Tennis world hails heroic performance

THE tennis world today rallied round Andy Murray after his latest bout of Grand Slam heartache.

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As Braveheart Andy wept in the aftermath of perhaps his most gut- wrenching final failure in a Slam, some of the game's biggest names backed him to end his major famine.

Pat Cash, winner in 1987, believes the experience Murray will have garnered from his latest near miss can help him next year.

He said "Andy played great tennis. The match was at an unbelievably high standard. Murray will win this title. I said it might not be this year, but I wouldn't put money against him winning it next year. He is improving all the time."

Cash was also keen to qualify Murray's defeat by placing Federer's success, which has returned him to No.1 in the world rankings, in perspective.

He said: "I don't think anyone can be called the greatest of all time, but it is amazing that Federer is back at number one. As long as he stays fit he is almost unstoppable."

Three times Wimbledon champion Boris Becker was also keen to underline that there was no disgrace in losing to the man who has become tennis's greatest of all time.

He said: "Andy lost to a better player today. Federer is the most successful tennis player of all time."

Murray's final achievement meant he went one better than his predecessor as British No.1, Tim Henman, and he also had words of support for the Dunblane born ace. Henman said: "Andy did such a good job at the beginning by getting a break of serve.

"He had never won a set in a Grand Slam final prior to yesterday so he is getting closer. But Federer's ball striking and timing was immaculate.

"When he plays his best tennis he is the best."

Another former champion, Dutchman Richard Krajicek, hailed Murray's gallant performance as one that underlines what a great fighter the 25-year-old is.

He said: "Andy brought his A gam,e but it wasn't enough. He is a fighter and everyone should be happy that they have a superstar like Andy representing their country."

Murray's former Team GB Davis Cup captain, John Lloyd, a man whom the Scot has had a stormy relationship with, was also keen to praise his former Davis Cup No.1.

Lloyd said: "He gave 100%, his attitude was good and he didn't get negative. He was taking chances and taking the ball on and, to me, it was a very good performance. There are still plenty more Grand Slams left."

Murray's former coach Miles Maclagan believes the Scot's determination to enjoy major success will be rewarded some day.

He said: "It was an incredible match, it had everything. You know when someone is giving their all. I can understand that not everyone is a great fan of Andy Murray, but he drives every day to get the best out of himself.

"He is up against the best tennis players of all time, but he is trying."

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