Belfast Telegraph

Friday 19 September 2014

Murray nets a win that makes history

Andy Murray's championship victory at Wimbledon yesterday was a landmark achievement in British sport, and also a remarkable turnaround for the tennis champion himself.

This time last year was, by his own admission, one of the lowest points of his career, when he lost the Wimbledon final. Since then he has gone on to greatness-winning two Grand Slam titles and an Olympic gold medal. In achieving greatness to such a degree, he has shown remarkable skill and determination, and also the shrewdness to put together a first-class team to back him.

Andy Murray was battling at Wimbledon not only against some very good opponents, including yesterday's outstanding co-finalist Novak Djokovic, but also the weight of expectation from the public who longed for a British men's champion.

This has not happened for 77 long years since the victory of Fred Perry, and though a small number good British players has gone far in the championship, they did not go far enough.

At one time it seemed that a British winner would never materialise, but when Andy Murray moved towards centre stage it appeared that a potential winner was emerging to dispel the shadows of tennis history.

It took Andy Murray some time to establish himself in the world rankings, and although he had tremendous talent, he still faced the seemingly impossible task of finally laying the ghost of nearly eight decades of disappointment at a Briton not winning the men's championship.

Some may argue that the early disappearance of Nadal and Federer this year made it easier for Murray to go all the way to winning, but even so he faced some very difficult opponents, and a Wimbledon championship is a major achievement for any player. Murray has made history and he will certainly win more Grand Slam titles.

His triumph caps a great weekend for British and Irish sport that saw the outstanding victory of the Lions over Australia and Graeme McDowell's triumph in the French Open. All sports lovers can now bask in the reflected glory of such remarkable successes.

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