Andy Murray: The Weight Of Britain on His Shoulders

Barney CorkhillSenior Writer IOctober 27, 2008

It's perhaps the toughest position in tennis: Britain's No. 1 player.

The expectation and pressure that accompanies are immense.

Tennis may not be the biggest sport in Britain, but that doesn't stop the public from demanding the best from their tennis players. They expect them to be up there with the best, all the time.

Tim Henman felt the pressures worse than probably any before him, especially when Wimbledon came around. Henman was a good player. He wouldn't have gotten to fourth in the world if he wasn't, but there were always better players than him around. Much better players.

He was around in a time where the likes of Pete Sampras and Andre Agassi were in their primes. Henman was not in their league, but still the demands placed on him were huge.

Now, the weight has moved onto the young shoulders of Andy Murray, who has made a wonderful start to his career.

He has reached fourth place in the World Rankings, and recently became the first Briton to win four titles in a season.

But how good can he become? Well, there is a chance that he could be another Henman. After all, he is playing at a time where Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer are at their peaks.

But he now has a 3-2 record against Federer, one of the greatest in the game's history, in his favour. He also became the first Briton to win back to back titles since 1975.

So he has made a fair bit of history already, and at just 21, he has a very bright future ahead of him.

If he can keep improving the way he has done so far, then we may be seeing the weight of expectation being replaced by the uplifting sense of a nation's pride. And who knows? He could go on to match Federer and Nadal.

So far, he has coped well with the pressure. If he can continue to do so, he could become a truly great player.