isner proved pivotal in a 3-2 first round victory, and Jamie Murray backed up his younger bro’ in the doubles, with the pair winning both of their encounters against France and Belgium.

David Goffin

Still, this would not have been conceivable without the unwavering desire of the squad’s talismanic spearhead, who ticked another goal from his bucket list often, at the expense of results within solo competition.

Indeed, Andy entered the ATP World Tour Finals clearly distracted by the impending Davis Cup decider. Having trained almost exclusively on clay courts in the build-up, he struggled to adapt to the harder surface of London’s O2 Arena, crashing out in the group stages, although in retrospect those extra recovery days proved beneficial.

From the street of Dunblane to British sporting royalty, a Knighthood is destined to come his way, although preferably only after retirement has kicked in; tribute to a remarkable career.

With his first child on the way, life is rosy for a 28 year-old at the peak of his powers. He should retire from Davis Cup action immediately to focus on four final career goals;

  • Become world number one for the first time

  •  Win the French Open

  • Win the Australian Open

  • Win the ATP Tour Finals

Achieve those and his career will have a feeling of finality about it, although with the irrepressible Djokovic on the scene (and born within a week of Murray), all may not be plain sailing.

For now it’s only right that Murray should bask in the glow of arguably his most unlikely triumph to date. To cajole glory from a team that in recent years lost matches to Ecuador, Lithuania and Morocco, is an accomplishment that deserves to be savoured.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Murray and Murray = The Winning Formula?

Andy Murray and Dan Evans will carry British hopes on the final day of the Davis Cup semi-final against Australia in Glasgow.

Victory in either of their singles ties would take Great Britain through to a first final since 1978.

This follows a thrilling and potentially pivotal five-set doubles success for Andy and older brother Jamie on Saturday, as they re-focused after missing out on match point in the fourth set tie-break to vanquish Aussies Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth 4-6, 6-3, 6-4, 6-7, 6-4.

Andy Murray RobinsonsSunday Service

Murray, the world number three, is likely to play world number 23 Bernard Tomic at 13.00 BST, while Dan Evans, all the way down at 300th in the rankings, will face talented teenager Thanasi Kokkinakis (world no.72), selected in place of the controversial Nick Kyrgios.

Belgium host Argentina in the other World Group semi-final in Brussels, with that tie poised at 2-1 in favour of the South Americans.


History Makers

It was 34 years ago that Britain last made the Davis Cup semi-finals, 37 years since they reached the final, and 79 years since they lifted the trophy courtesy of dream team pairing Fred Perry and Bunny Austin in 1936.

Wins over the USA and France, plus the absence of powerhouses such as Serbia, Switzerland and Spain from the semis, have raised the prospect of a 10th title.

Australia have won the Davis Cup 28 times, with veteran Hewitt, who is set to retire after this campaign, leading the way during their most recent triumph 12 years ago.


Controversial Selection

Leon Smith’s decision to select the unpredictable Evans over the more acclaimed James Ward and Kyle Edmund was a surprise, and the biggest gamble of his five-year captaincy, but almost paid dividends on day one, with the diminutive Brummie taking Tomic to the limit.

Despite this, it is two brothers who grew up in the small Scottish cathedral Town of Dunblane that have carried GB’s hopes most recently, with Andy previously winning both of his singles and the doubles with Jamie to secure victory over France at the quarter-final stage.

An Evans victory today would be a bonus, but it is the broad shoulders of Andy Murray that will once again carry the load if Great Britain is to secure the spoils and head into a shoot-out with Belgium or Argentina for the trophy.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.

Andy Murray Vs Rafael Nadal French Open Semi-Final preview

This afternoon in Paris two tennis heavyweights go head to head, when Andy Murray takes on ‘king of clay’ Rafael Nadal for a place in the French Open final.

Andy Murray

Scotland’s Britain’s finest post-war racket wielder enjoyed memorable years in 2012 and 2013; grabbing his first Grand Slam title at the US Open, winning medals in the Olympic men’s singles (gold) and mixed doubles (silver) and, of course, blowing the roof off SW19’s Centre Court by spanking Novak Djokovic in the Wimbledon men’s singles final last year, ending a 77-year home wait for a successor to the great Fred Perry in the process.

Reaching  world number two in the rankings, the boy from Dunblane seemed destined to take the top-spot in the latter stages of the season, only for a back injury to flare up, meaning time off post-surgery and emaciated tour point opportunities.

Rafael Nadal knows all about injuries, his knees were famously described by an esteemed surgeon as ‘those of a 45 year-old with severe arthritis’ and are hardly aided by his smash-mouth style of play.

Despite this, the Spaniard returned from his latest injury setback last term and immediately settled into inspired form, reaching 12 finals in his first 13 tournaments back on the circuit and regaining the world number one slot in the process.

Rafa Nadal

More ominous than those facts is his record at Roland Garros, which reads: played 65, won 64, lost 1 (Robin Soderling the only man to defeat him, in 2009) –  becoming the only male singles player ever to win the same Grand Slam on eight separate occasions during that period.

So, what hope for Murray? His path to the final has been far from elementary, courageously battling through five-set epics against Germany’s Philipp Kohlschreiber and local favourite Gael Monfils.

With his energy levels certain to be a little depleted, the man who lit up Cliff Richard’s favourite grass courts last season will probably go for broke, attacking from the offset to avoid too many prolonged rallies.

For that reason Andy shouldn’t go down as meekly as he did in a straight sets defeat to Nadal at this stage in 2011 and he could conceivably rip a set from the world number one’s steely death grip, but that’s about it.

Prediction: Nadal to win 5-7, 6-3, 6-1, 7-6.

Written by Dom Kureen

As a young rapscallion stranded on an Island, my time is split between writing, performing spoken word, wrestling alligators and delivering uplifting pep talks to hairdressers before they prune me. I meditate and wash daily when possible.