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Can Murray emulate last British men's Wimbledon winner?

Category: Scotland

Published: 8th Jul 2012 02:25:53

Andy Murray is a match away from becoming the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936 - a feat which would place him among the greatest home players of the post-war era.

He was an extremely good looking, red-blooded lad. The girls liked him and he liked the girls”

The best male British tennis players, it seems, peak at the same time.

Bunny Austin (1932) and Fred Perry (1934) were both 25 when they reached their first Wimbledon finals - and now Andy Murray has joined them - at the same age.

Perry won all three of his in a row, Austin was thrashed in both of his and Murray, well, we will see when he takes on the masterful Roger Federer at 14:00 BST on Sunday.

All three have tasted fame and celebrity, and yet their experiences and place in the history of the game are defined by their eras.

The more class-ridden, amateur past is in many ways unrecognisable from the professional age.

So, how does Murray compare to the last British man to claim the singles title at SW19?

Vital statistics

Right-handed, 6ft, one-handed backhand, 12 stone.

Right-handed, 6ft 3in, two-handed backhand, 13 stone.

Highest ranking

No 1 - in 1934

No 2 - in August 2009. Currently no 4

Prize money

As a semi-finalist in 1931, Perry won £5 - the equivalent of around £250 today. Losing finalists got £10. For winning, he was presented with the Renshaw Cup and a gold medal. Some competitors got tokens for West End shops.

Murray, who is worth around £24m, will pocket £1.15m if he wins on Sunday - a record amount for the tournament. If he loses, he will walk away with £575,000. This year's overall pot rose 10% to £16.1m - the largest jump since 1993.

Wimbledon singles record

Appeared eight times from 1929-36, winning 36 of 41 matches, losing five.

Appeared eight times so far from 2005 - winning 30 of 36 matches, losing six.

Style of play

A fast mover, he played in the "shakehand style", attacking the ball low and on the rise.

Classic counter-puncher, low error count, solid serve, great strategist.


Unafraid to inflict "psychological warfare" on his opponents, in his second final against the fastidious German Gottfried Von Cramm, he took the lining of his trouser pocket out because he knew it would drive him mad. In Australia he once painted his racket bright white to distract his opponent.

In 2009, Latvian Ernests Gulbis accused Murray of feigning injury during their 2008 match at Queen's to slow the tempo and "break his rhythm" - a charge he denied. At this year's French Open, Virginia Wade called Murray a "drama queen" over a back injury in his match against Jarkko Nieminen.

Early life

Born in Stockport, Cheshire, his father was a cotton spinner involved in local politics. He moved to Ealing in London aged nine and first played tennis on the public courts near his family's housing estate.

Born in Glasgow, Andy and his brother Jamie were encouraged to play from an early age by their mother Judy, a former coach and current captain of the Great Britain Fed Cup team. Andy first played aged three.


Educated at Ealing Grammar School for Boys. He was once barred from entering a tournament for not going to public school, so asked a fellow player where they went. When they replied "Repton", he turned to an official and said: "All right, I went to Repton".

Attended Dunblane Primary School in Perthshire, and was present when gunman Thomas Hamilton walked in and killed 16 children and one adult in 1996, although not in the same class. Studied at the Schiller International School for athletes in Barcelona.

Love life

Dated some of the world's most beautiful women, including Marlene Dietrich and Jean Harlow. One US columnist said women fell for him like ninepins. His close friends included Bette Davis, and each of his four wives were part of the "glitterati".

In a long-term relationship with Kim Sears, who is regularly seen in his player's box. They met before he was a big name, at the US Open in 2005. After a temporary split in 2009, they were reconciled a short time later. Her father is tennis coach Nigel Sears.

Famous connections

Became US citizen after moving to America. He was friends with actor Clark Gable's former lover Loretta Young and partnered Charlie Chaplin in an exhibition match against US champion Ellsworth Vines and his partner Groucho Marx

Murray has been cheered on this year by the Duke and Duchess of Cambridge. He is friendly with a number of boxers - a sport he loves - and is personally represented by entertainment tycoon Simon Fuller.

Perry clothing brand

Launched his famous polo shirt at Wimbledon in 1952. Its famous laurel logo was based on the old Wimbledon symbol, and was stitched into the shirt.

In 2009, Murray was sponsored by Fred Perry and wore the logo. He switched to Adidas after signing a three-year deal worth around £15m.

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BBC News, 2012. Can Murray emulate last British men's Wimbledon winner? [Online] (Updated 8th Jul 2012)
Available at: http://www.ukwirednews.com/news/1439256/Can-Murray-emulate-last-British-mens-Wimbledon-winner [Accessed 22nd Jul 2014]

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