U.S. Open Tennis 2012: Why Andy Murray's Victory Is Good for the Game

Matt WestCorrespondent IISeptember 11, 2012

NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11:  Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the US Open Championship trophy as he takes part in a New York City trophy tour after his victory in in the 2012 US Open Championship final in Central Park on September 11, 2012 in New York City.  (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Clive Brunskill/Getty Images

Andy Murray's spirited five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the 2012 U.S. Open Men's Final is the best thing that could have happened to the sport of tennis.

Murray's Grand Slam saga has been well-documented, so it comes as no surprise that his first singles title has been a major story in the sports world the past few days. After all, this is a man widely considered one of the top five tennis players in the world—a guy who has consistently battled with the best of the best.

Before, the sport had three giants looming over the field—three men who will go down as the best of this generation and who will be compared to the greats of years past.

Now, the British star has thrust himself into the discussion, because winning major championships in any sports will do that.

At this point, I don't think anyone is suggesting Murray is set to go on a tear of singles titles and charge at Roger Federer's all-time record of 17. Federer is, after all, considered the best who has ever played.

But Murray's name can now be thrown around with Federer, Djokovic and Rafael Nadal, and that can only bolster the marketability of the sport. Casual fans who only tune in to watch the Big Three will now hear of Murray's name and want to sit down and watch.

Murray, for his part, has honed his defensive and returning skills, and his ability to use the forehand to his advantage has made him a tough out in any tournament.

That's the thing with Murray: The skills have always been there.

He has developed over the years into the kind of player who, when the moment and location are right, can beat an all-time great. Being at the top is something Murray will have to adjust to, at least for now. Winning the first major title is a hurdle cleared.

Where he goes from here is the interesting part.

But knowing that he's in the fold, standing next to the other three elite performers, makes the sport of tennis much more enjoyable.