By Leighton Ginn
The bar has been set extremely high this year by Novak Djokovic, but Andy Murray’s season has reached cosmic highs that might be overshadowed.
Murray won his third major title when he captured the Wimbledon title for the second time in four years, and first this year.
This season, Murray has reached the finals of all three majors, losing to Djokovic in the Australian and French finals.
Any other year, Murray will be talked about as a possible player of the year winner.
But the fact is, Djokovic has played at a phenomenal level this year. Djokovic has been so good that it makes the No. 1 ranking and player of the year honors highly unlikely, even if Murray wins the US Open.
That doesn’t mean we shouldn’t be awed by Murray’s year. His victory at the All England Club is something this country probably needed after all the Brexit news and uncertainty.
After winning Wimbledon in 2013, Murray had back surgery, and for a while, it looked unlikely he could reach the heights Djokovic has. It took him over a year to return to top-10 levels and until this year to reach elite status of the Djokovic and Roger Federers.
And don’t try to water down Murray’s title. Just because he didn’t have to face Djokovic or Federer, his finals opponent, Milos Raonic, has the classic power game that traditionally succeeds on the grass courts.
Murray dominated him.
It’s good to see Murray playing at this level, because he’s had bad luck with injuries. About 10 years ago, Murray appeared to be ready to make a breakout, but then he started to suffer ankle injuries while Djokovic started to ascend to the top levels.
And before Murray’s 2013 back surgery, he was right there with Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal to create tennis’ fearsome foursome.
With Federer and Nadal hampered by injuries this year, tennis needs Murray to win majors to keep up this unprecedented level.
The next question for Murray is when he will be knighted. Two Wimbledon titles, as well as a US Open and Olympic gold medal, after no Brit had won a major since Fred Perry in 1936 and it’s inevitable we’ll be calling him Sir Andy.
Wouldn’t it be funny if it happened soon, so his opponents will have to call him Sir Andy at Wimbledon?