There are possibly no words left to describe the phenomenal year that we have all just witnessed from Andy Murray. Before this year had even began, Murray had surpassed all of our expectations by winning Wimbledon, Olympic Gold, Davis Cup and the US Open. But to then to add to his legacy even more in 2016 by winning another Wimbledon title, another Olympic Gold and then becoming World Number 1 almost makes it impossible to describe what Andy Murray means to the sport of tennis across the world but particularly in Great Britain.
I remember many years ago being asked by friends if I thought that Murray would ever win a Grand Slam and, whilst I replied yes and really wanted him to, there was a time when this did look beyond him. When he won the 2012 US Open, everyone that stayed up late shared in the joy but also the relief that he had climbed the mountain that so many didn’t think he could climb. And then the floodgates opened and they were historic floodgates. Wimbledon followed and then so did the Davis Cup and so did World Number 1.
All of Andy Murray’s achievements on their own are impressive but together are even more magnificent. I also feel we won’t fully appreciate the magnitude of what he has achieved until he has gone and then we will long for a British player to reach a Roland Garros final or to win the ATP World Tour Finals, some of Murray’s ‘lesser’ accomplishments in 2016.
And then, on the final day of the year, it is announced that Murray will receive a knighthood for services to tennis and charity. Whilst to some, honours for being good at sport should be reserved for those more deserving, from my experience, awards are given to very deserving people in communities across the country every year but without the publicity that a Murray will receive. Murray is also very committed to using his high profile to raise money for very deserving charities, in particular UNICEF, for whom he has raised several hundred thousand pounds in the last year.
Whilst you can’t please all of the people all of the time, those of us who are close to the sport of tennis should continue to celebrate Andy Murray’s achievements and enjoy being part of such a historic era for the sport, particularly in Great Britain. He is an inspiration to so many people around the world and we will definitely miss him when he is gone. Let’s just hope that isn’t for some time yet.