Andy Murray: How He Won And Why I’m Now A Supporter

Andy Murray reading the special edition of The Times

I wrote this after Andy Murray won the US Open last September. It seemed like a good time to republish it.

I was delighted to wake up in the early hours of Tuesday morning and discover that Andy Murray had won the US Open. I’d stayed up to the point of him being two sets to love up, but had then drifted off to sleep. I, naively, thought he might pull off a straight sets win. It wasn’t to be. But the most important thing is that he won, and I’m so pleased that he did. It was truly well deserved.

Those of you who follow me on Twitter and/or Facebook will know that I’ve often been somewhat disparaging of Murray. I felt that he didn’t have a big game temprament and that, despite having the talent to win majors, doubted whether he had the mental strength and belief to win them. Despite that, I was always genuinely hoped he’d prove me wrong. Sadly, he spent an awful lot of years—including four previous major finals—proving my point.

I should add that I never particuarly warmed to Murray as a person. There was nothing about him that compelled me to support him, British or not. That all changed for me at Wimbledon this year. Even though he didn’t win that final, I saw in Murray qualities that I have long celebrated in others, but hadn’t given due recognition to with him. He showed himself to be a fighter, someone who never gives up. But more than that, I saw in him someone who has never stopped improving himself, ironing out the creases in his game, and making incremental changes—both mentally and physically—to keep increasing the possibiility of him winning a tennis major.

It was Albert Einstein who said that insanity is ‘doing the same thing over and over again and expecting different results’. Murray hasn’t just come back after each defeat and tried to do the same thing, but with more effort. No, he’s kept adjusting his game, his support team, and his coaches, desparately trying to find the best combination of people around him to eek out every last drop of potential within himself.

Through hard work, dedication, and a great support team, Murray has now pulled off something that we should all be aiming for: maximising our potential.

So, Andy, thank you for the example you’ve set to the rest of us. Thank you for never giving up. Thank you for never letting go of your dream. Thank you for being prepared to constantly make changes to turn that dream into reality. And, most of all, sorry I ever doubted you!

The Future of Faith

A Fabulous Sporting Weekend (If You’re British)