FRED Perry’s son congratulated Andy Murray last night after the Scot ended a 77-year wait for a British winner of the Wimbledon men’s singles title.
Murray became the first British man to win the singles title at Wimbledon since 1936, the year when Perry beat Gottfried von Cramm in straight sets.
David Perry, now 69, was adopted in 1953 by the English tennis icon. He is the son of Fred’s fourth wife Bobby and later ran the family’s famous sportswear business before moving into real estate.
Tim Henman reached four semi-finals and Murray had managed to go one better last year, but it was only yesterday that David Perry’s father’s status as Britain’s last champion finally went by the wayside. “It’s been 77 years. The legacy has been there, but time goes on and I am thrilled that a British individual has finally won Wimbledon again,” David Perry said last night.
“It’s great for British tennis. Andy has worked his way up there. He deserves it. It’s wonderful that he has won it and that he has played the way that he has. He has been playing beautiful tennis.”
Fred Perry, originally from Stockport, won three straight Wimbledon titles before moving to the United States just prior to the start of the Second World War. He died in 1995.
David Perry thinks his father would have been proud to see Murray finally end the nation’s long wait for a home-grown men’s singles champion.
“I think my father would have said: ‘Do you know what, it’s time for somebody else to have the title,’” he said. “It has been a long time. It had to come – it was just a matter of time. It’s great that Andy has done it. You have to give him credit.”
Perry, who lives in Arizona, hopes Murray can go on to approach his father’s feat of winning eight majors. “Andy is a great player,” he said. “Novak is, too. I watched the match.
“I am sorry it didn’t go to four sets or five sets because you want a Wimbledon final to be fantastic. But they will both go down in history as great players. Andy has finally got himself mentally over the line and now who knows how many he can win.”
Fred Perry’s daughter, Penny, said her father would have mixed emotions about Murray’s win. “I think, to be honest, it would be a bittersweet moment,” she said.
“Half of him would be absolutely up in hysterical mode because we have a British champion, and he was patriotic, but half of him would be bittersweet. It’s the same when anyone breaks your record. He was only human after all.
“Today I’m absolutely stunned. I need a nice cup of tea. I can’t believe he played that way. That was just unbelievable. Amazing. Congratulations.”