If you follow me on Twitter, you might have noticed I'm a tennis fan. I stumbled onto Wimbledon while channel-surfing one lazy summer day right before I started high school, and I've been hooked ever since. (Wimbledon remains my favorite tournament, just in case you were wondering.)
On Monday, Andy Murray won the US Open, defeating Novak Djokovic in five grueling sets, and he won it in grand fashion. It's the first Grand Slam he's EVER won, even though he played in his first final back in 2008. And not only is he the first British man to win a Major title in more than seventy years, but he's also the first man EVER to win Olympic gold and the US Open in the same summer.
I had a feeling this US Open was going to be Andy Murray's breakthrough tournament, and he didn't disappoint. Murray's path to the championship match wasn't nearly as smooth as Djokovic's (he dropped multiple sets against multiple opponents), but in the end, he pulled it out. And he taught me a few things about writing along the way:
1. Murray's semifinal match was a tricky, less-than-ideal affair, but I'd go so far as to say that it was the adversity he faced that day that gave him the experience he needed later. It was easily the windiest match I've ever seen, but Murray managed the wind and even figured out how to use it to his advantage. When he faced Djokovic on Monday, the wind was a factor again, and Djokovic, who just a year ago won three Major titles and went on a forty-three-match winning streak, looked much less certain on the court. Murray had already taken on the wind and won, and that gave him the confidence to take it on again. In short, he took what might have been a setback and turned it into a stepping stone.
2. Murray was simply hungrier than Djokovic, and it showed. For years, sports writers have criticized Murray for choking, for not getting the job done when it counted, for not standing up to the one-two-three punch that is Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, and Novak Djokovic (at least two of whom will probably go down in history as some of the best, if not THE best, men ever to play the game of tennis). But not so on Monday. Murray looked like a man balancing on the razor's edge between surgical precision and reckless abandon. He looked like a man playing for his life.
And in a way, he was. His tennis life, at least.
I want to write like that. I want to LIVE like that. And I never want to look back.