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Why Andy Murray will always be our champion

Sir Andy Murray recently broke down in tears at a news conference in Melbourne discussing the crippling pain he has had to contend with following hip surgery last year. The three-time Grand Slam winner said he plans to retire after this year’s Wimbledon tournament, but fears the Australian Open this January could force him to retire earlier.

“I’ve been in a lot of pain for about 20 months now. I’ve pretty much done everything I could to try and get my hip feeling better and it hasn’t helped loads. I’m not sure I’ll be able to play through the pain for another four or five months”, said the 31-year-old.

Murray, a very likeable yet monotone Glaswegian, began playing tennis at the age of 14 and quickly reached No. 6 in the world in 2003. He competed in his first Wimbledon tournament in 2005, but lost to David Nalbandian in the third round. It would be several more years of major tournament losses for Murray.

2008 saw an undeterred Murray win his first major title and seven years after his first Wimbledon debut, he made it to the final in 2012 against the illustrious and even more likeable Roger Federer. He played brilliantly, but lost. (YouTube his runner-up speech and try not to cry).

Sweet revenge followed just weeks later, when Murray beat Federer and won his first Gold Medal at the London Olympics. 2012 saw even more success and in September, Murray finally became a Grand Slam champion at the U.S. Open in an epic five set final against Novak Djokovic. Murray had lost four of his previous finals and was now an Olympic and Grand Slam champion.

The year after his painful defeat at Wimbledon, a much more composed Murray beat Djokovic and lifted the long-awaited Wimbledon trophy, ending Britain’s 77-year wait for a men’s champion, and later winning BBC Sports Personality of the Year in 2013.

Another Gold Medal followed at the Rio Olympics and 2016 saw him lift the Wimbledon trophy again, the first man ever to win two Olympic singles tennis titles and the first British man since Fred Perry to repeat his triumph of 2013, and claim a third Grand Slam title.

Whilst Murray’s career has certainly been sporadic, the British public have watched with awe and wonder. Off the court, he has made us laugh with his dry wit on social media and late night appearance on Michael McIntyre’s midnight game show (again, YouTube it). On the court, Murray has won and lost both in admirable and endearing style.

The recent news conference is not the first time we have seen Murray show his emotions, and we can only feel for him at the moment. He has admitted he is no longer able to play to the level at which he won the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. But whilst he may no longer be the champion on court, he will always be the triumphant champion of the nation.

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