A year to remember for Andy Murray

Martin Caparrotta
By Martin Caparrotta

As the tennis season is wrapped up for another year, we take a brief look back at Andy Murray’s 2008 – a magical year for the Scot that saw him reach a Grand Slam final and move up to the dizzying heights of number four in the world.

In January the Scot sealed the fourth title of his career at the 2008 Qatar ExxonMobil Open meaning that Murray was assured of a place in the Top 10 before the Australian Open.

Murray was seeded ninth at the 2008 Australian Open, his first time in the Top 10 seeds at a Grand Slam, but lost to Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the first round.

At his next tournament in Marseille, Murray won his fifth career title defeating the Croatian Mario Ančić in the final.

Despite clay being his least successful surface, Murray reached the third round of the French Open in 2008, including a convincing second-round win over renowned clay specialist José Acasuso 6–4, 6–0, 6–4. A performance that BBC Sport described as “his best ever on clay”.

Back on British grass at Queen’s, Murray reached the quarterfinals, but withdrew prior to his clash with Andy Roddick due to a thumb injury.

As the twelfth seed at Wimbledon, he defeated his first two opponents, Fabrice Santoro and Xavier Malisse, before defeating Tommy Haas in the third round. In the fourth round, he defeated Richard Gasquet even though Gasquet had served for the match in the third set. His excellent run at the All England Club ended in his first career Grand Slam quarterfinal, against eventual champion Rafael Nadal, 6–3, 6–2, 6–4.

He returned to action on the US Open Series, where he has so far encountered success. In the Toronto Masters he reached the semi-finals, defeating Novak Djokovic for the first time on his route there, before defeating Djokovic again, in the final of the Cincinnati Masters, to win his first Master Series shield. This ensured that Murray reached a career high of No. 6 in the world.

At the 2008 US Open, Murray put an impressive run of results together, beating Rafael Nadal in the semifinal before losing to Roger Federer in straight sets in the final. This was the first time that a British man had reached the final of a Grand Slam since Greg Rusedski in 1997 in the same competition.

At the 2008 Madrid Masters, Murray beat Roger Federer in the semifinals on his way to his fourth title of the year. He beat Gilles Simon in the final.

He then played at the 2008 Masters Cup in Shanghai, an end-of-season tournament that only the top eight players in the world qualify for. He won all of his round robin matches, against Andy Roddick, Gilles Simon and Roger Federer. However he eventually lost to Nikolay Davydenko in the semi final.

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