Yet this morning the story was not about the seven times Wimbledon champion, but about Murray. How his tears had endered him to the nation. How he ‘did us proud’, and other cliches.
The outpouring of hysteria around Murray is strange. Images of men crying in the Wimbledon stands simply look wrong. Murray doesn’t represent them; their hopes; dreams and ambitions.
He is a multi-millioniare playing for himself and his close group. Yet the nation attaches such significance to the notion of a British champion at the All England club.
We appear to have become very emotionally needy for British success. It’s like the same cycle of hysteria that used to accompany the English football team to major events. Massive amounts of hope leading to inevitable disappointment.
Breakthroughs at the Rugby World Cup and the 2005 Ashes have not quelled this deep need. As a nation, we appear to be looking for someone to act as ‘heroic leader’. Who will turn our hopes into reality. Even if just for a July afternoon in SW London.
It’s the yearning for someone who will represent what we feel and believe in on the bigger stage. And so their success becomes our success. Murray appears to be carrying the burden for where we are as a nation.
Of course should he ever win Wimbledon, then the euphoria will only be temporary. Our unmet emotional national needs appear to be so deep, that very soon we will be looking to get them met by someone else!