Andy Murray: Why Has He Never Won a Grand Slam and Will It Ever Happen?

Matthew OrdContributor IJanuary 12, 2011

Murray has so far struggled to find glory at a Grand Slam
Murray has so far struggled to find glory at a Grand SlamJulian Finney/Getty Images


Andy Murray has played in twenty Grand Slams and has never won. However, by the time  Roger Federer had played in twenty Grand Slams, he had only won two. Albeit, Federer has now played in forty-six Grand Slams and won sixteen. But the point is, the fact that Murray is yet to win a Grand Slam isn't something that should have Brits worried. Of course, they'll want to see a male Brit win a Grand Slam for the first time since Fred Perry did so back in 1936 during his reign over world tennis. But just how long are people willing to wait for Murray, now 23, to win his first Grand Slam title, and how long are they going to actually have to wait?

To win a Grand Slam title nowadays and not be either Roger Federer or Rafael Nadal is rare (between them, they've won 21 of the last 23 Grand Slams and many more before that), but it's not impossible. So why can't Murray do it? He's certainly come close, having reached two finals. But close is obviously not close enough.

Federer and Nadal are a different class and always have been. Federer ruled the sport of tennis from the day he beat Mark Philippoussis in the 2003 Wimbledon Final, until Rafael Nadal beat him in the longest ever Wimbledon Final five years later, with play lasting almost four hours and the event itself taking seven. This game alone is almost enough to answer why Murray has never won a Grand Slam: the two men who have constantly denied him a title are two of the most determined men any sport has ever seen.

Murray, and thousands of others, simply cannot match their levels of determination and endurance. He is often sloppy in his play at Grand Slams, with four of his last eight appearances ending in either third or fourth round exits. Even his 2008 Olympics appearance proved to be a no-show despite so much hype surrounding him. He disappointed massively, making a second round exit.

He came into the game at a bad time as well. Tennis was being dominated by Federer when Murray began to climb the world rankings and there was no standout candidate to take his crown as the best in the world. Murray took until 2008 to put in his first respectable performance at a Grand Slam, which was three years after his Grand Slam debut.

Meanwhile, Nadal, just one year older than Murray, had already won five Grand Slams by the time Murray had even reached a final. He simply got his head down and played quality tennis. Murray did played brilliant tennis, but not consistently, which has easily been his biggest downfall over the years.

As for 'Will he ever win a Grand Slam?', I believe he will. Federer is slowly winding down with his career. Yes, he is still winning a lot of matches and tour events, and is by no standards 'finished,' but he only won one of the four Grand Slams held in 2010; Nadal winning the other three.

And on the subject of Nadal, on his day he is undoubtedly the best player in the world. But the key phrase here is 'on his day'. If Murray begins to be more consistent during Grand Slams and plays the tennis everyone knows he can play, he might catch Nadal on an off day, and that off day might just be during a Grand Slam final...