Mere hours after I wrote about Andy Murray and Juan Martin del Potro as legitimate Grand Slam contenders who could break up the "Big 3" label, Novak Djokovic reaffirmed my view and stated that Murray is indeed part of the "Big 4," the four top players in this "golden generation."
Nonetheless, it is undeniable that Murray -- perhaps prior to the Olympics, and outside of Great Britain -- hasn't had the same commercial draw and branding that Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, or Djokovic has. That calls for this profile of one of the favorites to win the U.S. Open title, for some casual tennis fans to get to know Murray and for people to remind themselves of who this Murray person really is.
Full Name: Andrew "Andy" Murray
Born: Glasgow, Scotland on May 17, 1987 (25 years old)
Height & Weight: 6 feet 3 inches, 190 pounds
Turned Pro: 2004
Coach: Ivan Lendl
Career Win-Loss: 361-117
Career Prize Money: $21,507,601 (eighth in history, fourth among current players)
2012 Highlights: Brisbane International champion; Olympics singles gold; career best at Wimbledon (finals appearance, loss to Federer)
World Rank: 4th
Ranking Analysis: Fourth seems about right for Murray, whose lack of majors still puts him behind the other three, but his talent and form puts him in a class above David Ferrer, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga and the rest of the field. With Nadal losing out on a lot of ranking points from his injuries, Murray could realistically overtake Nadal by the end of the year.
Player Strengths: Excellent footwork and very quick hands. … Predicts opponents' shots well. … Has a heavy backhand. … Has a great drop shot and knows how to use it. … Superb fitness. … Can chase balls down and unleash a cross-court forehand. … Great counterpunching against big hitters. … Returns extremely well to avoid getting aced.
Player Weaknesses: Has failed to play his best in Grand Slam finals (only won 1/10 sets). … Forehand not lethal enough to be a real threat. … Second serve must improve in accuracy and speed, as opponents constantly attack his slow second serve. … can often become too passive. … Defensive skills can beat most players but fail against the best.
Known for: Murray is arguably the best British player since Fred Perry, and has backed this with an Olympic gold. His four finals losses in Grand Slams, along with his defensive style of play, have led to criticism from pundits, fans and even fellow players. He reached at least the semifinals in every Grand Slam in 2011 and has reached at least the quarterfinals since January 2011.
Brian has been a long-time tennis fan and has been writing about tennis since 2009.
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- Rafael Nadal
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