Before the 2019 Australian Open, the three-time Grand Slam winning, two-time Olympic gold medalist Andy Murray announced his retirement from professional sports due to his lingering hip injury.
The 31-year-old Scottish tennis superstar said in tears that he had done everything he could to feel better, though it didn’t help enough, and eventually he was playing with no clue as to when the pain was going to stop. Murray added that he plans to play this season, but he is not certain if he will be able to make it to Wimbledon.
After the 1st round loss at the Australian Open, watching him play as hungrily as ever, let’s hope he comes back to wave goodbye to the All England Lawn Tennis Club.
During his last game at the Rod Laver Arena, he proved himself once again: love him or hate him, you have to admit that this guy is a pure warrior. He tried to not care about his hips, even though he was visibly in pain. He did everything, played hard, fought until the very end, but eventually fell short to Bautista Agut.
Amazingly, no one was sad or disappointed. On the contrary: this amazing audience cheered for Murray like it was a Grand Slam final in Wimbledon. They breathed with him, they lived and died with him. If you are a true tennis fan, trust me, you did not want to miss this glamorous evening in Melbourne.
In a sport where Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic have played at the same time for ages, it has been relatively hard to stand out. Those three have won 52 single Grand Slams altogether, and they have been the World number 1 for 742 weeks – and their reign seems far from over.
Murray did stand out, on and off the court.
First things first: Murray was the outlaw among the bests, the eternal fourth Musketeer, the annoying little brother. The one who had to work twice as hard as anyone to get a seat in a club where there was only room for three. (Of course, Novak Djokovic was the pioneer, who entered the party first where only two invitations had been sent out.)
To win a major, or to win a Masters when Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic are peaking is quite an accomplishment. Sure, maybe they are more talented but speaking in terms of work ethic and dedication, Murray must be your man. Make no mistake, it’s not that those three superstars haven’t worked enough throughout their career; the point is that Murray was the one who had to put in the most during practice.
It’s like Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo: Messi is a natural, Ronaldo is a machine. In the end, we all will remember those two as the best football players of all time; there is no doubt it.
Murray’s biggest on-court achievement is his three wins at Wimbledon. Who could forget about the 2012 Olympics final against the magnificent Roger Federer?
Off the court, Murray’s feminist actions and interviews opened many eyes. He is one of the first male tennis players to play an enormous role in changing the attitude towards female and minority players and coaches.. He has always supported players who needed help and counseling. He has used his social media platforms to speak up against hatred, sexism, and racism, among other issues. Andy Murray is a game-changer when you talk about fighting for a better future.
On top of all those challenges, Murray has fought his own battle with the media. You all know the famous saying, “Andy Murray is British when he wins and Scottish when he loses.”
He had his moments; shouting, screaming, and swearing sometimes made him look like a douche. He looked like one of us, and that seemed strange indeed. Yes, I am usually cursing in front of the telly, but how dare a professional tennis player act like that, right? Nick Kyrgios, are you listening?
What happens if he is a douche, huh? You have to be egoistic, confident, and ruthless to reach your true potential. Murray did great in a business where you are all alone against the world.
I tell you what: at the end of the day, Sir Andy Murray paid his toll. Everybody loves this well-known Scottish douche, who brought joy to an ever-more divided country, and made the people unite under one flag.
Cover photo by Marianne Bevis on VisualHunt / CC BY-ND/CBS