Wimbledon: Andy Murray, Battling Injuries and Age, Faces Final Call

He is the last British man to have won this very English tournament. He did it twice, along with grabbing two Olympic golds.

“I guess I’ll just need to win Wimbledon to shut everyone up.” — Andy Murray to The Daily Telegraph in June 2004

Mission accomplished, although it took nearly a decade for Murray to manage it. He had to scrap and scream through all sorts of tennis trouble before finally putting a halt to all the annual chatter about when a British man might finally win Wimbledon again.

Now, at 37 and at the end of his career — win or lose (or forced to withdraw because of recent back surgery) — he is saying goodbye to a tournament he conquered not once, but twice. Three years elapsed between his first victory in 2013 and his second in 2016, when his proud country rewarded Murray with a knighthood. In that same year, he won his second Olympic gold.

For more than 70 years, the hope that a British man would win Wimbledon had become a tradition in a country that still likes its tradition: a part of the landscape at the well-tended All England Club where Fred Perry had won the men’s singles in 1936, but had long gone without a British successor.

Tim Henman was still the local focal point when Murray emerged in 2005. Henman had reached four singles semifinals by rushing the net, but had always fallen short, handling each setback with a firm handshake and a dignified demeanor.

Murray — a scruffy shock-absorbing baseliner from Scotland — managed the pressure and the project quite differently: muttering, moaning and sometimes swearing between points. But above all, he embraced the challenge as he trundled about the grass with a heavy gait only to move with astonishing quickness once the ball was in play.

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Source: Tennis -


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