Roger Federer, Raffael Nadal, Novak Djokovic and Andy Murray. These tennis legends are known as the Big Four. However, one of these athletes could have not been on the list of the greatest tennis players of the century, and perhaps of all time. It has just been revealed that Murray was on the cusp of not pursuing his tennis career to focus on a football career, instead!
Andy Murray is currently competing in Battle of the Brits, the all-British tennis tournament organised to help Brits prepare for the 2021 Grand Slams. On Tuesday, he won his second match against Cameron Norrie in Roehampton.
One of Britain's greatest athletes
Andy Murray is considered to be among Britain's greatest athletes of all time. Towering over his opponents at 1.91 m, Murray was ranked No. 1 for 41 consecutive weeks and managed to finish as the year-end No. 1 in 2016. He has won three Grand Slam singles titles, including Wimbledon. In fact, he was the first Brit to win Wimbledon in over 77 years as he defeated Djokovic in the finals in 2013. In the 2012 London Olympics, Murray won a gold medal against Federer. Amazingly enough though, Murray almost didn't become a professional tennis player. It's hard to imagine what the tennis landscape would have looked like without him.
Tennis or football?
Andy was trained by his mother Judy alongside his older brother Jamie who is also a professional tennis player. His mum who has played an integral part in his career revealed on the TV show The Chase that things could have been a lot different for her son. She went on to explain that Andy and his brother had a very sporty upbringing—they both played and excelled in a lot of sports. According to her, when Andy was 14, he got offered to sign with none other than the Rangers F.C., a Scottish professional football club, for their training camp. Andy says:
So we went and did a training session in front of some of the Rangers scouts and people working at the Rangers school of excellence. After the training session my parents got asked if I’d like to go along.
At 14 years old, Andy had to decide on the fate of his future, which is no easy feat for a teenager. In the end, he chose to go where he had the most chances of winning, and tennis seemed like the best choice at the moment. He says:
In tennis that’s what motivates me, winning the best competitions.
Murray chose wisely to pursue his tennis career because as we know, it clearly paid off. The rest is history.