All over the nation we held our breath for Andy Murray
As ANDY Murray strode on to Centre Court at the stroke of two my stomach lurched. He looked young and vulnerable. I think he gulped. I know I did. His Adam’s apple slid nervously up and down.
A few respectful steps behind Roger Federer, he glanced up at the sky. Suddenly, the sun appeared. Was this really happening?
The following flashed across the screen – “It’s not about the money. It’s not about the fame. It’s about making history.” Those of us watching at home on television hardly needed reminding.
The crowd cheered. Henman Hill, now Murray Mount, erupted. Yes, it was really happening. Murray had reached a Wimbledon final, the first British man to make it since a man called Bunny in 1938.
Federer served. He looked nervous. Murray cannoned forth and broke him. First game Murray, second game Murray. Was he in a hurry? This was Murray reborn – determined, confident, no longer a gangling boy. Federer fought back.
I called for a fresh towel. This would be an almighty tussle.
Murray was serving for the set. Deep breath, nails into the sofa time. I needn’t have worried. He’d done it. First set Murray – a Grand Slam first for the Scot. I was on my feet along with Murray fans everywhere.
A magical start, but could he bag the second seat? Federer came back like a rocket, but Murray matched him point for point. One man cried “I love you Andy!”
Now Federer was making mistakes. He ran his wristband over his face. Then suddenly it was slipping away from Murray. He had lost the second set.
Crestfallen, I shook my head in disbelief. The strain was showing. Mum Judy looked anxious. This was her boy, battling it out in a Wimbledon final against the best tennis player ever.
As dark clouds rolled across Centre Court, Boris Becker suggested now might be a good time for the rain to start. And as if on cue, it did. Maybe the British weather could save the day?
Play was suspended, the roof would go on. Would it turn Centre Court into a pressure cooker for the lad from Dunblane?
Rain break over, we were off again but what was going on? The wrong man had come back refreshed. Federer was taking charge. Murray looked limp. He stumbled and fell. We held our breath, but he was up on his feet again. He wasn’t going to give in without a struggle. Again and again we gasped and cheered, but the third set had gone to Federer. Like an expensive Swiss-army pocket knife, Federer had unfolded into a compact weapon.
The fourth set would be a formality. Hope had been snatched away. Murray had turned into a baseline ragdoll.
The cries grew more desperate. This was Murray’s last stand. A few short minutes later and Federer had done it. Judy Murray buried her head in the nearest shoulder. It was over.
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Weather for Edinburgh
Tuesday 18 June 2013
Temperature: 10 C to 21 C
Wind Speed: 10 mph
Wind direction: South
Temperature: 10 C to 19 C
Wind Speed: 16 mph
Wind direction: West