ANDY Murray’s inevitable decision to bow out of tennis is tragic, but only in the sense we won’t get to see him play for much longer. What has to be factored in is his legacy; Murray has single-handedly redefined what it means to be Scottish.

He’s convinced us we can be winners. In watching the eight year-old thrown in with the grown-ups on a Saturday afternoon drills session in Renfrew what became apparent was he always found a way to win. But would that be enough?

Thankfully, as the boy from Dunblane’s body size grew, six three tall and the shape of a Marvel comics hero, so too did his inner belief, an acceptance that Scots’ fingers clasp tightly onto winners trophies.

Yet, would he become a Number One in the world? Tennis requires more than sweat, muscle and technique; it screams at the mind for answers. Well, he did make it, but not in a Pete Sampras-perfect champion sense. He’s been better than that. We’ve seen his personal demons, the doubts, the insecurities, the times when the pain in his shoulder – or hip – or ankle - has throbbed at the mind telling him it would be easier to walk off court, to shout at his own team, to blame his partner, to curse his racket strings, to howl at the world.

His imperfections had made him real to us. That’s why we’ve been right there with him as he searched for a way to beat Roger, the greatest tennis player ever, wondered why Rafa kept getting the ball back or Novak could come up with such a measured back hand.

We’ve long worried as Andy worried about his second serve. He’s held us in the palm of his hand like a Dunlop Fort tennis ball, waiting to be released, praying he would smack a 140mph serve down the line in the direction of Del Potro’s throat.

We’ve played every point as he produced a series of passing shots that defied natural geometry - and wallowed in the audacious drop shots so cutesy they were almost wearing lipstick.

But there’s more to Murray. We know all about every point played to win three slams but we also know of his honesty, his dark sense of humour, his cheek, his love for his family and his dogs. So we won’t miss him. Not really. Because his success is our success, and that will stay with us for as long tennis lasts.