PARIS — Andy Murray was born May 15, 1987, in Glasgow, a wee lad destined to resurrect Britain’s fortunes in men’s tennis.
But one week later, another boy came into this world in Belgrade in the former Yugoslavia, one who would go on to torment Murray on tennis courts around the world.
Such is Murray’s misfortune: to be almost the exact same age as Novak Djokovic, the best player in the world and one of the most dominant of any era.
“His performances over the last 18 months to two years have been exceptional,” Murray said Sunday after losing to Djokovic for the fifth time in a major tournament final. “He deserves to be No. 1.”
It is the same timing that has plagued other players, such as Andy Roddick, in their rivalries with Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Wilt Chamberlain confronted a similar fate playing against Bill Russell and the Boston Celtics all those years in the N.B.A.