On Sunday afternoon, instead of enjoying the early July sunshine and pottering in our large suburban garden, I was indoors glued to the Men's Singles Final from Wimbledon on the BBC. Though there were tense moments when the psychological pendulum threatened to switch between the two twenty six year old combatants, in the end Andy Murray from Dunblane in Scotland won the battle in three straight sets, becoming Great Britain's first Men's Singles winner since the legendary Fred Perry in 1936. It was a magnificent moment for British sport just a day after the British Lions rugby union team had thrashed Australia in Sydney to win the test series.
Andy Murray is an awkward character to warm to. Sometimes described as a "dour Scot", he can seem uncomfortable and rather monosyllabic during interviews. Underneath it all, I suspect he is a rather shy and private person who blossoms on the tennis court but finds the associated media palaver a little distasteful. Fred Perry would have been amazed to witness the media frenzy that has followed Andy Murray for years. It surely wasn't like that in 1936.
Murray was a nine year old pupil at Dunblane Primary School when mad gunman Thomas Hamilton walked into the school and killed sixteen children and a teacher before turning the gun on himself. This event has clearly left an indelible mark on Murray's psyche and it is also likely that his parents' eventual divorce in 2005 had a huge effect upon his developing character. He once said, "I would get really upset. One of the things I would have loved to have had was a family that worked better together."
Yesterday, almost in spite of himself, Andy Murray proved that he is a winner. With guts, daring, experience and supreme fitness he threatened to make World Number One - Novak Djokovic look rather ordinary in the scorching Centre Court. Whatever happens from now on, Andy Murray has earned a place in sporting history and if he isn't voted this year's BBC Sports Personality of the Year in December I will post a photo of myself in this blog - wearing just my pink Y fronts!...Feeling flushed ladies? It'll never happen. Well done Andy! Braveheart indeed!