i Editor's Letter: Fourth best in the world


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How would it feel to be the fourth best in the world at something?

It’s unimaginable to me, and I am sure to most of you. What luck to be born with a huge talent; what dedication it requires to develop it, hone it and perfect it to the level where you are among the very best in the world. Even if you start out with the talent, there is no guarantee that all that effort and perseverance and hour after hour of study, lessons and practice will get you anywhere near the very best in the end.

That’s even if you have the world’s pushiest parent(s) behind you: read “ultimate Chinese mother” Amy Chua’s extraordinary (not necessarily in a good way) The Battle Hymn of the Tiger Mother. How must it feel, then, to be Andy Murray, born with a huge talent that has been nurtured, coached, trained and honed into the magnificent athlete who is the world’s fourth best tennis player?

Despite the extraordinary material rewards this has brought him, it is his “misfortune” to play in a true golden era for men’s tennis against – arguably - the best player in history, Roger Federer, the remarkable Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic, the world number one who beat Murray in yesterday’s Australian Open semi-final after five hours of the most tumultuous, intense, physically and emotionally demanding sport one could have the privilege to witness.

If anyone says Murray is a loser or a choker this morning, dismiss them as knowing nothing about sport or character. Yes, he lost one of the best matches of recent times to the top player in the world by the thinnest of margins, but this morning we should all salute Andy Murray, one of the best four tennis players in the world, and one of Britain’s finest sportsmen