He will not arrive home until this morning, but after spending the last month on this side of the Atlantic, Andy Murray enjoyed a taste of Britain here yesterday. To be precise, when Britain's first male Grand Slam singles champion for 76 years sat down next to the US Open trophy at a reception at the residence of the British consul general just off First Avenue, he enjoyed a taste of Irn-Bru.
Having entered the room to the sound of a bagpiper playing 'Scotland the Brave' and declined the offer of a cucumber sandwich, Murray was presented with a box of British products, including Maltesers, Hula Hoops and wine gums. The first item he went for, however, was the Irn-Bru, a favourite drink back home in Scotland.
Murray attended the reception after completing his TV commitments on American breakfast shows and doing a photo-shoot in Central Park. It had been a busy 15 hours. Following his 7-6, 7-5, 2-6, 3-6, 6-2 victory over Novak Djokovic in Monday night's final here, the new world No 3 had had barely an hour's sleep.
Having finished his media commitments in the wake of the final the previous night, Murray had joined his entourage at an Asian fusion restaurant for dinner in Manhattan. The only notable absentee at dinner had been Ivan Lendl, Murray's coach, who has been such a key factor in a glorious summer during which the 25-year-old Scot has reached his first Wimbledon final, won Britain's first tennis Olympic gold medal for 104 years and replaced Fred Perry as the last British man to win a Grand Slam singles title.
"He's so focused when I'm playing the matches," Murray said of Lendl. "He didn't come out for dinner with us. He just kept telling everyone how dead he was after the match and how tired he was. He just sat there and I was like: 'You weren't the one playing!' But he's been through many, matches like that, so he knows how tough it is."
The Scot admitted that he had felt a little numb in the moments after his victory. "I was in a bit of shock, and after that I was just very relieved," he said. "I wasn't able to sleep last night. I wasn't bouncing off the walls or anything, I just couldn't go to sleep. I was sitting awake for a few hours. Normally during the tournament if I'd had an hour and a half to sleep and I'd had to get up I would have been in the worst mood ever, but today I woke up and jumped out of bed at 6.30am, which isn't like me. I was obviously very excited."Reuse content