But to achieve any understanding of what unfolds on a patch of grass in south-west London this afternoon you have to appreciate the concept of Scottishness, and a modern one at that.
Andy Murray is a Scot. He is a Scot who was educated professionally in Barcelona, lives in Oxshott, Surrey, and earns his considerable living in places such as Doha, Melbourne, Bangkok and Cincinnati.
But it is Scotland that made him and it is Scotland that best explains him.
He is a talent who is recognised all over the world but his personality is only fully appreciated by a fellow countryman, and that with a knowing smile. Murray is as dry as the Sahara with a dash of vermouth. This is perceived as surliness by the outsider. A Scot in the immediate vicinity just about breaks a smile at his humour. Any more would just encourage him.
The sporting narrative takes him from the playing fields of Dunblane to the centre court of Wimbledon and it is suitably bright, inspiring and dramatic. But there has been genuine, awful darkness in the Murray past.
On March 13, 1996, he hid in an office in Dunblane Primary school while a madman shot 16 of his fellow pupils and a teacher. His mother, Judy, ran towards the school in unimaginable desperation but Andy and older brother Jamie survived.
Murray, too, had to endure the anguish of his parents' divorce at an early age, when he was just nine years old. It has been said that he comes from a broken home but it is more accurate to state that he was made and is sustained by a strong family.
He was forged by a mixture of elements. Contrary to official websites, Murray was born in Glasgow to Willie, a highly competitive footballer, and Judy, an international tennis player. His grandfather, Roy Erskine, was a professional footballer. His grandmother, Shirley, hid fragile ornaments when the boys came around, allowing them to play games in the living room.
All were influential. Most have been misunderstood.
Judy Murray, in particular, has been wilfully traduced as a tyrant, forcing her sons to labour endlessly with racket and ball. Yet Murray, in an aside last week, painted a more convincing portrait of his mother when he pointed out that the best attribute she brought to her duties as Fed Cup captain was "her sense of fun".
The most crucial figure in the early days for Andy was his brother Jamie, who is 14 months older. Andy is a competitive beast and was weaned on battles with Jamie, a world-class junior and, incidentally, the winner of a Wimbledon mixed doubles title.
It was Andy who took the step of going to Sanchez-Casal tennis academy in Spain when he was 15 years old. In September 2004, he won the junior US Open. He had talent and potential but could he make that transition from promise to achievement?
He has and this speaks to both a traditional and modern Scottishness.
His links to old Caledonia can be summarised in a sense of self-deprecation in conversation, a tendency to show how much he loves his mates by slagging them interminably and by his magnificent thrawnness, the last of which can barely be explained to anyone outside Scotland.
It is one of the most influential weapons, too, in his armoury. He slides into a Celtic melancholy after an important defeat and all defeats are important to him. But he recovers with that stubbornness which forces him to explore every avenue to improve. He will not be deterred.
He suffers from a bipartite patella on his knee that gives him almost constant pain. He cannot do anything about it so he endures. A gangly teenage body had to be sculpted and toned. Murray, who dislikes training, devoted himself to a training regime that has made him one of the fittest players on tour. His mentality was questioned so he went to Ivan Lendl, now his coach, for advice and guidance.
The employment of Lendl, who has won eight grand slam titles, was the most powerful example of Murray's drive to achieve. The world No. 4 has reached three grand slam finals and earned tens of millions of pounds because he has walked his own path, albeit alongside a close team of family and friends.
Lendl, the outsider, had to be embraced. One of the most telling observations of Murray's relationship with his coach is that one tells the other jokes and neither laughs. But the Czech, now an American citizen, has brought a stability to Murray.
Much of this solidity, too, is a result of a natural maturing of a volatile competitor into a 25-year-old sportsman who is comfortable with being one of the best players in perhaps the best era for tennis.
One of the joys of sportswriting is that one watches a personality develop, witnesses a potential being realised. Murray was always polite but was formerly gauche. He could have best been described as the big lad from next door who is studying engineering at Strathclyde University and is a bit shy.
But the wonder of Murray for this observer, a 57-year-old hack who has been moulded by Old Scotland, is that he has retained the best of the past in that adherence to a strong link with family, a general decency and an immutable will.
However, he also speaks to and for a New Scotland. Murray has self-belief and is not afraid to articulate it. Every year at Wimbledon he is asked if he can win the tournament. Every year he says he can. The Old Scot cringes at this. The voice of Old Caledonia fears such confidence, reacts with an almost angry confusion to such an open invitation to success.
The New Scot proclaims that Murray has every right to have faith in himself and accepts the tennis player has determined his own path and seeks no easy stroll along more familiar routes.
The advent of Murray to the very centre of the sporting world this afternoon should not be seen as some crusade on part of the nation. Murray, unashamedly, is doing this for himself.
However, it is surely impossible for his fellow countrymen and women not to be encouraged and perhaps inspired by someone who has taken his native gifts, added the experience of a cosmopolitan life and now has the world at his feet. The New Scotland celebrates this.
This Old Scot is ready for joy but knows from experience it must be accompanied by the tremble of anxiety.
'The best bet for him last night on Sky was Eurotrip -'
The day before. By Hugh MacDonald
IT was a normal Wimbledon day for Andy Murray. He got up about 9am at his home in Oxshott, Surrey, yesterday, walked his dogs and was driven in to the All England Club in his trusty Volkwagen Polo.
He has an Aston Martin but feels self-conscious driving it. He ditched his Ferrari F430 two years ago. "It's a poser's car and I don't enjoy drawing attention to myself," he said then.
After a chat with other players in the locker room. Murray headed out to court 15 for a gentle hit with Oliver Golding, the Englishman who is the US Open junior champion. A relaxed Ivan Lendl, the Scot's coach, looked on, offering quiet words. The gameplan for the final with Federer was transmitted after the session and it will be reinforced just before Murray steps out on Centre Court today.
The practice session was followed by a frenzy of autograph signing.
Murray, who will have his phone switched off until after today's final, returned home to spend time with his partner Kim Sears, daughter of tennis coach Nigel.
He will play computer games, probably Goldeneye, his current favourite. Murray will hydrate and snack at specific times, usually on protein-packed cereal bars, and drink vanilla-flavoured protein shakes. He will then have an early dinner, perhaps sushi.
Then it is a night in front of the television. "I will probably watch a movie – I don't know what, I will watch whatever is on Sky Movies," he said. "I normally try to watch something funny in the evening, something that is relaxing, not something that is tough to watch."
His favourite comedies include Anchorman with Will Ferrell, but the best bet for him last night on Sky was Eurotrip with Scott Mechlowicz and Jessica Boehrs. So he may have to delve into his DVD collection.
And then it will be an early night.
"I have slept well so far," he said of the Wimbledon fortnight.
Then it is a 9am start this morning, a plate of porridge and off to Wimbledon again. This time it will be anything but a normal day.