OVER the Capital’s streets, the sun was nearly as scorching as Wimbledon champion Andy Murray’s history-making ground strokes.
In front of Festival Square’s giant screen and in bars and living rooms across the city, thousands gathered in nervous hope that the 26-year-old from Dunblane would end Britain’s 77-year wait for a male victory on Wimbledon’s hallowed Centre Court.
And amid relentlessly rising temperatures, Murray ended the wait in style – storming to a 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 win over world number one Novak Djokovic to lift the All England Club’s iconic silver gilt men’s singles trophy and bring it home for the first time in generations.
Saltires were proudly waved as the crowd burst into impromptu choruses of “Flower of Scotland”.
In Festival Square, the moment when the Serb dumped the ball into the net on Murray’s fourth championship point was greeted with an almighty roar from an estimated 3000 fans.
The relief was all too apparent to a sporting audience more familiar with Scotland’s long history of glorious defeat, rather than victory.
But now there was a firm belief that Murray’s spectacular Wimbledon win would be the first of many – and that Edinburgh and the nation were about to enjoy a new era of sporting achievement and success.
Student Brodie Williams, 21, who lives in the city centre, said: “It was a really deserved victory. It’s monumental, a monumental moment in Scottish and British history.
“He played so well. Top moment in the match? The way he kept on top during match point.
“This win will have a massive impact on sport in Edinburgh and Scotland. It’s going to encourage a lot of the youth.
“For Andy to win, it’s just mental.”
The feeling was echoed across Festival Square.
Sarah Wyllie, 33, a nursery nurse from Dean Village, who works at Forbes nursery in Leith Links, said: “It wasn’t a surprise for me, I knew this was his year. It had to come and it has happened.
“I actually thought he was going to win straight from the beginning, and he did it.
“This will be huge for sport. I actually set up a wee tennis court for the kids so they could come out and hit the ball about.
“This win will be massive for them and the fact he’s Scottish helps. They’ll look up to him and think, ‘if he can do it, I can too’.”
Christina Sasaki, 20, a student from Hillside, said: “It’s a breaking point in history – we have not had a British winner for so many years.
“I’m really proud to be Scottish and British. I was watching it earlier and he was doing really well. Then Djokovic started to come back but Murray turned it around.
“I think this win will open people’s eyes to Britain as a sporting country, and to Scotland especially, and make them realise that we have good athletes here.”
Banker Andrew Maciver, 22, who lives in the city centre but is originally from Inverness, said: “He went out there with a business-like approach.
“There’s no room any more for glorious defeats in our country. Edinburgh is going to rock tonight.”
Cathryn Duthie, 27, a PA from Chesser, said: “I actually thought he was going to lose and at times we couldn’t see that well what was going on, but to see him win in the end was just amazing. This is huge for Edinburgh and Scotland.”
Yvonne Cameron, 29, a banker from Longstone, said: “I am absolutely ecstatic and so glad he finally won.
“I would have been so devastated if he hadn’t made it after coming so close, but now he has and I’m so proud to be Scottish and British at the moment.
“He will be an inspiration for sport in general – an inspiration to young people in Edinburgh and across Scotland.”
Kirsty Simpson, 39, a nursery manager from Corstorphine, said: “I am actually speechless – and I cried. I think Andy worked really hard. He was so determined. The atmosphere today was brilliant. Everyone was really upbeat and singing and in the mood.”
Joy at Murray’s victory was not confined to Festival Square.
In Edinburgh’s pubs and bars, and in the surrounding streets, huge crowds thronged to watch and record the moment when sporting history was made.
Sharon Norris, PR manager at the Cowgate’s Three Sisters pub, which showed the match on an outdoor screen in its courtyard, said: “It was absolutely electrifying today – so patriotic.
“We were playing Loch Lomond after he won and there were buses stopped in the street so people could take pictures of the courtyard where the screen was.
“There were people stopped in the street who weren’t even coming into the bar. People from all over – Spanish, Irish, English, people from everywhere.
“As soon as it happened, people were just straight up on their feet, cheering, arms in the air. Everyone was hugging – it was a complete explosion.”
Anna Myatt, development officer at Craiglockhart tennis centre, said everyone was delighted at Murray’s well-deserved win.
She said: “We just want to congratulate him and hope he goes on to win a lot more.
“It’s fantastic for Scottish tennis and hopefully we’ll get lots more kids playing the game.”
• Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond appeared to break Wimbledon rules by waving a large Saltire flag in the Royal Box .
The Scottish National Party leader sparked a flurry of political criticism for unfurling the Scottish flag following Andy Murray’s historic triumph.
• Andy Murray is already worth an estimated
£32 million, but his latest Grand Slam victory will see his earnings soar into the ranks of the world’s wealthiest sportsmen.
Industry experts say that sponsorship and endorsements could see Andy earn around £100m over the next five years.
That would dwarf his career earnings of £18.5m and annual sponsorship deals currently worth around £9m, putting him in the same league as David Beckham.
• Novak Djokovic may have proved no match for Andy Murray yesterday – and it seems that the new Wimbledon champion has no immediate plans for another type of match with girlfriend Kim Sears.
Asked if he had any plans to pop the question now that he had achieved his ambition, Andy was quick to bat off questions about tying the knot. After a lengthy pause, all he could say on the subject was: “No, I haven’t thought about that yet.”
• Having lifted the Wimbledon title, Andy Murray seems destined for at least one more honour – a knighthood.
It would be a natural follow-up to the OBE he received in the New Years Honours list.
He is known to have received a private message of congratulations from the Queen, and with David Cameron also singing his praises, a gong seems a given.
Bookmakers have him at evens to receive the honour and odds on to lift BBC Sports Personality of the Year.