- Chris Wilkinson
Sky is the limit for Andy MurrayChris Wilkinson September 12, 2012
What an amazing night it was for British tennis and Andy Murray himself with his brilliant win over Novak Djokovic in the US Open. To finally get his hands on that first grand slam is a fantastic achievement. It has been the culmination of a brilliant summer for Murray, coming on the back of his gold medal at the Olympics. That win over Roger Federer in the final of the Olympics I think handed Andy so much confidence.
Beating Djokovic and Federer on his run to gold was the icing on the cake and it gave him the confidence and the belief. He took that into the US Open and it was clear he stepped on court in the final believing he could win.
It was an amazing final. Djokovic looked down and out at two sets down, only to come back and force a deciding set. Djokovic had the momentum and it did not look good, but Murray kept it together and he was able to turn the tables back in his favour.
Having lost his four previous grand slam final appearances, it will come as a huge relief to him to have finally got the win. And I can now see him using it as a platform for more success. He's been so consistent over the years and there's no reason now why he cannot go on and dominate. He can certainly win another two, three, four if not five more grand slam titles.
The world No. 1 spot is firmly in Andy's sights as well now. With Federer getting older, even though he has had a great year and is back at world No. 1, his time limit is restricted now. There's still that doubt about Rafael Nadal who has that question mark hanging over him due to his knee injury. And now Andy has smashed through his mental barrier by beating Djokovic in a couple of huge games, in the next couple of years he has the chance to produce some of his best tennis and take over at the top.
Andy's decision to bring in Ivan Lendl as his coach has been widely praised and there is no doubt Lendl has instilled real belief into him. Murray has always been a great player, people have always said he needs to be more aggressive, but sometimes a different voice helps. And what Lendl has is that mental strength. He lost four finals before winning one and he brings that tough mentality to an already top-class player.
Looking ahead to the next few months, he may be off to Tokyo, then he's got the Masters events in Shanghai and Paris and then the year-end finals. And after that it's the Australian Open. Murray and these big guys tend to prepare for the big tournaments. He has got time to recover and you can't beat that winning feeling. He will be looking to take that through to the next few tournaments. A lot of it now is down to who is in form going into the events. There is no feeling quite like winning and the confidence it brings. If he carries that momentum into the O2 he could well be the favourite.
Murray is now firmly in that elite group. It was about the big three as Andy had not won a major, but he now has that under his belt and there is no doubt that he is firmly in the game's elite group of players.
What also shone through in the final set was how strong Murray looked physically. He has such a great team around him, they work incredibly hard, and all that effort paid off in that final set.
Chris Wilkinson is a former British No. 1