It is a truth universally acknowledged that men's professional tennis presently boasts one of its finest generations of players, and last Friday Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic produced a sporting contest of mammoth proportions at the French Open.
The tennis landscape has altered considerably over that last 12 months. Andy Murray will wake up on Monday to confirmation of something we've long known: he is currently the second best tennis player in the world.
When I was seven years old my dad introduced me to a game called tennis. I'm now 40 years old, still playing, learning and enjoying it. I'm by no means on a par with Andy Murray, but do share similar energy, enthusiasm, determination and commitment.
It wasn't a particularly vicious assault, but last week I accidently, and forcefully, whacked my cheekbone with my own tennis racquet and, as a consequence, turned my blue eye black.
Andy Murray won the first set of the 2013 Australian Open, but then went on to lose the final to Novak Djokovic. The match demonstrates that at this level of the game, it is mental toughness which determines the victor, not superior technical skill.
If Murray wins on Sunday he will make tennis history, becoming the first player in the Open era to follow his first major title with one immediately after. It will be a tough ask given Djokovic's form.
Andy Murray is chasing history in Australia. No man in the Open era has managed to follow-up their first Grand Slam title by winning the next major tournament.
As an athlete, I'm used to my fair share of meal planning and strict diets and it's a bit of a pain to miss out on food you'd usually enjoy, I'm sure chocolate will top a few lists. I'll be competing in Europe, so although I physically can't take part, I'll be with you in spirit.
Andy Murray was looking to cap a fine year by winning this title for the first time. He started well, defeating Tomas Berdych in his opening Group A match, but his second encounter ended in defeat to Novak Djokovic.
Andy Murray moved into the quarter-finals of the Shanghai Rolex Masters after sweeping past Alexandr Dolgopolov 6-2 6-2 in just under an hour. Murray was scarcely troubled by Dolgopolov, who struggled to cope with the variety in the British player's game. Murray has still never lost a match at the Shanghai Masters event and he will be hoping that impressive record continues for the remainder of this week.
What on earth has happened to the national reserve and emotional continence for which we Brits were once internationally famed? Where is the 'stiff upper lip' attributed to 'good Queen Bess' and the Duke of Wellington by George and Ira Gershwin in 1937?
Bradley Wiggins winning the Tour de France. Andy Murray's maiden Grand Slam. Pretty much every 'high profile' gold at the Olympics and Paralympics, including those of the aforementioned 'Wiggo' and 'Muzza'. What do all of these have in common?
Andy Murray's historic victory appears founded on a mental rather than a physical transformation. Many attribute this new self-confidence to his recent Olympic gold medal victory over Roger Federer. It was positive feedback: confirmation of the ability we all knew he had but did he?
It felt before the match as though another defeat in a major final would be too much for Murray to take; as if this was a vital point his career. The pressure of becoming the first man to lose his first five Grand Slam finals could have been too much to recover from. Now, the tennis world expects further majors from a man who no longer feels inferior to anyone.
This is What it means to be British - To take part in a race, Hoping to win - But expecting a last-place finish. Yes, this is British -
For years you have been trying to achieve that one major career ambition but each time you get knocked back at the final hurdle. And then, just 4 weeks after the last crushing disappointment, you get another golden opportunity. So how will you turn things around and make it different this time?