Andy Murray has had a phenomenal and glittering tennis career that’s littered with impressive accolades. Murray became the first British tennis player in 77 years to win the men’s singles championship at Wimbledon and ended an enduring 76-year wait for a British man to win the U.S. Open in 2012.
Murray has two Sw19 Grand Slams to his name and Flushing Meadows silverware to add to the trophy cabinet. The Scot also ended the Big Three’s stranglehold on the No.1 position on 7 November 2o16 having spent 76 weeks occupying the No.2 spot, before finally claiming the illustrious title for his own.
Murray surprised the world by putting up a spectacular fight at this year’s U.S. Open in the first round, forcing the No.3 seed Stefanos Tsitsipas to a fight-set thriller, ultimately falling short in a controversial ending to the game. Many plaudits and critics have called for the British champion to hang up the gloves and gracefully finish his career in style, but Murray seems to have found a new lease of life.
Murray truly is a fantastic tennis titan but does not show signs of slowing down after his epic showdown against the Tsitsipas last September. But the question still arises about his fitness, no longer the physical phenomenon he was at 20, much less 30, he is dogged by slower movement on the court the older he gets. With reaction time and his movement impeded, Murray seems to be focusing on his footwork and stamina more than how he gets around the court.
With the handicaps Murray is carrying above, let’s take a look at reasons for Murray to retire and the motives why he should chase one last revered Grand Slam.
Murray’s 2021 Wimbledon journey ended in heartbreak after losing in straight sets to 10th seed Shapovalov in the third round. This came as a disappointing shock to the former No.1 seed, as he seemed to be under the pretence that he would get slightly deeper into the grass-court Slam.
2016 was the last time that Murray held the chalice of success at Wimbledon, winning the prestigious Slam for a second time before submitting to a crippling hip injury. Murray limped out of Wimbledon in 2017, eventually discovering he needed a hip replacement and was advised to never compete again.
Murray reemerged as a spectator at the Australian Open in 2019, posting an image of himself propped next to the trophy he had come agonisingly short to winning five times. The mercurial Brit had returned to the tennis cohort.
Most Notably, Murray’s return to action included defeating World Number 7, Zverev 6-3, 3-6, 7-5 in the second round of the Western & Southern Open. It was the first time that Murray beat a player inside the world’s top ten since 2017, where he overcame Kei Nishikori in the quarter-final of the French Open.
Continued his winning form by emerging victorious at his first match at The Queen’s Club – where he was a five-time champion -against France’s Benoit Paire before losing to eventual champion Matteo Berrettini in round two. Murray’s 2021 Wimbledon efforts were cut short after losing in straight sets to Canadian Shapovalov in the third round.
The Scot’s last outing at a Grand Slam was against Tsitsipas in the first round of U.S. Open. Murray, who searched for redemption, found his tennis of old against the No.3 seeded Greek. He played some truly tantalising tennis and forced Tsitsipas to his breaking point in a fifth-set. Ultimately falling short, Murray has rediscovered his love of the game and will be looking ahead to the Australian Open in 2022.
Why Murray Should Lay Down The Racket
The argument for Andy Murray to stop playing tennis is his lack of consistency. The Scottish player’s main criticism against himself is his inability to string together wins. He displays glimpses of tennis that elevate him back up into the elite group of players, but his physical recovery is lacking.
After beating Yoshihito Nishioka at the 2020 U.S. Open in five sets, he said he could hardly walk the next day. The absence of regular tennis has translated to what he says is a lack of match sharpness. He’s admitted to needing to work on other aspects of his game more because of his age. Murray should preserve his legacy and turn to a much needed time of rest.
Why Murray Should Push On To Prove Critics Wrong
While many can see the chinks in Murray’s armour with age, many see the raw talent the Brit still possess. The Glasgow born player didn’t reach the number-one spot in tennis through seer chance, Murray was Britain’s best hope in over two decades to win Wimbledon and gave the hordes of tennis acolytes a show to witness.
After Murray’s showdown with Tsitsipas in the U.S. Open, fans and pundits alike saw the drive of Murray and how much spirit he showed in one of the best games of his return. The thundering aces, the pinpoint precision of his backhands and the overall game plan he implemented to rock the Greek prodigy.
Murray retiring would be a fitting end to his career, but not retiring and capturing one last Grand Slam would be a fitting story of revival. If Murray was to secure one more Grand Slam it would be one of the best sporting comebacks since Tyson Fury’s story of redemption. The plan for Murray and his team now will be to preserve the hard-hitting Scotsman and focus on the Australian Grand Slam and the prestigious Wimbledon where he has had most of his success.
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