Last night, Andy Murray won the US Open — his first grand slam victory — in an epic 5-set match (tied for the longest ever). I was on a train and missed the whole thing, unfortunately. But the story is great — Murray won the first two sets, then dropped the second two, only to rally in the fifth to win. And more importantly, he has been a perennial runner-up — always getting close, but never able to close (until now).
My favorite line from the HuffPo piece is this:
Just weeks after winning gold during the London Olympics, Murray has finally broken through in a Grand Slam. The perennial contender had consistently been held at bay by Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal in the sport’s marquee events. After losing in the 2012 men’s final at Wimbledon to Federer, an emotional Murray told the partisan crowd that he was “getting closer.”
I know that feeling — working so hard at something, but not being there quite yet. Being so close you can taste it. Working, little by little, day by day, to get there. Keeping your eye on the prize but not getting distracted from the task at hand. Working with determination and quiet confidence.
Yesterday I wrote about how the mental roller coaster rides of tennis and entrepreneurship are similar. This story is a great follow up to that, and is one that makes me really happy — that Andy was able to pull through, to conquer whatever demons were there from prior losses, and further, to come back from what must have felt like yet-another-disappointing-loss-in-the-making.