Andy Murray completes one of sport’s most remarkable coups with serene conviction –

Murray appeared almost bashful as the blue tickertape fell all around him. For this was one triumph, rather like his first at Wimbledon in 2013, of such magnitude that it was difficult to compute. The odds had seemed impossible when he sat slumped in his chair in Paris five months ago, wondering how, or indeed if, he would ever topple the bionic man from Belgrade across the net. Eight thousand points: that was the equivalent of winning four majors. But the more Murray appreciated that he was in the form of his life, the more irresistible he became. On this evidence, his winter pilgrimage to Melbourne, the place where he has come so close, so often, has scarcely looked so enticing.

When Murray next strides out at Rod Laver Arena in January, he will relish having the figure ‘1’ in brackets after his name. He might also have a ‘Sir’ in front of it. If the country’s honours system is to have any consistency, there is little doubt that this is one sporting knighthood that should come to pass. Sometimes, when an athlete is mid-career, such gestures can be problematic. When it happened to Bradley Wiggins at the end of 2012, it smacked of premature ennoblement. And when Richie McCaw was ready to be anointed ‘Sir Richie’ in 2011, after the All Blacks’ World Cup glory on home soil, he famously turned it down, wary of the message it might send to his team-mates. Murray, in his oppressively individual sport, should not feel burdened by the same dilemma. Nobody in Britain would deserve investiture more.


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