The Murray Trophy – New British event to honour Murray brothers… but is it too soon?

Andy Murray, one of Britains best ever singles player, and Jamie Murray, one of Britains best ever doubles player. A combined 9 grand slam titles between them, along with both being integral parts of GBs 2015 Davis Cup winning team.

To help increase tennis participation in Scotland, the LTA have decided to introduce a new challenger tournament to be held in Glasgow. Honouring the tennis brothers, it will be called the Murray Trophy as a tribute to the impact and contributions they have made to the game.

BARCELONA, SPAIN – APRIL 28: Jamie Murray of Great Britain at the 2019 Barcelona Open Banc Sabadell ATP5000 Tennis Championship Day 7 Final Match on 28 April 2019 at Real Club de Tenis Barcelona, Spain. (©Andy Cheung/ArcK Images/arckimages.com/UK Tennis Magazine/International Sports Fotos)

A wonderful gesture to two very worthwhile players…but is it a little soon to be naming a tournament after them?

A true sign of your legendary status in the game of tennis is when you are immortalised with your name designated on a stadium, or tournament., such as The Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre in honour of Billie Jean King, or the Laver Cup in honour of Rod Laver.

However this is almost always done years after retirement, or if sadly, a player dies. For example, the Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York was dedicated to Arthur Ashe 17 years after he retired, and 4 years after he passed away. It is a similar story with Court Philippe Chatrier, Court Suzanne Lenglen, the Norman Brookes Challenge Cup and many others.

Novak DJOKOVIC of Serbia defeated Andy MURRAY of Great Britain and became the Main Draw Men’s Singles Champion on Day 14 at the Australian Open Tennis Championship at Rod Laver Arena, Melbourne, Australia. 31 Jan 2016. (Andy Cheung/ArcK Images)

So is it a bit strange that there is going to be a tournament dedicated to the Murrays, even though they are still playing? (Andy hasn’t retired yet guys!) Like I have said, this is usually done years after the player has retired. Now I know British Tennis hasn’t had a lot to shout about the 75 years before Andy Murray won that 2012 US Open final, so these two most certainly need some tournaments or courts dedicated to them, but is it just too soon, especially considering Jamie Murray will most likely play the event in September. No pressure Jamie, but you really do need to win your own tournament!

This is quite similar to something that has occurred recently with Rafa Nadal. In 2017, the venue of the ATP 500 Barcelona Open event renamed their number 1 court Pista Rafa Nadal. Very well deserved many would say, considering Nadal has won the tournament a record 11 times. However, it becomes a bit awkward when a young Austrian defeats Rafa Nadal, on Court Rafael Nadal, in the semifinals of the Barcelona Open, which is exactly what happened a few weeks ago. Thiem then went on to win the title.

It is such an honour and a touching moment when a player is dedicated in that way, but it should be the joy you get after you have finished your career, and you can look back on what you have achieved. If you asked Jamie Murray, would you rather another grand slam title or a tournament dedicated to you, of course as a current competing player he would want another title, but in 10 years time when he’s retired he could really enjoy that moment.

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