Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Murray Won't Rest, despite the Laurels

Newspaper article International Herald Tribune

Murray Won't Rest, despite the Laurels

Article excerpt

As all sorts of possibilities glisten after his Wimbledon victory, Andy Murray is in no mood to bask in the warmth of glory.

Andy Murray still looked the same on Monday morning after a Wimbledon title and 90 minutes of sleep. He still sounded the same, too, with his droll drone of a voice, which come to think of it, always sounds a bit groggy.

But the questions were different, delightfully different if you were Murray.

What about a knighthood? Will it be hard to stay hungry after achieving your three obvious goals? Can you talk about what this Wimbledon victory means to the British people?

That last question must have sounded particularly novel, considering that Murray, like every British men's tennis player from Buster Mottram to Tim Henman, has spent his career trying to live up to Fred Perry, who won the last three of his Wimbledon singles titles in 1936.

"To finally have done it, it will be nice as a nation that we don't have to look at Wimbledon as a negative," Murray said. "It can be viewed as a positive. I just hope it's not another 70-odd years again."

Murray said so after posing with the men's trophy in front of Perry's statue in the sunshine on Monday.

It is worth underscoring that Virginia Wade did win the women's singles title here in 1977. Wade was at Wimbledon as a BBC commentator, and it was poignant to watch her enter the gates of the All England Club one day last week. She walked through on her own in her flat-soled shoes and sunglasses, her hair gone gray.

No one accosted her. No one shouted her name; aimed their smart phone in her direction or extended so much as a program to autograph as she made her way toward Centre Court.

It may take another 36 years for Murray to get the same sort of treatment and peace at Wimbledon.

The attempt to match Perry had grown, through the decades, into a quest and also a reliable hook on which to hang the British narrative every July.

Murray's straight-set victory over Novak Djokovic in the final on Sunday will now stir up all sorts of other possibilities.

In the rankings released Monday, Djokovic is still No. 1; Murray is still No. 2, David Ferrer is No. 3 and Rafael Nadal No. 4. Roger Federer is No. 5.

Murray, holder of the United States Open and Wimbledon titles, now has a platform from which to try to become the first British player to reach No. 1 since the tour rankings began in 1973.

"It's a tough one for me, because right now I won two Slams, was in the final of a third one and hold Olympic gold, and I'm nowhere near being number one," Murray said.

"I don't know exactly why that is. I may need to be more consistent in the other events and obviously missing the French Open didn't help that.

"But I'd rather not get to number one and win more Grand Slams than win no more Grand Slams and get to number one."

That is a common sentiment in this Slam-centric era, where so much focus and energy is drawn to the four major events. But Murray clearly made the right choice to skip the French Open and address his ailing back in time to make a full-bore run at Wimbledon.

Asked before the final what might change if Murray did finally win, Peter McNamara, the former Australian star turned coach, smiled and said, "You will call him Sir."

A knighthood does seem likely considering that Bradley Wiggins received one last year after winning Olympic gold and the Tour de France.

"I think it's a nice thing to have or be offered," Murray said. "I think just because everyone is waiting for such a long time for this, that's probably what will be suggested. But I don't know if it merits that."

The British prime minister, David Cameron, who was in the Royal Box on Sunday at Wimbledon, told reporters that he certainly thinks it does. And the BBC reported on Monday that Queen Elizabeth had sent Murray a "private message. …

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