Belfast Telegraph

Sunday 28 December 2014

Pride of Scotland Andy Murray earns place among tennis legends

Give Wimbledon hero a bus parade and knighthood

LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07:  Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England.  (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates victory next to Novak Djokovic of Serbia after their Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Great Britain's Andy Murray kisses his mum, Judy Murray, after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon.
Crowds watching the Wimbledon final at Belfast City Hall . Picture by Kelvin Boyes / Press Eye
Great Britain's Andy Murray kisses the trophy after beating Serbia's Novak Djokovic on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. Photo by Adam Davy/PA Wire.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators watch a giant TV showing Britain's Andy Murray play Novak Djokovic of Sebia in the gentleman's singles final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain kicks a tennis ball as he celebrates victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Great Britain's Andy Murray looks at the trophy as it's lid came off, after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates Championship point during the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy next to Novak Djokovic of Serbia following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain speaks with Sue Barker as he holds the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain shakes hands with a fan as he makes his way up to his player's box following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
DUNBLANE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 7: Dunblane residents watch local boy Andy Murray of Great Britain play Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Wimbledon 2013 Men's Singles final, on July 7, 2013 in Dunblane, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
DUNBLANE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 7: Dunblane residents watch local boy Andy Murray of Great Britain play Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Wimbledon 2013 Men's Singles final, on July 7, 2013 in Dunblane, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
DUNBLANE, UNITED KINGDOM - JULY 7: Dunblane residents watch local boy Andy Murray of Great Britain play Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the Wimbledon 2013 Men's Singles final, on July 7, 2013 in Dunblane, Scotland. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators on Centre Court hold signs aloft displaying messages in support of Andy Murray of Great Britain during his Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Kim Sears, the girlfriend of Andy Murray of Great shows her support during his Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Novak Djokovic of Serbia plays a backhand during the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Jelena Ristic, the girlfriend of Novak Djokovic of Serbia cheers during his Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Andy Murray of Great Britain on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Victoria Beckham attends the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Gerard Butler and Wayne Rooney attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Ronnie Wood and Sally Humphreys attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators rest in the sun as they watch a giant TV showing Britain's Andy Murray play Novak Djokovic of Sebia in the gentleman's singles final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators watch a giant TV showing Britain's Andy Murray play Novak Djokovic of Sebia in the gentleman's singles final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: A spectator watches a giant TV showing Britain's Andy Murray play Novak Djokovic of Sebia in the gentleman's singles final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: A spectator shades his head with a newspaper hat as he watches a giant TV showing Britain's Andy Murray play Novak Djokovic of Sebia in the gentleman's singles final at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Coleen Rooney attends the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Kim Sears, the girlfriend of Andy Murray of Great Britain takes her seat before the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Prince Edward, Duke of Kent and Dame Mitsuko Uchida attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Bradley Cooper attends the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Leader of the Labour Party Ed Miliband speaks with Rod Laver before the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Ronnie Wood speaks with Judy Murray before the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Wayne Rooney, Victoria Beckham and Tana Ramsey attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Greg Rusedski and Lucy Rusedski attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Bradley Cooper and Gerard Butler attend the Gentlemen's Singles Final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: An engraving at the base of the Fred Perry statue displays his name and the years of his Wimbledon final victories ahead of the 2013 Gentlemen's Singles final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Tennis fans walk through the grounds ahead of the 2013 Gentlemen's Singles final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: The statue of Fred Perry ahead of the 2013 Gentlemen's Singles final match between Andy Murray of Great Britain and Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators walk past an electronic board displaying informaktion about Andy Murray of Great Britain ahead of his Gentlemen's Singles final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Spectators rest in line for tickets on men's finals day at the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on July 7, 2013 in London, England. Great Britain's Andy Murray will play Novak Djokovic of Serbia in today's gentleman's singles final on Centre Court. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
FILE - JULY 07, 2013: Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon. NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 10: Andy Murray of Great Britain lifts the US Open championship trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic of Serbia in the men's singles final match on Day Fifteen of the 2012 US Open at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center on September 10, 2012 in the Flushing neighborhood of the Queens borough of New York City. Murray defeated Djokovic 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
FILE - JULY 07, 2013: Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon. LONDON, ENGLAND - AUGUST 05: Gold medalist Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates during the medal ceremony for the Men's Singles Tennis match on Day 9 of the London 2012 Olympic Games at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on August 5, 2012 in London, England. Murray defeated Federer in the gold medal match in straight sets 2-6, 1-6, 4-6. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
FILE - JULY 07, 2013: Andy Murray beats Novak Djokovic to win Wimbledon. LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 30: Andy Murray of Great Britain falls as he reaches for a shot during his Gentlemen's Singles third round match against Marcos Baghdatis of Cyprus on day six of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club at Wimbledon on June 30, 2012 in London, England. (Photo by Julian Finney/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Fans cheer and take photographs as Andy Murray of Great Britain poses with the Gentlemen's Singles Trophy following his victory in the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND - JULY 07: Andy Murray of Great Britain celebrates a point during the Gentlemen's Singles Final match against Novak Djokovic of Serbia on day thirteen of the Wimbledon Lawn Tennis Championships at the All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club on July 7, 2013 in London, England. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)
Great Britain's Andy Murray celebrates after defeating Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.
Prime Minister David Cameron (centre) applauds in the Royal Box near Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond (right) as Great Britain's Andy Murray plays Serbia's Novak Djokovic in the Men's Final during day thirteen of the Wimbledon Championships at The All England Lawn Tennis and Croquet Club, Wimbledon. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. P
Abi Rose is pictured with an Olympic golden post box in Andy Murray's home town of Dunblane in Scotland, ahead of the Andy Murray v Novak Djokovic Wimbledon final. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo. P
Downing Street flying the Scottish Saltire to mark the occasion of Andy Murray playing in the Wimbledon final. PRESS ASSOCIATION Photo.

Stop the clocks. This was Andy Murray's Auden moment, 25 minutes after five, July 7, 2013; the time and date when Murray showed Fred Perry's ghost the door on Centre Court. Sunny afternoons in high summer are not normally fertile ground for exorcisms, but then this was no ordinary day in British tennis, no ordinary hour in the life of the 26-year-old Scot.

No more will Britons have to suffer the endless gaze through an empty past to an era when Spain was at war with itself, the BBC first fired up a cathode ray tube and Gone With The Wind would have been your book club novel of the day. No more will Murray have to ask himself where he went wrong, or what he must do to get across the line at this great championship. It's Goodbye 1936. Hello Murraytime.

An open-top bus through London anyone? Knighthood? Why not, he is more deserving than most. In the fields of human endeavour how many are asked to do their stuff under the kind of forensic scrutiny endured by sportsmen at this level? Thousands in the arena, millions watching worldwide and the remainder wired to some kind of device, all focused on the fortunes on two men.

Sure they are well rewarded, and in essence the pursuit of victory is trivial. No lives are lost or saved. Nevertheless the participants are immersed in the kind of white hot ordeal the majority in our mundane lives will never know, and one that stretches the limits of endurance.

The straight sets score will never tell the story of that final service game, when Murray's whole life seemed to pass before him. He described it as the toughest of his career, imagined that he would never have to dig so deep again to hold a service game from 40-love, confessed he did not know where he was when Djokovic put his final backhand into the net.

It was a sentiment shared on the hill, where the common folk gathered. There was not a blade of grass spare, as the swathe of slow-cooked humanity turned redder by the minute in the cause of their boy. There has to be some pain for the kind of gain that was on offer this day. "Move along, move along," urged the stewards at the top of the steps. It was an appeal destined to fail. None was about to let this moment pass.

In the Royal Box Wayne Rooney passed the afternoon in a tie. That's deference for you. Gerard Butler and Bradley Cooper likewise. The Prime minister, David Cameron jostled for camera position with the leader of the opposition, Ed Miliband. In the commentary box, arguably the best placed in global sport, positioned in a privileged spot at the back of the court, Boris Becker talked gibberish. "Hollywood's in the house," he screamed when Butler and Cooper filled our screens. No, Boris, Hollywood was on the court before you. Open your eyes, man.

As we saw with the Lions in Sydney the big sporting carnival flushes out the seer in all of us. The world and his dog had a view about this contest and, more than that, demanded it be heard. It was, therefore, a blessing when the whistle finally blew, and none saw a three-set win for either player. By 2pm, the only hot air of significance enveloped Centre Court, where temperatures hit 40 centigrade.

This was tennis in a furnace and neither player was hold back.

Murray's coming of age at the Olympics and the US Open last year was evident in his refusal to defer to Djokovic at any point in this encounter. The passive demeanour that characterised meetings with the big names in his early years is no longer a feature of his game. The tennis produced to haul back Djokovic (pictured) from 1-4 to take that that second set was proof that Murray's man years are upon him.

He believes he belongs in the same company as the world no.1. We have seen Murray flex his biceps on Centre Court before to convey his credentials as a genuine contender, but this was utterly different. The muscle imposing itself on this contest was mental.

Murray did not get a bye yesterday, he did not profit because results elsewhere went his way. He beat the world no.1, a player with six Grand Slam titles to his name, who might yet go down as an all-time great and who was flying at a formidable peak in this tournament. He beat the best on his terms. You cannot ask for more in any game.

Murray was required to both summon and control the primal drives that fry the synapses under pressure. It was a monumental achievement to push and pull all over the court this fellow Djokovic, a player whose game is built around unprecedented elasticity in the recovery of lost causes. Murray went even further in the pursuit of his first Wimbledon triumph than Djokovic was able to go. That's why he was the one holding the greatest pot in tennis at the end.

At the last count there were 115 proposals of marriage on the hill. Goodness knows how many conceptions Over at the south eastern end of Centre Court, those who had watched the drama on court no.3 flooded the concourse beneath the balcony in anticipation of a Murray wave. He obliged, of course, an emotional tsunami washing over the nation.

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