By Alan Baldwin and Ken Ferris
Britain’s ecstatic media trumpeted the end of the ‘longest yearning in British sport’ on Monday by celebrating Andy Murray’s Wimbledon success on the front and back pages of newspapers and much of the rest as well.
‘And of Hope and Glory,’ declared the best-selling Sun tabloid, next to a picture of the Scot kissing the gilded trophy on a sunlit afternoon in south London after beating Novak Djokovic 6-4 7-5 6-4.
“Finally, after 77 years, 15 PMs, three monarchs…Brit man wins Wimbo”.
The paper devoted the first five pages to the first British winner of the men’s title since 1936, along with an eight page ‘Born to Wim’ souvenir pullout and six more in the sports section.
Such unrestrained joy was the norm, with the more up-market Times and Telegraph throwing gravitas out of the window with page after page chronicling every detail of Murray’s epic victory and back story.
‘The History Boy,’ declared the Times, dedicating the first eight pages of the paper to ‘Murray-mania’ in another souvenir edition with a wraparound picture of Murray clambering through the stands to embrace friends and family as the crowd reached out to him.
‘Heaviest of burdens is finally lifted to an entire nations’ relief,’ added a headline in a further nine sports pages devoted to the first British winner since Fred Perry – and the first to win the title in shorts.
‘At Last’ read the front page of the Daily Telegraph sports section, which included a 12 page Wimbledon special, and the Daily Mail tabloid which offered readers a 12 page souvenir section and victory poster.
‘After 77 years, the wait is over,’ was the Telegraph’s main headline, with the 26-year-old Scot hailed as a “Colossus of the court who faced up to failures”.
The Mirror declared Murray to be in ‘Seventh Heaven’, highlighting not only the 77 year gap but also the seven day age gap between Murray and Djokovic, Murray breaking the Serb in the seventh game of each set and winning his seventh grand slam final on the seventh day of the seventh month.
“It’s magic as Andy exorcises all those demons of British tennis,” it added.
On a great weekend of British sport, with the Lions triumphant on the rugby field in Australia, the Daily Mail focused on what might lie in store for the nation’s ‘Golden Boy’ who also won the Olympic title on the grass courts of Wimbledon last year.
“Now it’ll be arise, Sir Andy,” declared the tabloid.
The Guardian joined in the celebrations with the single word ‘Champion’ on its front page over a picture of Murray, eyes closed, kissing the trophy.
‘Scottish, British, who cares? Today he belongs to us all,’ declared another headline inside.
The Independent delighted in ‘A triumph never to be forgotten, an inspiration to everyone who watched.’
Murray, added the paper, had secured his lifetime’s ambition after a game “of nerve shredding drama…that summed up an unforgettable Wimbledon final, full of stunning tennis and with more plot twists than an Alfred Hitchcock thriller.”
By Alan Baldwin and Ken Ferris