So how was it for you? We invited the family round for a barbecue – mum, brothers, sisters-in-law. After a flurry of excitement when the sausages threatened to set light to the honeysuckle, we all settled down to Andrew Castle and co, not daring to hope even after Murray took an early lead.
The strain of watching two men sprint around in searing heat can be allayed by a plate piled with charred food, a cold beer and an ice lolly. With you all the way, Andy.
Even at two sets up I didn’t allow myself to believe he would do it – although it sounded like our neighbours in the flat above were replaying the match point by point.
These are the days to savour. I remember standing on the sofa with my dad in 1996, bellowing at Redgrave and Pinsent 4,000 miles away, as they ground out their final strokes to win Olympic gold. Or the sweltering French August of 2005, when three of us sat in a battered Astra, fixed on the hum of the longwave while England vanquished the Aussies. Our roars disrupted the village pétanque.
I was charmed by the reaction of Fred Perry’s daughter, Penny, to Murray inking his name on the champions’ board – “I need a nice cup of tea. That was just unbelievable!”
Over the next few days, plenty will be written about this being a victory for British tennis. Most of all, though, it is a great personal triumph for Andy Murray, who had to grow up in public while enduring equivocal crowds and media.
On his way to an ice bath, Murray was asked what has been key to his success.
“I think I persevered.”