Does Andy Murray have more majors in him?
On November 20, 2016, Andy Murray stood in the brightest spotlight at the O2 Arena, trophy in hand with duct tape raining down on him from above. He was, at that time, unquestionably the best player on the planet.
A remarkable run to the end of the season had earned him a maiden ATP World Tour Finals title while completing a climb to the top spot in the world rankings. He was truly number one, with a memorable calendar year delivering runs at the Australian and French Open finals, a second Wimbledon crown and back-to-back Olympic gold medals.
Murray knew better than anyone that he was about to fall from the highest of perches, with a long and often painful road from there. A refusal to throw in the towel is to be admired, with a bet in the tennis markets valuing him at 66/1 for US Open glory in 2022.
He may not be high on the tennis councils anymore, but his competitive spirit is still going strong and he is determined to enjoy the months or years he has left at the highest level. The affable Scotsman said: “The most important lesson tennis has taught me is to enjoy the good times because anything can end at any time.”
Murray has reached the highest of heights and is understandably struggling to walk away from a profession that has made him a three-time Grand Slam winner and a knight of the realm. Success, however, can take many forms.
A new chapter
With the day when a competitive racquet is to be laid down not so far away, attention has naturally turned to what happens next. Having worked hard for all he has achieved, Murray will never need to work a day in his life again.
If he wants to stay involved in the sport, he could take the easy route and become an expert. Many would be interested in hearing what he has to say and his famously dry humor should transfer well from court to court.
Coaching, however, seems to have the most appeal right now. Many former champions have gone from player to mentor over the years, with a wealth of knowledge and experience to pass on.
Murray said of his future plans: “When my career ends, I would like to be a coach because I think I’ve had a lot of experiences that I could pass on to the players.”
He’s pitched a few names he’d like to work with, and all of them currently find themselves competing in the commercial setting of prestigious tournaments. Murray doesn’t want to start at the bottom, he’s looking to maximize the potential of those who already have a lot of pedigree.
With that in mind, we may not have seen the last of a modern-day great in the last days in Melbourne, Paris, London and New York. He might not be the one getting his hands on the silverware, but there could be other major triumphs to add to a distinguished honor roll in a different title than he currently enjoys.