Andy Murray may be the new number three, but Rafal Nadal is still number one in the hearts of tennis fans everywhere
By Belinda Callin | October 25, 2011
He did it, he really did it.
Andy Murray bumped Rafael Nadal from the top three seats in men’s professional tennis. A position former world number one, Nadal has not seen since 2003. Murray’s Asian swing hat trick not only won him the Shanghai Masters title for the second time in a row, but put him one spot away from the highest ranking he has seen since Novak Djokovic entered the top four at the Australian Open in January.
“My goal for the last three-four months after the U.S. Open was to try to finish as high as possible and win as many matches as I could,” Murray said after winning the Shanghai final. “But I’m still not guaranteed to finish at No. 3. I’m still going to have to win some more matches.”
Some critics agree that Murray is playing the best game of his career and the numbers confirm that, as seen in this ESPN article, by Greg Garber.
“Murray, not Djokovic, is actually the hottest man in tennis. Murray has won 25 of his previous 26 matches — taking titles in Cincinnati, Bangkok, Tokyo and Shanghai, along with two Davis Cup victories.”
His only loss was to Nadal in the U.S. Open semifinals. Murray started playing tennis when he was 3 years old. He went professional in 2005. Since then he has collected 21 career titles, five from this year alone and five of those 21 are Masters Titles. Nadal has collected 46 titles since 2004, but only three of those are from this year.
“It’s been one of the best runs of my life. I’ve played very, very well the last few weeks and I was very nervous today because I wanted to try and win here and defend my title. I’m very happy I managed to come through,” Murray told AFP for a CNN article.
Despite Murray’s dominance on the court and the recent flux of sales in Andy Murray posters, autographed tennis balls and even his signature Head tennis bag line, fans and critics alike are not impressed with his presence on the court, as evidenced in forum comments and Facebook posts.
The Murray bashing was so prevalent, Tennis.com reporter Steve Tingor found it necessary to defend the Brit and his ranking in this NBC sports opinion article.
“Murray, as you probably know by now, just completed an Asian-swing hat trick, winning in consecutive weeks in Bangkok, Tokyo, and at the biggest tournament of the three, the Shanghai Rolex Masters. He didn’t do it smoothly, like Roger Federer. He didn’t do it with rousing passion, like Rafael Nadal. He didn’t do it with athletic precision, like Novak Djokovic. This was a purely Murray-esque win, with anxious misses, ill-advised tantrums, and rectangular-lipped roars intact. And that might be the best thing about it.”
What’s Your Two Cents on Andy Murray’s rise to number three? Do you think he is playing better than Nadal? Let us know in the comments below.