LONDON, Sept 11 Andy Murray's maiden grand slam
title at the U.S. Open on Monday could signal the start of a
collection of major silverware, according to former British
number one Tim Henman.
Henman well knows the burden Murray has shouldered since
bursting on to the scene in 2005, shortly before the four-times
Wimbledon semi-finalist retired having failed to end the
country's interminable wait for a men's grand slam champion.
Murray's five-set victory over Novak Djokovic at Flushing
Meadows finally retired the worn-out statistic of Fred Perry
being the last British man to win a major, almost 76 years to
the day before the 25-year-old Scot broke through.
"I definitely see him going on to win more (grand slam
titles)," Henman told the BBC. "How many he can win only time
will tell. The confidence of the Olympics and this will give him
so much confidence.
"I said the first one would be the hardest but I think it
will be the first of many, I really do."
A survivor of a school massacre in his home town of Dunblane
back in 1996, Murray's first season under coach Ivan Lendl this
year also brought an Olympic gold medal in London before his
triumph in New York.
"It was certainly his time. The most important aspects were
his resilience, both mentally and physically. He remained calm
and was able to produce the goods and really it was Djokovic who
was struggling at the end," added Henman.
Murray's rather dour exterior had, until this year,
distanced him from the type of popular support enjoyed by
A run to this year's tearful Wimbledon final where he lost
to Roger Federer, followed by glory against the Swiss in a
hugely successful Olympics for the hosts, finally endeared him
to the British public.
His popularity levels after Monday's epic are now soaring
and after rising above injury-hit Rafa Nadal to third in the ATP
rankings, he looks perfectly placed for an assault on more grand
slam titles next year and even a tilt at world number one.
Lendl, whose poker-face barely cracked into a grin when his
charge finally nailed Djokovic on Monday, dispensed with the
emotional hyperbole being pumped out across British media and
social networking sites .
"Hopefully, we're not anywhere near where Andy can get,"
Lendl said when discussing Murray's breakthrough after four
grand slam final defeats.
"I didn't come here to have a good time - I came here to
help Andy win. He did, so it's job done."
Former coach Miles Maclagan did offer a few words of
"He's in uncharted territory and he could go one of two
ways," said Maclagan, who helped Murray reach the 2008 U.S. Open
final and 2010 Australian Open final.
"Either he'll absolutely fly for a while and win everything
in sight, but it wouldn't surprise me to see a bit of a lull.
You reach a lifetime goal, something you've strived for your
whole life... you have to take a bit of time to think to set
some new goals and build up some determination."
Former British Davis Cup coach John Lloyd said Murray had
put to bed any doubts about his big-match temperament.
"He's joined the club. We've been talking about the big
three and Murray being part of the fab four but he had a missing
ingredient. However, he's put that right in spectacular style,"
"He's made a staggering improvement to the mental side of
(Writing by Martyn Herman, editing by Mark Meadows)