So finally, after 76 years, Britain has a male winner at Wimbledon! Congratulations Mr Jonathan Marray, the nation's new hero! In all seriousness though, what Marray achieved alongside doubles partner Freddie Nielsen of Denmark, should not be taken lightly. Marray only got into Wimbledon as a wildcard. He was ranked 76 in doubles, 2 off his best of 74. He has no singles ranking at all. Nielsen was ranked 318 in singles and 111 in doubles. They had only become partners because Marray's usual partners didn't rank high enough to qualify for Wimbledon, so Marray asked the Dane to accompany him. They'd only played together twice before; both small, Challenger tour events in Nottingham, during the weeks leading up to Wimbledon. They were up against seasoned doubles specialists who had played together successfully for years, such as the pair they beat in the final, Lindstedt and Tecau, who had lost twice in the Wimbledon final before. They beat the greatest doubles pairing of all time, the Bryan brothers, in the semi finals; reigning Wimbledon champs and winner of 80 ATP titles. That's quite a feat!
Of course, it is Andy Murray's defeat to Federer and subsequent tears that will be remembered. I was surprised at Federer's nervous start to the match but as I predicted, this match was going to be dictated by the weather and once it became an indoor match, Federer was never going to lose. You had to be made of stone not to feel even a little sympathy for Murray, who finally showed some emotion after his fourth defeat in a Grand Slam final. Judging from my Twitter timeline, the tearful speech he gave still won't be enough to stop people hating him. All I can say is, there are a lot of very bitter, pathetic individuals out there. Tim Henman never reached a final of any Slam, so to read people jeering Murray for crying was ridiculous, especially as these will be the same people who slate him for not showing enough emotion! He just can't win with some people.
I think after 2 weeks of intense pressure and the immense physical and mental effort he exerted in that final in particular (where he really showed much greater positivity and spirit than I've ever seen from him), he was completely drained and it all came out in front of the world. I am sure this will turn a few of the haters around, as let's be honest, he has never been great with a microphone in front of him. He deserves much more respect because he hasn't actually ever done anything wrong. He just doesn't have an engaging personality, like a Djokovic or a Federer. Sure, he doesn't do himself any favours with some of his on-court antics (the injury faking, swearing and constant negativity) but hopefully, that is now a thing of the past - Lendl seems to be working some magic.
Let's not go over-board about the speech though. It was no different in content to any speech given by a losing finalist at any event. But it definitely showed a softer side to Andy that I think most people who aren't riddled with jealousy or malice, will appreciate. He'll still remain a dour, monotone Scot but I'm willing to bet he's no more miserable than the majority of people who slag him off for 2 weeks then never watch another tennis match for a whole year. Good riddance to that lot for 12 months!
We can now settle back down to the daily grind of 250s and International events. Wimbledon was a great tournament for me but after a quiet second week, it's nice to get back to a jam-packed schedule and this week is the busiest of the entire year so far, with 6 tournaments to get my teeth into. 3 ATP events take place on clay (Umag, Bastad and Stuttgart) and one on grass (Newport), plus a WTA event on clay (Palermo) and another on hard (Stanford). So things are going to be very busy for me as I attempt to raise my stakes. A shame they are all crammed in together but with the Olympics starting soon, I guess it couldn't be avoided. Hopefully, the Murray bile won't resurface in London that week................