WHEN Andy Murray won Wimbledon the first time, he broke the infamous curse of Centre Court and became the first British man to win since Fred Perry in 1936, but if anything the second time was even more extraordinary. In the face of one of the most formidable serves in the modern game, the Scot was confident, inventive and resilient and magnificently justified his status as the favourite. His victory was also a much-needed shot of excitement and optimism after weeks of political gloom and chaos.

The reaction of Murray himself to the win was typically modest of course, but his fans and supporters no longer need to show any such restraint in describing his achievements. This is a man who has now won Olympic gold, the US Open, the Davis Cup and Wimbledon twice while all the time remaining true to his identity and personality, no matter how hard some parts of the press have pushed for him to be someone he wasn’t.

Murray’s role in transforming the status and popularity of tennis in the UK, and particularly in Scotland, is also remarkable. No one would deny that there is still a lot of work to do to find the next Andy Murray, but before him tennis was on the fringes of the national psyche. Doggedly, determinedly, Andy Murray changed that and has put tennis back front and centre.

That he has done so in the era of Roger Federer, Novak Djokovic and Rafa Nadal is even more extraordinary, but Murray has always dealt with the hard losses by adapting his game where necessary and working even harder. Maybe there are some who still find it hard to love Andy, but it must now only be a question of time before his achievements are justly recognised with a knighthood. As Wimbledon winds up for another year, there also can’t be much doubt left that Andy Murray is the greatest Scottish and British sportsman of all time.