Andy Murray: U.S. Open Championship Will Lead to More Grand Slam Titles

Ian Hanford@Ian_HanfordFeatured ColumnistSeptember 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10:  Andy Murray of Great Britain reacts during his men's singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on Day Fifteen of the 2012 U.S. Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood, of the Queens borough of New York City.  (Photo by Mike Stobe/Getty Images for USTA)
Mike Stobe/Getty Images

Andy Murray's victory over Novak Djokovic in the 2012 U.S. Open final earned the Brit his first career Grand Slam, and removed the 500-pound elephant from the room.

It took five attempts, but Murray finally reached tennis' ultimate goal. Now the first one is out of the way, more Grand Slam titles lie in his future.

Murray has never been short on talent or effort. He has made a habit of reaching a Grand Slam's ultimate point and then falling just short. Monday's redemption only makes his path easier from here on out.

He doesn't have to worry about never winning one of tennis' four big tournaments again. He can just relax and play. That doesn't mean Djokovic, Rafael Nadal, Roger Federer or anyone else will make things any easier on him, but he's no longer standing in his own way.

Murray has exorcised all of his demons this summer. He defeated Federer to win the gold medal in the 2012 Summer Olympics. Fed-Ex had defeated him in three Grand Slam finals prior to that, and he finally proved that he can win the big one over the world's best player.

A gold medal isn't the same as a Grand Slam, but it's the exact same mentality.

Monday's victory means just as much. Djokovic dominated Murray in the 2011 Australian Open final, winning in straight sets and adding to his hard-court reputation. Beating Djoker on the hard surface shows how far he has come in one year's time.

Redemption was served in Arthur Ashe Stadium Monday evening, and Murray's career was vindicated. The U.S. Open's finale was also its best match, and Murray's first Grand Slam title was a big reason for that.

The first one is always the most difficult. Now that Murray has tasted victory on this stage, don't expect him to be satisfied with just one.

He's always been capable of winning a Grand Slam title, but now he knows he can.