LONDON – The first question at the first formal news conference of the first full day of Andy Murray’s new life as Wimbledon champion concerned the buzz building in Britain about whether knighthood awaits.
Murray sighed and rested his chin on his left hand.
“I don’t really know,” he said Monday. “I mean, it’s a nice thing to have, or be offered. I think just because everyone’s waited for such a long, long time for this – that’s probably why it would be suggested. But I don’t know if it merits that.”
Everything will always be different moving forward for Murray, who became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years by beating No. 1-ranked Novak Djokovic 6-4, 7-5, 6-4 in Sunday’s final.
Twelve months ago, he dropped to 0-4 in major finals by losing to Roger Federer at the All England Club. Undeterred – indeed, more determined than ever – Murray regrouped and got better. He has played in the finals of the last four Grand Slam tournaments he’s entered (he missed this year’s French Open with a bad back). After winning the U.S. Open in September for a career-altering breakthrough, he added a second Slam title Sunday at the place he called “pretty much the pinnacle of the sport.”
Add a gold medal at the London Games, and it’s been quite a year for Murray. He had three clear goals – win a Grand Slam title, win an Olympic title at home, win Wimbledon – and he is now 3-for-3.
Murray’s father sensed a change after the victories at the Olympics and U.S. Open.
“There’s a bit more of a swagger about him, my son. I noticed that,” Willie Murray said. “He’s more confident, I think, and it helped him.”
Murray, a 26-year-old Scotsman, attended the All England Club champions’ dinner Sunday night, then woke up after about an hour’s worth of sleep for the obligatory media appointments. That included posing for photos with both arms wrapped around the trophy while standing alongside the statue of Fred Perry, the British man who won Wimbledon in 1936.
The BBC said Murray’s long-sought victory on his home turf was watched by more than 17 million people in Britain.
“I do really try my best to avoid sort of everything that goes on with playing at Wimbledon, with the media coverage and the TV stuff,” Murray said. “I try to avoid it because I just can’t get wrapped up in it. And it can be a distraction.”
“But, look, I know how long it’s been. It’s been a long time, there’s been a lot of close calls. ... It’ll be nice that as a nation, we don’t have to look at Wimbledon as being sort of a negative. It can be viewed as a positive,” Murray said, before adding: “And I just hope it’s not another 70-odd years again.”