Bangalore: For 13 days every Wimbledon for the last three years, Andy Murray was a Brit. On day 14, he would cease being a Brit, and become a Scot. All that changed last week.
Finally, in defeat, the collective consciousness of Great Britain was forced to embrace Murray the vanquished at Centre Court last Sunday. Moments after being outclassed and overwhelmed by Roger Federer, the Swiss virtuoso, Murray broke down on the hallowed lawns. He didn't cry on the shoulders of the Duchess of Kent, like Jana Novotna had done in 1993 when she choked against Steffii Graf, the great German. Instead, at the presentation ceremony, Murray shed tears of unfulfilled ambition, of shattered dreams, of painful defeat.
There is something about watching an adult crying in full public view, particularly in defeat, that invariably melts stone. As Murray struggled to embrace any sense of control, a packed house encouraged and egged him on, clearly showing him that while he might have lost the final, he had irrevocably won their hearts; Federer's tears of joy were washed away in the flood of emotion that Murray transferred to the centre court audience.