Andy Murray: Leaving Behind A Tennis Legacy

Ray Tang/Shutterstock © Andy Murray winning the Wimbledon Tennis Championships for the Men's Singles final in 2013.

Andy Murray won the whole country over with a procession of tennis titles and his unwavering determination despite multiple serious injuries in his career.

It was an emotional day for Andy Murray and his fans last week. The tennis star bid farewell to his 19-year Wimbledon career with a heartfelt send off, but it isn’t over yet.

Andy Murray doesn’t plan to retire until after he competes in this year’s Olympics in France.

Ahead of what’s expected to be his final professional match, let’s take a look back at Andy Murray’s epic tennis career.

Andy Murray crying on Centre Court during his send off at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, 2024. He is wearing a white tennis outfit and we are looking at his shoulders but we can see the side profile of his face as he wipes away his tears.

Andy Murray was emotional during his tribute on Centre Court at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships, 2024. Image: Javier Garcia/Shutterstock

A love of sports and tennis runs in the Murray family

The tennis champion first got his hands on a tennis racket when he was just two years old and it was love at first smash.

By the age of three, he and little brother Jamie’s indoor games had left the windows and wallpaper of the family home permanently polka-dotted with ball marks.

Aged four, Andy Murray was already regularly beating his tennis pro mum, Judy.

Sport was very much in the genes. In addition to mum Judy, his grandfather had played professional football and an uncle was a golf pro in America.

It seemed inevitable Andy would end up playing sport for a living. It nearly wasn’t tennis though.

Football-mad Andy was invited to trial with Rangers when he was 14. However, already committed to tennis, he turned it down.

Andy might have grown up a few hundred yards from a tennis court in Dunblane, but by 15 he was becoming increasingly frustrated. Losing ground to his rivals – particularly Rafa Nadal – he realised that to keep pace he needed to develop his skills abroad.

Murray arrived at the Sánchez-Casal Academy in Barcelona as a shy boy who liked to keep himself to himself. The relentless hitting drills sharpened his talent though and instilled in him the incredible work ethic that remains to this day.

All the hard work was paying off. On his 18th birthday, Andy Murray was ranked 375th in the world for tennis. By the end of his teens, he was in the world’s top 10.

Andy Murray celebrates beating USA's Andy Roddick at the Wimbledon Tennis Championships in 2006. He is about 19 or 20 years old here and has his trademark curly hair at the time.

Andy Murray celebrates beating USA’s Andy Roddick back in 2006.

The perception of Andy Murray in tennis has changed drastically over the years

Working on how he was perceived by the media and general public took a little longer.

He first arrived at Wimbledon, as an 18-year-old wild card. Skinny, with an explosion of long curly hair and a permanent scowl, he didn’t look like any British tennis star we’d had before and he certainly didn’t act like one. There were tantrums and strops and plenty of potty-mouthed moments from the relentlessly-competitive Andy.

It was an old habit. As a child, his first nickname was Bamm Bamm, because he’d get so angry that he’d start bashing stuff about. Wimbledon fans weren’t sure about the surly Scot and certainly weren’t ready to rename Henman Hill just yet.

The press weren’t too enamoured either. In interviews, he could seem blunt and at times confrontational. A private person, he refused to provide the sound-bites many of the other players gave.

The cover of Andy Murray's 2008 autobiography. A black and white headshot of the young tennis star, with orange and white type that says 'Andy Murray Hitting Back The Autobiography'.

Andy Murray’s 2008 autobiography.

Andy Murray survived a particularly traumatic event before becoming an professional tennis player

For many years he refused to discuss the subject that had affected him most – surviving the Dunblane massacre. Andy and Jamie were pupils at Dunblane Primary School when gunman Thomas Hamilton killed 16 children and one teacher in 1996. Andy finally talked about the trauma of the tragedy in his 2008 autobiography, Hitting Back, and again in a 2013 BBC documentary, Andy Murray: The Man Behind The Racquet.

A few more years – and a lot more trophies – has smoothed Andy’s rough edges somewhat. As did marriage, in 2015, to long-time girlfriend Kim Sears. Andy evolved into a thoughtful, honest sportsman who wasn’t afraid to stand up for his beliefs.

It might have been a slow burn but he truly is a national hero. He was knighted in 2016 for his services to tennis and charity.

Image of Andy playing out in the garden with his daughter. His wife Kim sits watching them from a small flowerbed wall.

Andy plays out in the garden with his daughter alongside wife Kim in the 2019 documentary Andy Murray: Resurfacing.

The statistics Murray has to his name are outstanding, but it’s time to focus on family and wellbeing

His stats are mightily impressive. Andy Murray has won 46 tennis titles, including three Grand Slam events while he’s the only tennis player, male or female, to hold two Olympic gold medals for singles events.

In a career punctuated by injuries – back, knee, ankles and finally hip – playing through pain was very much part of his life. While the last few years have seen a decline in his ability to compete at the highest level, they have done nothing to dent his legacy.

The tennis star gave a rare glimpse into his private life when he did another documentary. Andy Murray: Resurfacing followed Murray’s recovery journey between 2017-2019 from a devastating injury. In the documentary, which is still available on Prime Video, we got to witness cute family moments between Murray, his wife Kim and their two daughters at the time.

He intends to use his impending retirement to concentrate on his family – he now shares four children with Kim – and business interests including Cromlix House, his luxury hotel near Dunblane.

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