Edinburgh’s bars and tennis clubs gear up for Andy Murray’s Wimbledon final

AFTER the all-Edinburgh Scottish Cup final, sports fans in the Capital thought they would be waiting a long time to savour a contest of similar magnitude.

But with Murray Mania sweeping the city after yesterday’s nail-biting men’s semi-final at Wimbledon, it looks like tomorrow’s final could just top it.

With a record number of Scots expected to tune in to watch Hibs fan Andy Murray take on Roger Federer, pubs across the Capital are gearing up for one of their busiest days this year.

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Charlie Graham, from Hamilton’s bar in Stockbridge, said: “Every other Wimbledon final in here it’s been almost impossible to get a seat, but this one will be extra special.

“We’ll have Andy Murray-themed Pimms cocktails and we’ll even be getting out the strawberries and cream.

“Even if he doesn’t win, the match is bound to be a belter.”

Jamie MacDonald, deputy manager of the Ghillie Dhu in Rutland Place, was playing his cards closer to his chest but promised “something special”.

“I can tell you we’ve got extra staff on, extra beer in and we’re definitely gearing up for a big day,” he said.

Edinburgh can claim a role in Murray’s success – he trained at Craiglockhart Tennis Centre from the age of nine.

This Sunday the centre is playing host to the Aegon 
Junior International Tennis Championships, but the youngsters won’t miss out on seeing their hero.

Dave McDermott, spokesman for Tennis Scotland, said: “We’ll be getting plenty of TV screens in and scheduling the programme so it doesn’t clash with the match.

“It’s a huge boost to tennis all across Scotland that he has made it to the final, I really don’t think we can underestimate the effect this will have.

“We’re going to see courts across Edinburgh, and the rest of the country, filled with kids aiming to be the next Andy Murray.”

Peter Nicolson, former manager of the Commonwealth Games tennis team, is also organising a special Sunday at the Waverley Tennis Club in Newington.

He said: “Club members are all coming along to watch the match. Strawberries and cream are definitely on the agenda. Andy will be toasted whatever the result, but if he did win it would be the icing on the cake.”

Hundreds turned out yesterday to watch Murray beat Jo-Wilfried Tsonga on the big screen in Festival Square, with jubilant scenes afterwards.

Deputy city council leader Steve Cardownie hopes to see even more people there tomorrow. He said: “Don’t sit and watch it at home – revel in the atmosphere you can only get as part of a big crowd.”

Former British under-18 champion Suzi Mair, from Colinton, who competed at Wimbledon in the 1980s, said: “In my day, when you went abroad you immediately started thinking that everyone else was going to be 
better than you. Andy has shown everyone that a Scot can be as good as anyone else.”

Marcel du Coudray, coach at the Scottish National Tennis Academy, said: “Even if he doesn’t win, just having him in the final is brilliant. Either way, I imagine there will be a boom in interest. However, we need more good indoor facilities.”

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