- Category : Tennis Player
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Andrew "Andy" Murray (born 15 May 1987 in Glasgow), is a Scottish tennis player, who is currently the highest-ranking British player. Murray broke into the official ATP Top 10 for the first time on April 16, 2007, achieving his current career-high of No. 8 on June 18, 2007. He re-entered the Top 10 on January 7, 2008 at No. 9, but slipped to No, 12 after the Australian Open. His ranking as of February 18, 2007 is 10. In December 2005, he won the BBC Scotland Sports Personality of the Year Award, and the sport section of the Top Scot awards. His elder brother Jamie is Great Britain's highest ranked doubles player.
In late 2007 Murray split with his former coach, American Brad Gilbert. He is now working with a team of fitness experts, with former player Miles Maclagan currently acting as his main coach.
Murray was a former pupil of Dunblane Primary School between 1992 to 1999. He was eight years old and in Primary Four when the Dunblane Massacre devastated the school, resulting in the deaths of a teacher and sixteen Primary One pupils. Murray, however, says he was shielded from the aftermath of the tragedy and, still being a child, wasn't truly aware of what was going on. In 1999, he went on to attend Dunblane High School.
Between the ages of 11 and 13 Murray was a member of the junior tennis team at the Next Generation club in Newhaven, Edinburgh, where he played regularly. At 14 he moved to Barcelona in Spain, where he attended the Schiller International School and trained on the clay courts of the Sánchez-Casal Academy, where he was nicknamed 'Lazy English'. He won the Boys Singles title at the US Open in 2004, and won BBC Young Sports Personality of the Year the same year. He finished higher education in 2005.
In an interview with Gabby Logan for the BBC's Inside Sport programme, Andy said that he was both Scottish and British and was comfortable and happy with his British identity. He said he saw no conflict between the two and was equally proud of them. He also mentioned that while Wimbledon was not his favourite tournament, he loved the support of the British fans. There is some suspicion that this was a public relations comment however, as one year previously he commented that he would not support the England football team at the World Cup, although it should be noted his comment was tongue-in-cheek.
2005 was Murray's breakthrough year. He came to public attention after reaching the third round at both the Stella Artois championship at Queens and at Wimbledon. Almost all of his ATP tour results came on hard and grass courts, though he has claimed to prefer clay courts, a liking tied to his training in Barcelona as a junior.
In March 2005, he was called up to play doubles for Great Britain's Davis Cup team to play against Israel, and became Great Britain's youngest ever Davis Cup player in doing so. Murray and David Sherwood produced a surprise win over the Israeli doubles team, who at the time were the World number eight pairing and had reached the Wimbledon semi-final in 2003. This helped Great Britain to a 3-2 victory.
The Scot reached the semi-finals of the Boys' tournament at the French Open, Prior to the Junior French Open in April, Murray turned professional and played his first senior tournament when he was given a wild card to the ATP Open SEAT clay-court event in Barcelona, his adopted home town. He lost in the first round to Jan Hernych.
The Barcelona Tournament gave Murray his first senior ranking point, and he was soon handed a second wild card for the Stella Artois championship at Queens. He progressed to the third-round but retired due to cramp.
Murray was awarded a wildcard for Wimbledon. He went into his first senior grand slam ranked 374th in the world, but managed to produce a major upset by defeating fourteenth seed Radek Št?pánek in straight sets. He was the first Scottish person in the Open era to reach round three at Wimbledon, and was the only Briton remaining in the men's or ladies' singles championship. Murray's run in Wimbledon 2005 came to an end when he was beaten by David Nalbandian after leading by two sets to love, when he began showing visible signs of fatigue in the fourth and fifth sets.
During the tournament his performances saw Henman Hill re-christened as Murray Mound/Mount and Murrayfield (a reference to Murrayfield Stadium in Edinburgh) , and Henmania became 'Andymonium'.
Mark Petchey, who had been coaching Murray through the early part of that grass court season was then confirmed as the player's full time coach, Murray stating:
"I'm so pleased to have Mark as my coach, I respect him a great deal. He has helped me massively over the last few weeks and I am excited to work with him moving forward."
He began the U.S. hardcourt season by winning his first title at the Aptos Challenger Series hardcourt event without dropping a set. A wildcard afforded him entry to the Cincinnati Masters event where he played his first match against a top-ten player, Marat Safin, in the second-round. Murray lost the match, 6-4, 1-6, 6-1.
Murray was ranked #122 in the world and had to qualify for the U.S. Open. He was able to reach the second-round, playing two five-set matches. On the 29th September he finally reached the top 100, when he beat Robin Söderling in the Thailand Open. He reached his first ATP final by beating home favourite Paradorn Srichaphan in the semi-finals but lost to World no.1 Roger Federer in the final. His world ranking rose to #72.
Murray returned from a short injury layoff to play at the Davidoff Swiss Indoors. He was drawn in the first-round against British number one Tim Henman, with this tie being first time the two had met in professional competition. Murray defeated Henman, 6-2, 5-7, 7-6(4). He then defeated Thomas Berdych in three sets before losing in the quarter finals to world number 10 Fernando Gonzalez 6-4, 3-6, 6-1. However, he rose to a career high ranking of 65.
Murray began the 2006 season with second round exits in two tournaments, followed by a first round loss to Juan Ignacio Chela in his first Australian Open appearance. The SAP Open which followed brought him his first ATP title, as Murray beat two former world number 1s in the form of Andy Roddick and Lleyton Hewitt. He reached the quarter-finals in his next tournament in Memphis. He lost in the first round of six of the next nine tournaments he played in, including first round exits at the French Open and at Queen's Club. During this run, Murray unsuccessfully partnered Greg Rusedski in Great Britain's Davis Cup tie, after missing the singles through injury.
At Wimbledon Murray reached the fourth round of a Grand Slam for the first time, before losing in straight sets to Marcos Baghdatis. He reached the semi-final and final of the next two tournaments he entered (the Hall of Fame Championships in Newport and the Legg Mason Classic in Washington, respectively). In between, he won a singles match against Andy Ram in the Davis Cup tie with Israel.
Murray reached the semi-final of the Canada Masters, losing to Richard Gasquet. In the next tournament, the Cincinnati Masters, he lost to Andy Roddick in the quarter-finals after earlier defeating world number 1, Roger Federer. Murray was one of only two players to beat Federer in 2006, the other being Rafael Nadal. The final grand slam of the year, the U.S. Open, saw Murray reach the fourth round, before losing to the seeded Nikolay Davydenko in four sets. This was followed by his final Davis Cup appearance for the year, in which he won both singles rubbers in straight sets and lost the doubles en route to a British victory over the Ukraine, which ensured the team's continued presence in group 1 of the Europe/Africa zone for 2007.
In the final set of tournaments in 2006 he lost to Tim Henman in the first round of the Thailand Open (where he had reached the final the year before) He reached the final of the doubles, partnered by his brother. At the Madrid Masters, he defeated number 3 seed Ivan Ljubi?i? before losing to Novak ?okovi? in the round of 16. In his final tournament of the year, the Paris Masters, Murray beat Chela, and lost in the next round to Dominik Hrbaty. At the end of the year, Murray was ranked 17th in the world.
At the Australian Open, Murray's first Grand Slam of the calendar year, he was seeded 15th (his highest seeding for a Grand Slam event). In his first round match he beat Alberto Martín of Spain 6-0, 6-0, 6-1, which equalled the largest-ever victory at the Australian Open, in the Open Era, which began in 1968. In the fourth round Murray faced Rafael Nadal for the first time in his career. After leading by 2 sets to 1, Murray lost in 5 sets to Nadal, (6(3)-7(7), 6-4, 4-6, 6-3, 6-1). After the match Murray stated that it was the best performance of his career.
Andy Murray successfully defended his San Jose title, beating Ivo Karlovi? 6-7 (3-7) 6-4 7-6 (7-2) in a closely fought final. His brother, Jamie also won the doubles title. The Murrays became the first brothers to win the singles and doubles titles at the same event since Emilio and Javier Sánchez at Kitzbühel in 1989.
At the Indian Wells Masters event Murray made his way into the quarter finals after a 7-6 (7-5) 6-4 victory over number four seed Nikolay Davydenko. He then proceeded to save two match points and recover from a serious fall, in which he injured his ankle and hip, and bounce back to beat German Tommy Haas to progress to the semi-finals, winning 3-6 6-3 7-6(8). He could not make it to the final though, hampered by the injury he sustained in the quarter final against Tommy Haas, he lost 6-2, 6-3 to Novak ?okovi?. Despite the loss, he rose to a career high ranking of 12th in the world. A week later, at the Miami Masters faced Novak ?okovi? again, and an abysmal saw him crash out 6-1, 6-0. It was later revealed that Murray had been injured in training the day before and was a doubt for the Davis Cup tie the following week. However, he did rise to a career high ranking of 11th in the world.
On Friday April 13th Murray clinched the 10th place position in the world after the former #10 Tommy Haas failed to reach the U.S. Men's Clay Court Championships semi-finals in Houston.
After the Hamburg Masters, where Murray was forced to abandon in the first set of his first round match against Italian Filippo Volandri due to a wrist injury, he announced that he was forced to withdraw his participation to the 2007 French Open. Shortly after this, he announced that he would not be able to take part in the tournament of Queen's, the preparatory tournament to The Championships, Wimbledon. He announced that he could not take part in Wimbledon either. Murray rose to #8 in the world even though he was inactive, because other players failed to defend points. After missing Wimbledon and several other tournaments, he dropped to World Number 14.
Murray made comeback at the Rogers Cup in Montréal, three months after sustaining the wrist injury and lost in the second round to World Number 139 Fabio Fognini 6-2, 6-2. The following week at Cincinnati Murray lost in the opening round to Marcos Baghdatis 6-1, 6-2 and hence fell to World Number 19.
After this loss Murray played in the U.S. Open after missing the last two grand slams of the year due to his wrist injury. Murray reached the third round after an opening straight sets victory over against Pablo Cuevas, though suffered a real test from Jonas Björkman in the second round contesting a five set match, eventually coming through in the final set 6-1. Then unable to play his best tennis he fell to in form Lee Hyung-taik 6-3, 6-2, 2-6, 7-5.
Murray then won a $100,000 exhibition event; the Betfair Turbo Tennis tournament at the O2 Arena in London. He defeated Wimbledon Champion Goran Ivaniševi? (now retired from professional tennis) 7-4 in the final. Murray commented afterwards “I really enjoyed myself and the crowd were unbelievable. It was a lot of fun playing a tennis match like this. For me to play against two Wimbledon champions in one day was great."
Murray went on to compete for Great Britain in the Davis Cup tie against Croatia played at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club. Murray defeated Marin ?ili? in a close five set match to take Britain to a 1-0 lead; with Tim Henman winning the second rubber before Henman and Jamie Murray sealed victory with a doubles win. Murray played the fourth rubber defeating Roku Karanusi? 6-4, 7-6(4). Murray and his brother will lead Britain against Argentina in February, competing in the elite World Group for the first time in his career.
Murray started the Autumn indoor season with a strong showing at the Metz International in France. Wins over Janko Tipsarevi?, Michaël Llodra, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, and Guillermo Cañas saw him reach the final of the tournament. In the final Murray took on top seeded Spaniard Tommy Robredo and lost 0-6, 6-2, 6-3; showing inconsistent form. Murray then headed to the Kremlin Cup in Moscow, where he had a solid opening-round win over young Russian hopeful Evgeny Korolev, before falling to Janko Tipsarevi?—the man who he beat in Metz the previous week—in the second round. Murray also spoke out in the British press claiming that "everyone is aware" of the match fixing problems that exist in tennis.
Murray reached the third round of the Madrid Masters where he defeated Juan Ignacio Chela in the second round, in the third round he met Rafael Nadal. Both players traded breaks of serve throughout the match, but eventually Murray was defeated 7-6 (5) 6-4. Following this Murray competed in St Petersburg taking out Dmitry Tursunov in a tight match 3-6, 7-6 (2), 6-4 to reach the semi-final where Murray faced Mikhail Youzhny. Murray reached his 7th career final in St Petersburg with a 6-2, 5-7, 7-6 (1) win over Mikhail Youzhny and faced Fernando Verdasco in the final, winning 6-2 6-3.
Murray then played in the 2007 Paris Masters, and defeated Fabrice Santoro in the third round 6-4, 6-2 before falling to home favorite Richard Gasquet 6-3, 0-6, 6-4 in the quarterfinals. This defeat excluded all possible qualification for the 2007 Shanghai Masters, while Gasquet, who was also in the running for the last available place, qualified. After the tournament, Murray stood at number 11.
In late November, Murray split from Brad Gilbert after a year and a half. Murray announced he was planning to assemble a "team of coaches".
Murray trained hard in the off-season, working with fitness experts Jez Green, Matt Little and Miles Maclagan in Miami, leading Murray to say he had never been better prepared for a season . Murray's hard work paid off immediately as he sealed his fourth career title at the 2008 Qatar ExxonMobil Open, defeating top seed and world number four Nikolay Davydenko 6-4 6-3 in the semifinals, before defeating up-and-coming Swiss Stanislas Wawrinka 6-4 4-6 6-2 in a tight final, which assured Murray rose back into the Top 10. Murray then moved on to the exhibition AAMI Kooyong Classic but lost his first match against Marat Safin 6-1 6-4, although he took fifth place in the tournament after beating Ivan Ljubicic and Brydan Klein.
Murray was seeded ninth at the 2008 Australian Open, his first time in the Top 10 seeds at a Grand Slam, but lost to eventual finalist Jo-Wilfried Tsonga (7-5, 6-4, 0-6, 7-6) in the first round.
After his loss in the Australian Open he picked up a knee injury which also ruled him out of the Davis Cup match versus Argentina. This was a very controversial decision between him and the Davis cup team, even his own brother Jamie Murray disagreed implying it was a selfish issue after he competed in the Marseille Open the following week "It's not that Andy doesn't enjoy the Davis Cup, it's just that he obviously felt that it was more important for him to concentrate on Marseille and play well there rather than come here,"
In Marseille Murray went on to show great form and won the Open 13 ATP Tournament, beating Mario An?i? 6-3 6-4 to claim his 5th ATP title overall.
As he climbed into the top 100 players, Murray gained a reputation of being "petulant" with the media . When playing in Davis Cup doubles with Greg Rusedski, against Nenad Zimonji? and Ilija Bozolja?, Murray incurred a $2,500 fine for abusing the umpire with extreme language. His words were over a line call which was caught on microphone and televised live. As it was initially thought that Murray would be excluded from the team, the fine was a relief to fans. In his response he said, "We got an absolute shocker and I told the umpire how bad he was," and did not offer any apology.
Prior to 2006 Wimbledon, Murray caused some public debate with comments against the England national football team, stating that he would like to see "anyone except England" win the 2006 World Cup. He received large amounts of hate mail on his website as a result. However, at a later date, Murray explained that his comments were said in jest in response to provocation from an English reporter who had asked him if he'd be supporting Scotland in the World Cup knowing full well that Scotland had not qualified for the tournament. Murray also, after his win against Andy Roddick at Wimbledon 2006, expressed disappointment over England's loss in their match against Portugal at the 2006 World Cup.
After winning a match at the Heineken Open in Auckland, Murray describing his match to an on-court reporter stated that "we were both playing like women", Murray later said he just meant there were lots of breaks of serves.
Some have questioned Murray's physical fitness. At his Queens Club debut when he first came to light, he pulled up during a match and lay on the ground for several minutes in agony, from what was later revealed to be cramp.