Things You May Not Have Known About 2012 US Open Champion Andy Murray

Martin BaldridgeCorrespondent IIAugust 1, 2012

Things You May Not Have Known About 2012 US Open Champion Andy Murray

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    He's Britain's finest tennis player since Fred Perry in the 1930s, but there are some things about 2012 US Open and Olympic champion Andy Murray that you might not know, or perhaps just need reminding of.

    Firstly, Andy has a middle name, Barron, which you don't hear very often.

    Secondly, Andy Barron Murray is not English, he's Scottish.

    He was born in Glasgow (in the southwestern part of Scotland) and grew up in Dunblane, situated midway between Glasgow and Edinburgh, and very close to Stirling.

    William Wallace, subject of Mel Gibson's film Braveheart, was also from the Stirling area.

    Over the centuries, there have been many conflicts between the Scottish and English, many of whom still don't get on.  

Early Tennis Beginnings

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    Murray has just one other sibling, brother Jamie, who is 15 months his elder. He began playing tennis between ages two and four. 

    Andy's mother Judy was a Scottish international tennis player who won 64 national titles. She played various games in the family's back garden to help develop her son's coordination.

    In 2011, the Murray's (supported by the Royal Bank of Scotland) created their own initiative (Set4Sport) to encourage parents to play and develop the athletic skills of their children.

    There's even a Set4Sport app available.

Junior Tennis Star

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    In March 1996, Andy and Jamie were among the fortunate children to escape the brutal massacre at Dunblane Primary School.

    A 43-year-old gunman killed 16 school children and their teacher before committing suicide. 

    By age 8, Andy was already one of the best 10-and-under aged players in Great Britain.

    Judy had become the Scottish national coach, and her sons would accompany her around Britain playing junior tournaments.

12-and-Under World Junior Champion

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    In December 1999, Andy won the prestigious 12-and-under junior Orange Bowl title in Florida.

    The previous year Jamie had reached the final. This tournament is considered to be the unofficial world junior championships, and the win established Murray's credentials as a prospective professional player.

    Andy also reached the final of the 2001 Tarbes Les Petits As event, the unofficial European 14-and-under junior championships.

Moving to Spain

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    Andy Murray is not a result of the Spanish coaching system.

    At age 15, and after extensive research, he enrolled at the Sanchez-Casal tennis academy in Barcelona. However, at this stage he was already one of the best juniors in the world.

    His brother had left home at age 11 to attend a LTA academy in England. For various reasons, though, Jamie failed to improve, and within a year returned to Scotland.

    Judy was not impressed with the lack of progress in her eldest son's tennis, and Andy decided there was no way that was going to happen to him.

    At the Sanchez-Casal academy, Andy was able to train up to five hours per day and played tournaments most weekends.

    Within a year, he was competing almost full time on the ITF Futures circuit.

Turning Professional

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    Murray won his first ATP ranking points just after his 16th birthday.

    He won the junior U.S. Open title, and by age 18 had entered the world's top 100.

Upsetting the English

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    In 2006 at age 19, Murray was interviewed by journalists along with British tennis star Tim Henman.

    The conversation turned to the soccer World Cup being held in Germany, for which Scotland had failed to qualify.

    Having been ribbed by the English Henman about the failure of the Scots to qualify, Murray was asked who he'd be supporting in the next match.

    He replied, "Well I'll just be supporting anyone that England are playing against."

    This greatly upset many south of the border, who failed to understand the context in which the remarks were made.

    It has taken many English people a lot of time to come to terms with Murray's off-the cuff-remark. 

2012 US Open Champion

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    In September 2008, Murray reached his first Grand Slam final before losing to Roger Federer in the US Open.

    He achieved his highest-ever world ranking of No. 2 in August 2009.

    He reached the final of the 2010 and 2011 Australian Opens, losing to Federer and Novak Djokovic respectively.

    At Wimbledon he lost once again to Federer in the 2012 final before beating the Swiss in straight sets to win the Olympic gold a month later.

    Then in September 2012 he defeated defending U.S. Open champion Novak Djokovic in the final in five tough sets to become the British man in more than 76 years to win a Grand Slam title. 

    Murray has won 24 career singles titles and earned over $23 million from on-court prize money.

    This figure can probably be tripled due to endorsements, exhibitions and appearance fees.

    But of course you knew all of this, right?