As Stan Wawrinka won the US Open last month, he became the 9th man in the Open Era to win a GS after being 30 years old. While Rod Laver completed his second calendar GS being 30 years old, the other players, namely Andrés Gimeno, Bill Bowrey, Arthur Ashe, Ken Rosewall, Jimmy Connors, John Newcombe, Pete Sampras, Andre Agassi and Roger Federer also achieved this feat in their respective careers.
The 2016 Wimbledon Champion, Andy Murray and, the domineering Australian Open and Roland Garros Champion, Novak Djokovic will be turning 30 in the upcoming year. Murray is expected to win another GS whereas Djokovic being in an injured state since the Olympics, seems doubtful on winning a GS after turning 30. Also, his straight sets loss to the Spanish guy Roberto Bautista Agut at Shanghai was a shock to the tennis world. Can Djokovic be the tenth such player? Or, Will Murray take the lead from him?
“I don’t want to think about winning titles and being the number 1 anymore in order to avoid putting pressure on myself”, said Novak Djokovic, who has evidently reflected his Wimbledon and Olympics disappointments, that the effort had drained him, both mentally and physically.
After winning his third Grand Slam this year, The Wimbledon Championship, he said, “Everyone’s time comes at different stages. Some come in their early 20s, some mid -20s. Hopefully mine is still to come.” It was clearly evident that he wants to win more and more in the upcoming years. He has finished a runner-up in all four of the Grand Slams, he has ended a runner-up in at least one Grand Slam every year from 2010 to 2016, except for 2014. He has a career record of 77.86% winning and has 41 titles to his name. He still has the hunger left in him, the hunger to satisfy himself winning Grand Slams in future, post 30 years of age.
Being a player having the highest tennis quotient of all, his strengths include groundstrokes with low error rate, the ability to anticipate and react, and his transition from defence to offence with speed, which enables him to hit winners from defensive positions. Murray also has one of the best two-handed backhands on the tour, with dynamic stroke execution while he primarily uses his forehand, which is more passive, and a sliced backhand to let opponents play into his defensive game before playing more offensively. His tactics often involve passive exchanges from the baseline. He is capable of injecting sudden pace into his groundstrokes to surprise his opponents who are used to the slow rally. Murray is also one of the top returners in the game, often able to block back fast serves with his excellent reach and ability to anticipate. For this reason, he is rarely aced by his opponents.
Since Rafael Nadal is not in a winning form of late, Roger Federer is away from the tour and, Novak Djokovic is being disinterested about the ranking, this is an advantageous bait for Andy Murray to grab the number 1 spot by dethroning Djokovic!
With a victory at The Beijing Open and The Shanghai Rolex Masters, Andy Murray is tasting the golden opportunity, also the lined up tournaments before the ATP World Tour Finals are The ATP 1000 Paris Masters and The ATP 500 Vienna Open, can give an even bigger advantage to him in the ranking points, provided Djokovic doesn’t return to his domineering form. Murray has reduced the difference between his and Djokovic’s ranking points to 915 points as he won The Shanghai Rolex Masters.
Probably, Murray can become the tenth man to enter the 30+ aged GS winning club with fellow players like Wawrinka and Federer.