ERIC NI­COL­SON SPORTS ED­I­TOR

The Courier & Advertiser (Dundee Edition) - - NEWS -

We should have known it was go­ing to be tear­ful at the end, both for Andy Mur­ray and all the Scots who have fol­lowed the boy from Dun­blane’s top-level ten­nis ca­reer for well over a decade.

Never can our small coun­try have felt so in­vested in one of our ath­letes.

There has been col­lec­tive an­guish, joy and pride. Al­ways col­lec­tive pride.

That has been the beauty of the Andy Mur­ray story; the raw emo­tion and vul­ner­a­bil­ity of the man has en­deared him to a na­tion.

Five-set ten­nis matches took him, and us, on an emo­tional roller­coaster time and time again.

At times it felt like a re­lief when his big games took place in the mid­dle of the night our time. You woke up to the score and didn’t feel as if you had been put through four hours of tele­vi­sion tor­ture.

Scot­land has no right to ex­pect a reg­u­lar diet of world-class sport­ing mo­ments, cer­tainly not at ten­nis. But that is ex­actly what Mur­ray has served up.

The very idea of a Scot­tish ten­nis player get­ting to a soli­tary Grand Slam semi-fi­nal was a far-fetched no­tion be­fore the mid-2000s, yet he be­came a vir­tual per­ma­nent fix­ture in them year after year.

The ti­tles he amassed don’t do the Andy Mur­ray story jus­tice.

This has been a Scot­tish sport­ing fairy tale like no other, and even the lack of a happy end­ing can’t change that.

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