In 2012, Andy Murray became the first British Men's Singles finalist at Wimbledon since Bunny Austin in 1938. The hype was astonishing. He was on excellent form, having dominated the Queen's Club Tournament in the same month, and he was on course for an historic victory.
But on that fateful day in June, when it came to crunch time, Murray was outperformed by his inspired opponent: Roger Federer, marked by his famously emotional final speech. For someone who had dedicated their all to this tournament, this loss was a soul-crushing one. But Murray's resilience was mesmerising; just a month later, and he defeated Federer in the Olympic final.
Flash forward to 2013; it's this leg of the journey that makes Andy Murray a PlayBrave legend to us. The pain of 2012's tournament as his reason for being, every atom of his energy focused on one goal... it's the kind of determination that makes success a near-certainty. Couple that with Murray's admirable vulnerability, as he opened his skill and technique to critique from former World Number #1, Ivan Lendl... and lo and behold: in 2013, after a hard-fought final against Novak Djokovic, Wimbledon became his at long last. Compare this speech to the one before. It's miraculous. At PlayBrave, we ask: what if Murray had taken that 2012 final as an end point, a plateau, or a dead end? What if he hadn't had the courage to pick himself up, take the loss - no matter how devastating - and continue his journey to greatness?
We think that, in sport, there are four kinds of success: success in the game, success in your training, success against your opponent, and success against yourself. Andy Murray is a world champion not simply because he performed superbly on the day, but because he is a master of all four kinds of success. It's what makes him a 'Sir', and what makes him a three-time Sports Personality of the Year.
Whenever you face a blocker - whether that's against yourself, a tough opponent, perfecting your in-game technique, or pushing yourself to the limits during training, know that it's only by staying determined, passionate, and resilient that you'll find your way through and get better. That's really what it means to play brave.