London, July 8: In the end it was not to be. Andy Murray’s attempt to be the first British player in 74 years to take the Wimbledon tennis crown was brushed aside by seven times champion Roger Federer who beat his opponent 4-6 7-5 6-3 6-4.
Under huge psychological pressure from the whole nation to pull off a sensational win, Murray came up against a player who got better and better, especially after the roof over centre court was closed because of heavy rain.
Afterwards at the prize giving, Murray’s voice broke as he perhaps realised his time would not come again.
Murray’s mother Judy Murray and his girlfriend Kim Sears were reduced to tears as were many of the 25-year-old Scottish player’s supporters among the 15,000 spectators.
Gathering strength so that he could speak, Murray said to deafening applause: “I’m going to try this and it’s not going to be easy.”
“First I would like to congratulate Roger, I was getting asked the other day after I won my semi-final, is this your best chance, Roger is 30 now? He isn’t bad for a 30-year-old,” he joked. “He played a great tournament, he had some struggles early on with his back and showed what a fight he still has in him, so congratulations, you deserve it.”
Speaking about “Team Murray”, he said: “I’m going to try and not look at them because I’ll probably start crying again but everyone who is in that corner over there, who has supported me...we did a great job, so thank you.”
“And last of all to you guys,” he said to the crowd. “Everybody always talks about the pressure of playing at Wimbledon, how difficult it is. It’s not the people watching, they make it so much easier to play.”
“The support has been incredible,” he said, breaking down,
Federer’s prize money is £1,150,000, while the runner-up collects £575,0000. Murray was the first Briton to contest the Wimbledon men’s singles final since Bunny Austin in 1938, but fell just short of the ultimate goal.
Federer, whose wife Mirka was watching with their twins Myla Rose and Charlene Riva, congratulated his rival, predicted: “He will at least win one grand slam.”
Of his seven Wimbledon title record, equalling Pete Sampras, he said: “He is my hero and it feels amazing.”
Murray had started well, taking the first set to rapturous applause. But despite rousing support from a partisan crowd, he lost the second set, then the third — which was interrupted by rain for the roof to be put on Centre Court, and went on to lose a fourth set.
As it looked like he would lose the match, cries of “come on Andy”, “you can do it Andy” rang out around the historic court.
But the support was to no avail as Murray lost the final.