Wow. After 4 Grand Slam final loses, and 76 years to the day since the last British man managed to hold that trophy, British tennis has been craving this day. The day Andy Murray won a Grand Slam title.
I couldn’t watch it myself, due to the time difference and the match being on Sky so I was refreshing pages on the Internet, and checking my Twitter feed for any possible updates! I eventually gave in at midnight as I had to be at work for 8am this morning!
After Murray’s heart breaking defeat to Federer in the Wimbledon final, a few weeks later, he avenged that loss by beating him in the Olympic final to claim the gold medal. Murray reached the final once more, to face one of his biggest rivals, and life long friend, Novak Djokovic, and claimed his very first Grand Slam win. That means Nadal, Djokovic, Federer, and Murray have all won a Grand Slam this year!
Murray hasn’t always has the support of the British public. After he was questioned about whom he would be supporting in the World Cup of 2006 (after Scotland had failed to qualify), he stated he would ‘support anyone but England.’ Murray later apologised for this comment and claimed it was a light-hearted interview and never meant to cause any offence. This however, left a stain on his reputation and he was already seen as a grumpy, emotionless Scot.
There were claims that Murray was ‘Anti-English’ regardless of him living in London, having an English girlfriend, and identifying himself as British and Scottish. There was also the idea that Murray was British when he won and Scottish when he lost. My friend is upset she can no longer say ‘I’ve won as many Grand Slams as the world number 3’. I have to admit, I too, loved that little cracker!
Somewhere between the natural British cynicism, Murray’s Wimbledon tears, and the Olympic spirit, Murray was playing the best tennis of his career and won the heart of the nation. The Grand Slam win didn’t come as easily to him as his fellow rivals Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic who all got their first wins at a younger age.
He may be late to the party, but I hope Andy is accepted as one of the great four. The win, I’m sure was worth the wait, and I hope to see many more! Murray has put the icing on the cake to celebrate the end of London 2012 with one more cheer. Andy’s Grand Slam win wasn’t only important to him personally, but to British tennis, and to Britain. Hopefully Fred Perry can rest easy and remain only as a peice of trivia. Congratulations (Note To The Queen: Sir?) Andy Murray, you’re a worthy winner, and for the second time this summer, you’ve made history!