Nothing succeeds like success.
That certainly applies to Andy Murray, who early yesterday morning became the first British tennis player to win a men's singles grand slam title in 76 years (and the first Scot in 115 years). The maxim could also apply to Scottish tennis, if a new generation is given the opportunity to shine.
For the 25-year old from Dunblane, it was the moment he and many others feared would never happen. But at the beginning of the fifth set, the pivotal point in this gladiatorial contest with Novak Djokovic, Murray displayed the sort of mental resilience that had been absent from previous performances. Fresh from his moment of triumph at the London Olympics, here finally was a man who believed in himself.
How far he has come from the boy who won the US Open junior title on the same courts eight years ago. Both his ability and his personality have divided opinion. The media, particularly the English media, have been slow to warm to him. Ill-received remarks about English football and his often dour demeanour did not help. But with physical maturity and improvements in technique and stamina has come mental maturity too. His tears after losing this year's Wimbledon final to Roger Federer drew universal sympathy and the Olympic gold medal, secured on the same court just two months later, sealed his place in sporting history.
If that win was pointedly a British one, yesterday's victory in New York seemed more emphatically Scottish. (Murray himself appears equally comfortable with both identities.) Nowhere was Murray's success greeted with more delight than in Dunblane, capital of Murrayland and where the champagne has been left stranded on ice so many times. After his double triumph in 2012, the place carries a new connotation: something to celebrate, rather than merely something to mourn.
For Scots, the US Open win caps off an extraordinary sporting summer, one that has seen them carry off seven Olympic and three Paralympic gold medals. Suddenly a generation of sports fans who have grown up living with hope and coping with disappointment can readjust their sights. Scots can be more than plucky losers.
In tennis terms, there has never been a better time to cash in on this success, as Sweden did during the reign of Bjorn Borg. Today thousands of young Scots are dreaming of standing on tennis courts, holding aloft huge pieces of silverware.
In one respect, they are fortunate. We could call it "the Murray effect". As well as having Andy for inspiration, they have his mother Judy, who not only motivated her sons but, as Scotland's foremost coach and captain of the Federation Cup Team, is 100% committed to harnessing the nation's junior tennis talent and making tennis fun for everyone.
Tennis Scotland, with the support of the Lawn Tennis Association, has created a network of excellent coaches. Progress can be measured in the success of youngsters such as Maia Lumsden from Bearsden, the under-14 European number one.
More needs to be done. It is questionable whether Murray or Scotland's other elite sports stars could have shone without parents who were able and willing to go the extra mile for them. Tennis is not a cheap sport and there is still a drastic shortage of affordable all-weather facilities. If Scotland is to get beyond a limited pool of predominantly middle-class talent, more public investment is urgently required. And more private clubs must follow the example of those that welcome children who are keen to "have a go" and allow them time on court.
Above all else, we congratulate Murray for capping off Britain's (and Scotland's) golden summer of sport with a truly magical moment.
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