June 21, 2024
Rafael Nadal

Rafael Nadal

In nearly any other era, Andy Murray might have won 10 or more Grand Slams. Instead, he won three. He also reached No. 1 on the ATP tour, which is no small feat for taking over the top ranking during the time Murray played. Murray also won two Olympic gold medals for Great Britain.

Still, Murray, while beloved, will never be thought of as highly as Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer, and Rafael Nadal. He simply did not win anywhere close to the level that the Big 3 did. Sure, tennis fans talked about a Big 4, but – and no offense to Murray – he was never fully able to compete with Djokovic, Nadal, or Federer. Murray was great, but not an all-time great.

Part of the reason why he might have been able to sustain a long-term peak is because of numerous injuries. This is especially true in relation to a severe hip injury he suffered in 2017 that required resurfacing surgery after which Murray thought of retiring. Even prior to his hip issue, he had to deal with other issues such as having back surgery in 2014.

Rafael Nadal gets real when discussing Andy Murray
While he played mostly well until 2017, he still watched as Federer continued a run that would see him win 20 Grand Slams, Nadal 22, and Djokovic 24. Nadal, though, recently was asked about his and Murray’s careers and how both might end soon. Both players are a shell of their former selves because of various injuries.

Nadal did not hold back when speaking about Murray’s excellence and said that only Murray maintained the kind of focus on winning that Federer, Djokovic, and Nadal did. Because of this, Nadal does not see Murray as a step behind the Big 3 but among them in terms of greatness.

According to Tennis365, Nadal said, “We grew up together on tour, even though he arrived a little later than me. Andy had an incredible career…He was an incredible player who probably played at a difficult time in tennis history, because he shared the tour in prime time with Novak, Roger, and me. He, in my opinion, was on the same level as us generally speaking…In terms of tennis, mentally maintaining the winning spirit week after week, he was the only one who was very close to being at the same level as us.”

Who can argue with Rafael Nadal’s observation? After all, Nadal lived through the years of the Big 4 competing at a high level against each other. If the Spaniard says the Scot is as good as the Big 3 then Murray is.

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