Word from Mount Murray: Do you remember that chap Tim?

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The Independent Online

With the Scottish connection it should really be Murray Monroe, or does that make him sound like a transvestite from the Highlands with a particular penchant for subway gratings? Well, will we have to stick with the thoroughly unsatisfactory Murray Mount then, or the badly descriptive Murray Field? Well what about Murray Mound or Murray Mesa or Murray Molehill? Actually, the last one isn't a bad shout, because if anyone can turn a mountain into a molehill it's this man-boy. He's been doing it all week and was threatening to do it again yesterday to help Sir Clive Woodward out immensely by keeping the Lions off the front pages.

With the Scottish connection it should really be Murray Monroe, or does that make him sound like a transvestite from the Highlands with a particular penchant for subway gratings? Well, will we have to stick with the thoroughly unsatisfactory Murray Mount then, or the badly descriptive Murray Field? Well what about Murray Mound or Murray Mesa or Murray Molehill? Actually, the last one isn't a bad shout, because if anyone can turn a mountain into a molehill it's this man-boy. He's been doing it all week and was threatening to do it again yesterday to help Sir Clive Woodward out immensely by keeping the Lions off the front pages.

Who would have thought that, eh? A lad from an industrial town in Stirlingshire helping out a knight from a quaint town in Cambridgeshire? What will Andy Murray do next to rip up the accepted ways of the world? Become the first Scot to pronounce "you" without an "s" on the end, the first 18-year-old millionaire not to bash up his Ferrari, the first Brit since Fred Perry to win Wimbledon? Don't be daft. But then, anyone who can rename the unrenameable in one week flat cannot be discounted from doing anything.

There are certain Roman emperors who would blush at the haste with which the memory of the last leader of Wimbledon was blotted out from the minds of the people. Do you remember Tim Henman? Pleasant chap, good parents, wonky teeth, did a funny thing with his fist? Yes? Got him? Well that's more than the 3,000 or so Henmaniacs, sorry Muzzmaniacs, who sat on Henman Hill - sorry Murray... (fill in your own favourite noun for something hilly here) - did as they cheered their new hero to the highest heaven yesterday.

They were shameless about their fickleness, too. One woman, a middle-aged, middle-classed mum-of-four who called herself "June from Poole" had the words "Tim Who?" on her hat. Why? "Because Muzzer's the man now," she told me. "But why get at Tim? Didn't he give you some great days too?" I asked her. "Loser," she said before joining in the chorus of "Murray clap, clap, clap - Murray clap, clap, clap - Murray clap, clap..." That chant signified that the camera must have been scanning over the area that older Buster Mottram fans might recall as Aorangi Park. One of the most surreal characteristics of this wholly unique sporting amphitheatres is that there's minutes of silence, punctuated by the odd yell when their boy wins a point, and then the entire hill goes all Ilie Nastase when the big screen shows that the camera is on them. The arms are raised, the flags go up, the lager gets thrown in the air and the painted faces scream their lifelong devotion. Then, a second later, cameras gone, they all sit down again, sip tea from their flasks and start moaning about the rotter who's stood up in the front and blocking everybody's view.

Indeed, it's hard to explain what it is, apart from "a very nice place to spend the afternoon". Yesterday, it was as boisterous as it could ever get, with Murray's remarkable to-ing and fro-ing from Roger Federer to Jeremy Bates and back again at least eliciting a buzz you could describe as an atmosphere (the "Muzz Buzz" as it will probably never be called). The occasional shout of encouragement was in marked contrast to the chorus of complete hush that greeted Henman's first-round victory in the week. If ever there was a signal that that dear 50-year-old mum, who seems to be the mainstay on Henmenopausal Hill, was looking for a new suitor then this was it.

And boy, how she found him. There were faces , like June's from Poole, who you recognised as being rabid Henmaniacs from the past decade but who had now found a new pair of pins to hang their flag on. The fact it was a Saltire did not seem to bother them, nor were they shaken - or, indeed, stirred - that the regular close-ups of Sean Connery in the Royal Box confirmed that this was essentially a Scottish affair.

Sarah, a 53-year-old from Eastbourne, summed it up best: "Don't care if he's Scottish. He could even be Welsh and it wouldn't bother me. Tim's dead, long live Andy." Sarah returned to her tea and started complaining to one of the security guards, that police the mound, that the grass was wet and ruining her floral skirt. "Er, madam, this is Wimbledon," he told her. "It's famous for it's wet grass."

Just as it's famous for its gutsy British losers and as the bank cleared at about 7.45pm with the light fading and the rainclouds looming, there was that gut-wrenching sense of anticlimax that only tennis in this country can effect. "Muzzer did tell us he'd lose," one daughter said to her grieving mother. "He'll be back next year." And the year after that, and the year after that, and, most probably, the year after that. Andy Murray is here to stay? So is his "mount". Or his "mound", "field" or "molehill". You decide. You've got a whole year.

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