Murray loses final but wins fans
Andy Murray may have failed in his attempt to become the first
British man since 1936 to win Wimbledon, but he has finally succeeded in
capturing Britain's heart, the country's press said Monday.
Murray's valiant defeat to Roger Federer and his emotional post-match
interview exposed sides of the Scot not often displayed in public, and
suggests that he may not have to wait long to break his grand slam duck,
the papers argued.
The nation's collective bottom lip wobbled when Murray broke down in
tears after the match, with watching girlfriend Kim Sears and the
Duchess of Cambridge both succumbing to the emotion.
"Don't cry girls, he did us proud", splashed the Daily Mail across
its front page, reflecting a shift in the nation's complex relationship
with its leading tennis player.
The centre-right Mail has not always offered its unreserved support
for Murray, and he has often been accused of being dour and emotionless
He also generated unwanted headlines when he jokingly said his
favourite football team was any one which was playing England. He has
since had to endure a well-worn joke that he is only British when he
wins and Scottish when he loses.
Times columnist Matthew Syed said that the positivity shown in defeat
meant he had shaken off the traditional British tag of "plucky loser"
and had now become "a winner in waiting".
"His tennis was, at times, sublime," he wrote. "He started fast, got
quicker, and was reeled in only when his opponent started reaching
levels of genius rarely seen on Centre Court." The Mail's Martin Samuel
wrote "he did not lose because he choked.
He did not lose because he moaned. He did not surrender to injury, or
mislay his focus under the incredible weight of history bearing down on
him." Instead, Samuel added, he was merely victim of being born in the
same generation as the greatest players ever to grace a court.
Simon Barnes of the Times also said he "can't find it in my heart to
blame a guy for coming second to the greatest tennis player that ever
swung a racket." The Guardian's Kevin Mitchell called Murray "a champion
without a crown".
Reflecting on his public popularity, the columnist argued it was a
shame that "love for him may never be universal".
"For those who wish him ill it is also their loss, because one day
they may have to stand up and cheer him," he added.
The Daily Telegraph noted that "Murray has at times endured a
difficult relationship with the wider sporting public who have accused
him in the past of being surly.
"However, anyone who witnessed the outpouring of emotions today could
be left in no doubt as to how much the pursuit of a grand slam meant to
him and the respect he held for those who gave him their support," added
It was a record-equalling seventh Wimbledon title for Federer and his
17th Grand Slam crown.
Federer, playing in his eighth Wimbledon final and 24th Grand Slam
championship match, won 4-6, 7-5, 6-3, 6-4 to join Pete Sampras and
William Renshaw as a seven-time champion.