Scottish Daily Mail

Love all... Andy fans welcome home their hero

- By Laura Cotton

HE has played in the greatest tennis venues in the world – from Arthur Ashe Stadium in New York to the Rod Laver Arena in Melbourne and, of course, the Centre Court at Wimbledon.

But for Andy Murray, nothing compares to playing in front of 7,000 Scots in the East End of Glasgow.

The 27-year-old was back playing on home soil for the first time in four years yesterday.

He stepped out to a capacity crowd at the Emirates Arena – and his reception was deafening.

Murray, of Dunblane, Perthshire, said: ‘To play in front of a packed crowd was amazing. And I was born here, so it’s pretty special.’

The Scot was representi­ng Great Britain against the USA for a place in the quarter final of the Davis Cup.

His opponent in the first match of the best- of-five tie was American Donald Young. Despite a third set blip, Murray beat him 6-1, 6-1, 4-6, 6-2.

Earlier, the atmosphere had been electric as his older brother Jamie led the British team onto the court. But the loudest cheer was reserved for Andy.

As red, white and blue balloons bobbed around the arena, the Murray brothers’ grandmothe­r, Shirley Erskine, was keen to get involved.

Sitting beside her husband Roy, the 83-year- old grabbed one of the balloons and waved it whenever her grandson won a point.

If Murray was in any doubt as to where he was playing, the crowd belted out Loch Lomond during his warm-up.

Speaking after his win, Murray said: ‘I’m glad I managed to play a good match and got a win.

‘I was pretty fired up at the beginning, my emotions were running high. When you play in an indoor arena, everything feels louder.

‘Donald didn’t start the match well but I made only one unforced error in the first two sets. Maybe he was intimidate­d by the crowd, I don’t know. But I played well.

‘I wanted to impress our captain Leon Smith and I had the pressure of playing for my country.

‘It was nice for me to go on first so I could soak up the atmosphere. It was the biggest indoor crowd I have played in front of. Having 7,000 people behind you is the best part.

‘My whole family were here today, including my grandparen­ts, so that was fantastic.’

Glaswegian Smith is leading the Murray brothers, James Ward and Dominic Inglot in the three-day match.

Following Murray’s victory, Ward beat American John Isner 6-7, 5-7, 6-3, 7-6, 15-13 in a marathon match that lasted nearly five hours, to give Great Britain a 2-0 lead.

Jamie Murray and Inglot are due to play the USA’s Bryan brothers in the doubles today, with the reverse singles matches tomorrow.

Despite being back in Scotland, not to mention the prospect of his wedding to fiancee Kim Sears at his Cromlix House Hotel near Dunblane next month, Murray is here for business only this time.

He said: ‘Since I’ve been back in Scotland, we’ve been training. I went through to Edinburgh to do an event with sponsor Standard Life and then I went to Hampden on Wednesday evening to have a look around. The rest of the time, we’re training and getting ready for the tie.’

 ??  ?? Sweet victory: Andy Murray in action in Glasgow yesterday
Sweet victory: Andy Murray in action in Glasgow yesterday
 ??  ?? Flying the flags: The Scots fans gave Andy Murray a tremendous reception
Flying the flags: The Scots fans gave Andy Murray a tremendous reception

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