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Andy Murray's 2012 was enormously successful. Beginning in the land down under in January, Murray proved to the world of tennis that he was a different player. Despite getting knocked out in the semis, Murray played brilliantly against Novak Djokovic, the very man who had humiliated him in the 2011 semis, ultimately falling 3-6, 6-3, 7-6(4), 1-6, 5-7. The Scot failed to convert any of his five break points at five-all in the fifth.
However, after a quiet showing during the spring portion of the season, Murray entered Wimbledon with enormous pressure, as he was tasked with becoming the first Brit since Fred Perry way back in 1936 to capture a Grand Slam title. Murray had performed well at previous appearances at the All-England club and was a three-time returning semifinalist.
The man responsible for Andy's exit in both the 2010 and 2011 editions of the tournament, Rafael Nadal, was shockingly bounced from the tournament early, seemingly clearing the path for the hometown favorite.
After winning a highly entertaining affair with Frenchman Jo-Wilfred Tsonga in his fourth consecutive semi, Murray could finally say that he was a Wimbledon finalist.
Despite a loss to Roger Federer, the Scotland native won over the hearts of many fans when he struggled through tears at the trophy ceremony. The 2012 Wimbledon marked the fourth consecutive time that Andy Murray had lost a major final. He is the only only player besides Ivan Lendl, his coach, to hold that dubious distinction.
A month later, having returned refreshed to London, Murray battled Federer in yet another final, this time at the 2012 London Olympics. In this final, Murray pasted Federer, and many people saw him clear a mental barrier as well.
Two months or so later, the transformation was complete. Murray overcame heavy winds and a determined Novak Djokovic to win the first major title of his career at Flushing Meadows.
With two Scottish icons, Sir Alex Ferguson and Sean Connery, looking on, Murray jumped out to a two-sets-to-love lead over Djokovic, only to see the Serb retaliate and win the next two.
The Brit saved his best for last, winning the final set, 6-2, and ending a streak that had begun on the same stage four years prior.
In 2013, Murray will continue his climb. The No. 3 slot that he ended at in 2012 was already a career high, and with he and Djokovic seeming like the next great tennis rivalry, it is only fitting that they end next season 1-2.