Maturity wins the day or in this case the US Open

Imagine moving away from home at the age of fourteen to concentrate solely on an endeavor that focuses entirely on… you.  Not only at fourteen are you somewhat self obsessed but now you have multiple people obsessing over you too. Such formative years and they are all spent concentrating on you. Such a lifestyle shapes your outlook, your interactions with others, indeed your character.  Now please enter one Andy Murray. He arrived on the tour, like others before him; Roddick, Hewitt, Djokovic a brash, impertinent upstart who would lash out at everyone. Don’t get me wrong, I’m sure being propelled at the tender age of eighteen and nineteen into the world’s spotlight is blinding but somewhere along the line you’d think some common sense might kick in. Unfortunately for Andy that wasn’t the case. He was rude to reporters, yelled at his own box and perhaps worst of all vehemently berated himself. If a match wasn’t going his way we all knew it. If he didn’t like a question from a reporter we all heard about it. If Andy lost a big match it took a while for him to find his groove again.

It’s a tough life to have to mature in front of the world but that is exactly what Andy has done. We’ve never questioned Andy’s desire to win and to get better but few have given him credit for doing it in a sporting way. Yet look at the reception he got last night for winning his first Grand Slam. So what happened? Why are we so pleased (and when I say we I don’t just mean us Brits; the sporting world is thrilled with Andy’s US Open win) that Andy won?

What we saw last night was the epitome of perseverance, grit and maturity. Andy has spent the last few years maturing; physically he has become a tennis specimen, emotionally he is more stable, mentally he is more disciplined and focused. His loss in the finals of Wimbledon had us all worried that his summer was over but he used that loss, unlike the previous Grand Slam losses, to motivate himself and to propel himself to the Olympic Gold medal and the US Open crown.

For some players it all comes together a little earlier, a little more cleanly than others but with time, dedication and focus those others can come into their own and it makes the result that much more special.

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