Misc Tennis

Andy Murray’s legacy at Wimbledon, and in British tennis

Andy Murray's legacy at Wimbledon, and in British tennis

WIMBLEDON, England — Andy Murray left the court briefly, moments after his last-ever men’s doubles match on Thursday. When he returned, he gave his brother, Jamie, a long, warm hug. And the crowd, already on its feet, erupted, moved by the emotions of the two brothers, and jubilant for a man who has touched a nation.

It was the only time the brothers will ever play doubles together at the All England Club — the pair were defeated by Rinky Hijikata and John Peers. In the next few days, Murray, 37, will play his last-ever match at Wimbledon as a professional. After pulling out of singles because he wasn’t ready after recent back surgery, Murray has opted to play mixed doubles with Emma Raducanu, in addition to doubles with Jamie.

His last hurrah will come at the Olympics in Paris later this month, but the Scot’s Wimbledon career is almost at an end. He leaves a void that will take some filling, if it’s even possible. He also leaves behind a country that has changed the way it thinks about tennis because of him.

On Thursday, before a montage was shown about his career in which Roger Federer, Venus Williams, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal expressed their respect, Murray tried to hold it together. It was not easy when he saw former BBC presenter Sue Barker, who came out of retirement to interview him on court.

“It was obviously really special,” Murray said about playing with Jamie. “We never got the chance to do it before. It was a bit of a race against time to get out here. Physically it wasn’t easy, but I’m glad we were able to do this one time together.”

After making his debut in 2005 as a gangly 18-year-old, Murray made history in 2013 when he became the first British man to win Wimbledon in 77 years. He repeated the feat three years later. In all, he won 46 titles including three Grand Slams — his first came at the US Open in 2012. He earned back-to-back Olympic gold medals in 2012 and 2016, was ranked world No. 1 for 41 weeks, and helped Britain win the Davis Cup in 2015.

Through his titles alone, secured in surely the greatest era of men’s tennis with Djokovic, Nadal and Federer dominant like no trio before them, Murray has solidified his place in history. But…

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