Andy Murray: misunderstood 'warrior' sheds Davis Cup tears
Murray gives his all for three days to drag Britain into first semi-final since 1981
Andy Murray was reduced to tears after helping Britain to a first Davis Cup semi-final since 1981 as he produced what the BBC describes as one of the "bravest victories of his entire career" to beat Gilles Simon of France at a raucous Queen's Club.
Playing for the third day in a row, the world number three found himself on the brink of exhaustion and defeat as he trailed by a set and a break of serve, but rallied to win the tie for Britain. At the end of one 35-shot rally that went Simon's way Murray sank to his knees in despair, but somehow found a way to turn the match around, eventually winning 4-6, 7-6, 6-3, 6-0 in three-and-a-half hours
The Scot has never lost a singles rubber on grass in this competition, says the Daily Express and "put his heart and soul into a victory that was greeted with rapture". Afterwards the sobbing Murray looked "emotionally and physically spent after a successful but demanding summer", says The Guardian.
He is a "remarkable warrior athlete", says Mike Dickson of the Daily Mail. "After more than nine hours of intense combat over three days against the best that a powerhouse tennis nation can field he was spent, and he wept with his head down while captain Leon Smith placed an arm around him.
"This is what it meant, dragging his country into the last four for the first time since 1981... Murray not committed to Great Britain? Try telling that to the 21,000 people who came through the gates over the past three days."
Afterwards Murray paid tribute to team captain Smith, who he has known since he was a child in Scotland, and the other players who have represented Britain during the team's rise back to the top of the game.
Having overcome last year's finalists, Britain now face a semi-final against Australia in September, and it is clear that success in the team format means as much to Murray as his performances in Grand Slams.
"Rewriting British tennis history, and more specifically emulating the accomplishments of Fred Perry, is becoming Andy Murray's forte and after his immense powers of resilience and determination were examined more than ever before in service of his nation, the thought of a Davis Cup title is now paramount in the Scot's ambitions for 2015," writes Barry Flatman in The Times.
Talking to Matthew Syed of the Times last week, Murray gave an insight into the reason the Davis Cup means so much to him, and why he remains a deeply misunderstood star.
"I think that people associate the way I talk with being a bit boring," he said. "They think that my tone of voice is representative of my personality. But if you were to ask my Davis Cup team-mates who is the most outgoing person in the group, they would probably say me. My humour is quite sarcastic, but I love the banter when I am hanging out with the guys. That is one reason why I look forward to the Davis Cup."