It is difficult to remember a time when Andy Murray’s star has shone as bright as at this very moment. After a somewhat frustrating (and bordering on the downright difficult) period after his 2013 Wimbledon triumph, confounded by injury and a crisis of confidence, the last six to twelve months have seen the Scot tighten his grip on the men’s game in increasingly ruthless fashion.
Now, after a second Wimbledon title and another – equally impressive – Olympic gold medal, Murray is rightfully the favourite going into the fourth major of the year at Flushing Meadows. Such has been his swagger of late, one feels this would still be so even without the Scot’s top three rivals’ injury woes.
So then to the last in a series of features from Standard Life who have partnered Andy this year for their ‘Master Your Dreams’ campaign. The video below channels just some of the aforementioned struggles and adversity during that difficult period which has undoubtedly made Murray the world-beating force he is quickly cementing.
Below that too is a Q&A with the world no.2.
1. You’ve had an extraordinary year, why do you believe 2016 has been so successful so far?
I’ve been working really hard the past few years in all areas of my game and I guess it’s just a culmination of everything coming together. I’ve got a strong team behind me and obviously having Ivan back on board has been great. I’ve also really focussed my efforts on winning the big events this year; Grand Slams and the Olympics, and while obviously all the other tournaments are important too, I think it’s helped me having that focus right from the start.
2. The top tiers of tennis are really opening up now with a variety of players now contending the finals. Who do you believe is on the path to joining you and Novak at the top of the game and who will you be wary of going into the 2016 US Open?
I think everybody on the Tour was really pleased to see Juan Martin Del Potro back to the top of his game after such a long time out with an injury. He played really well in Rio and I think he’ll continue to challenge the top players. Milos Raonic is obviously one to watch. He had a great grass court season. There are plenty of other talented younger guys around just now as well, so it’s up to them to make the step up.
3. You decided to play Cincinnati straight after what must have been an exhausting Olympics. Was this tournament an important part of your preparations for the 2016 US Open?
Yes I felt like it was important for me to play Cincinnati. Playing an Olympics is a pretty unique experience, so it was good to get back into my normal routine with my full team back on board. Obviously things didn’t go how I would’ve wanted, but I had some good wins along the way and it was a positive week.
4. You defeated former US Open champion Juan Martin Del Potro in the Final in Rio. How impressed have you been with his own comeback from injury and do you believe he can challenge for the slams over the next 12 months?
He is playing amazing tennis. The final was one of the toughest matches I’ve had to play to win a title, for sure. He had a good run of form throughout the Olympics, winning some great matches. He’s certainly hitting balls as well as he ever did and if he continues to gain in confidence, he’ll definitely be challenging for some Slam wins.
6. Talk us through your Olympic experience, from flag bearing at that team photo shoot (that subsequently went viral) to leading the parade at the opening ceremony; what was your highlight?
It was always going to be hard to top London for any of the British athletes, but Rio was an amazing experience. It was a huge honour to be asked to be the flag bearer. I wasn’t expecting it at all. I can remember watching the opening ceremonies at home when I was young so it was a very proud moment for me. I love being part of a team and competing for my country. I feel like it brings out the best in me and retaining my gold is one of my career highlights.
7. Looking ahead to 2017, do you reset your goals? what are your main ambitions?
Not really. I think my goals for 2017 will be pretty similar to this year. Focussing on doing my best, preparing properly, winning each match as it comes.
Subscribe to Standard Life’s YouTubeChannel or head to withAndy.com for more films featuring Andy Murray throughout 2016.
With thanks to www.synergy.global