Sports Tennis

Congrats Andy Murray!

The quaint town of Dunblane, Scotland and the entire tennis-loving world stood still on Saturday to celebrate the wedding of tennis legend Andy Barron Murray (OBE) to his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears.
The event — dubbed “the royal wedding of Scotland” — took place at Dunblane Cathedral, with cheering crowds spilling onto the streets to support their home-grown talent.
It was a rare occasion and an event that will linger on in the memories of fans that have followed the career of this tennis icon.
The grand slam and Olympic champion donned a traditional blue and green tartan kilt, while his bride dazzled in a vintage-style gown made by British designer Jenny Packham.
As a kicker, the people of Dunblane braved wind, rain and even snow to catch a glimpse of the happy couple, having seen Murray grow from a young boy into a British sporting legend.
Born on May 15, 1987, the Scottish professional tennis player is currently ranked No. 3 in the world.
A peep into Murray’s career revealed that he started playing tennis at the age of three, entered his first competitive tournament at age five and was playing league tennis by the time he was eight.
When he was 15 he moved to Barcelona to train at the Sánchez-Casal Academy from where he won the junior US Open in 2004 and turned professional the following year.
Murray has been ranked as British No. 1 since February 27, 2006 and reached a career peak of world No. 2 on August 17, 2009.

Murray’s record speaks volume of a determined tennis star with an unquenchable winning spirit.
He defeated Roger Federer at the 2012 Olympic Games in straight sets to win the gold medal in the men’s singles final, becoming the first British singles champion in over 100 years. He also won a silver medal in the mixed doubles, playing with Laura Robson.
At the 2012 US Open, Murray became the first British player since 1977, and the first British man since 1936, to win a Grand Slam singles tournament, when he defeated Novak Djokovic in five sets. This title made him the only British male to become a Grand Slam singles champion during the Open Era.
Aside the aforementioned, on July 7, 2013, Murray won the 2013 Wimbledon Championships, becoming the first British man to do so since Fred Perry, 77 years ago. He again beat Djokovic in the final, this time in straight sets.
Back home, Murray has remained an idol to many aspiring youths and with his heartthrob beside him, the world should expect more from the legendary tennis star.
In 2009 German manufacturer Adidas and Murray signed a five-year-deal worth £30 million. This included wearing their range of tennis shoes.
The contract with Adidas allowed Murray to keep his shirt sleeve sponsors Shiatzy Chen, Royal Bank of Scotland and Highland Spring. Before he was signed by Adidas in late 2009, he wore Fred Perry apparel. At the end of their contract together Adidas decided not to re-sign with Murray, and he began a 4-year partnership with athletic apparel company Under Armour in December 2014. This deal reportedly worth $25 million.
According to an adage: “To whom much is given, much is expected,” as Murray has involved himself to many charitable works with an aim of repaying back to the society that made him.
Today, he is a founding member of the ‘Malaria No More UK Leadership Council’ and helped launch the charity in 2009 with David Beckham. Footage from the launch at Wembley Stadium can be seen on YouTube and the charity’s website.
In June 2013, Murray teamed up with former British number 1 Tim Henman for a charity doubles match against Murray’s coach and eight-time grand slam champion Ivan Lendl, and world No. 6 Tomas Berdych at the Queen’s Club in London.
The event named Rally Against Cancer was organised to raise money for Royal Marsden Cancer Charity after his best friend and fellow British player Ross Hutchins was diagnosed with Hodgkins lymphoma.
The event took place following the final day of competitive play at the AEGON Championships, on Sunday June 16. Subsequently, following his victory at the tournament, Murray donated his entire prize money pot to The Royal Marsden Cancer Charity. It was an action very few men with the milk of human kindness can afford to do.
As if that was not enough, Murray in June 2014, following the death of Elena Baltacha, he featured in an event known as ‘Rally for Bally.’ The event raised money for the Royal Marsden Cancer Charity and the Elena Baltacha Academy of Tennis.
Children from Baltacha’s academy took to the court to play alongside Murray. As a result of his various charitable exploits, Murray was awarded the Arthur Ashe Humanitarian of the Year award for 2014.
From the foregoing, as the world celebrates and savour the excitements that heralded the wedding of this tennis icon at the weekend, we cannot but wish him and his heartthrob well for bringing joy to many homes with his God-given talent. Congrats Andy Murray!

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Ihesiulo Grace

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