Murray loses again but wins more fans

Updated: 2012-07-10 07:46

By Agence France-Presse in London (China Daily)

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Andy Murray may have failed in his attempt to become the first British man since 1936 to win Wimbledon, but he has finally succeeded in capturing Britain's heart, the country's press said on Monday.

Murray's valiant defeat to Roger Federer and his emotional post-match interview exposed sides of the Scot not often displayed in public, and suggests he may not have to wait long to break his Grand Slam duck, the papers argued.

The nation's collective bottom lip wobbled when Murray broke down in tears after the match, with watching girlfriend Kim Sears and the Duchess of Cambridge both succumbing to the emotion.

"Don't cry girls, he did us proud", splashed the Daily Mail across its front page, reflecting a shift in the nation's complex relationship with its leading tennis player.

Murray loses again but wins more fans

The center-right Mail has not always offered its unreserved support for Murray, and he has often been accused of being dour and emotionless on court.

He also generated unwanted headlines when he jokingly said his favorite soccer team was any playing England. He has since had to endure a well-worn joke that he is only British when he wins and Scottish when he loses.

Times columnist Matthew Syed said the positivity shown in defeat meant he had shaken off the traditional British tag of "plucky loser" and had now become "a winner in waiting".

"His tennis was, at times, sublime," he wrote. "He started fast, got quicker, and was reeled in only when his opponent started reaching levels of genius rarely seen on Centre Court."

The Mail's Martin Samuel wrote "he did not lose because he choked. He did not lose because he moaned. He did not surrender to injury, or mislay his focus under the incredible weight of history bearing down on him".

Instead, Samuel said, he was merely victim of being born in the same generation as the greatest players ever to grace a court.

(China Daily 07/10/2012 page24)