It has long been known that the British tennis player Andy Murray has talent. Sure, he has loads of it. Many high-profile tennis analysts consider him to have more talent than that of the likes of David Nalbandian and Marat Safin.
But when will his virtuoso translate into the big prizes? He may have won 15 career singles titles, including 5 Masters Series 1000 titles, but the question that has been around for years still remains: When will Andy Murray win a grand slam?
Renowned for his supreme counter-punching ways, many players have been able to prevail against the emotional Brit in matches. This has much to do with the fact that Andy Murray is just not aggressive enough.
Naturally, Murray is a counter-puncher, content to run for balls, and wait for the error. But that is usually not good enough if you want to win a grand slam. You have to "go for it." Although, Murray will probably never be as powerful as someone like World No. 1 Rafael Nadal, the Scot still has plenty of muscle. Andy Murray's serves often hit the 135-mark. This has led critics to wonder why Murray cannot create such power with his ground strokes. If he is powerful enough to hit 135 mile and hour serves, why can't he hit that many winners?
Actually, Andy Murray can. But he doesn't desire to do it. I watched Murray at Toronto a week ago, and Murray was as aggressive as can be. He hit winner from anywhere on the court. He defeated the red-hot David Nalbandian, flexing his muscles to beat the Argentine.
Next up was World No. 1 Rafael Nadal. Murray is Nadal's nemesis on hard courts. Because Murray has a loopy forehand, Nadal, who is a left handed player, has a hard time to hit the ball back accurately. While this would not work against a player like Roger Federer, who is a right handed player, Murray's game works to perfection against the Spaniard.
Now, the toughest task. Roger Federer. The man who had sent Murray into a slump for the whole spring hard court season and European clay season. It was Roger Federer who had demolished Andy Murray in the Australian Open final, which was Murray's second chance to claim a much wanted grand slam. This time, though, Murray turned the tables. With Federer's backhand-to-backhand play, Murray easily dictated play, scoring the win in straight sets. This put Murray in the elite group of men to beat Federer and Nadal in the same tournament. Only, Novak Djokovic, Nikolay Davydenko, and Juan Martin del Potro have matched the same feat.
Although the emotional Andy Murray lost relatively early at the Cincinnati Masters, I would pardon him because of fatigue. He had won in Washington D.C. and Toronto. Having to suffer through the boiling heat and choking humidity, Andy Murray finally ran out of gas to pull out the win.
Murray's intentions have betrayed his actions for quite a while. At grand slams, up to the finals, Murray plays with extreme aggression, in his standards. When into the final, however, Murray, overwhelmed by the moment, plays his retrieving ways. You could call it choking before a match, much like Roger Federer might do against Nadal at Roland Garros.
Andy Murray will win a grand slam one day. Oh yes, he will. But as much as I'd like to say so, Murray probably won't win his home grand slam, the elusive and most prestigious title of all, Wimbledon. Andy Murray will either win the Australian Open or US Open, as the hard courts give him the edge against most players. Unless he runs in to a red-hot player, Rafael Nadal, or Roger Federer, Murray will probably win the grand slam he is plying.
Of course there is Novak Djokovic, Tomas Berdych, Juan Martin del Potro, and Robin Soderling. But I don't think any can match Murray on the hard courts except del Potro, who seems prone to injuries, or Novak Djokovic, who, historically, is not consistent at the grand slams except for the US Open.
Is Murray ready to wait until Roger Federer retires, and Rafael Nadal's knees plague him again? Or will he surprise almost everyone and claim his maiden grand slam soon, and be photographed weeping tears of joy?
Although I can't guarantee the future, I can say with 100 percent certainty that Andy Murray, the great Scot, will win a slam, but I'm not saying he will win one this or next year. I will wait until he matures further, and then I will be beaming with joy when Andy Murray holds up his trophy. And although it may be just one, in heart, it can be counted as 20.