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Don't Cry for Me Andy Murray

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Can I really be alone? Can I really be the only Brit to find Murray's post-Wimbledon blubbering neither moving nor touching but mawkish, inappropriate and self-indulgent?

What has become of our age-old stiff upper lip, bulldog spirit and blitzkrieg defiance? Since when did grown sportsmen - worse, British ones - believe it was acceptable to burst into tears when they lose?

When Rafael Nadal lost his second round match - a genuinely surprising event - the two-time champion just quietly exited, humbly signing a clutch of autographs en route.

Murray undeniably did himself and his country proud, only beaten in the final by a clinical Federer, arguably the finest player the world has ever seen. And Murray is just 25. His time may yet come.

But, in defeat, the moment belonged not to the loser, but to Federer. To the victor, the spoils and microphone. However, humoured by an onion-eyed Sue Barker, Murray was allowed to witter on while the champion stood alongside, rightly baffled.

When, voice cracking, Murray told a hushed arena "I'm going to try this and it's not going to be easy" before breaking down again, I assumed he was going to make some earth-shattering revelation or tribute to a lost loved one.

But the resultant, halting schmaltz was toe-curling in both delivery and content. And why the tears? Because he'd lost? I have seen greater pluck from my five-year-old daughter when bested in the egg-and-spoon.

As the great Boris Becker said when he suffered a shock defeat at Wimbledon in 1987: "I didn't lose a war. Nobody died. I lost a tennis match."

Quite. There is all too much in this world to engender upset and grief. An entertaining game of sport played for profit and lost to a better man is not among them.

Yes, of course, the pressures of national expectation weigh heavy on Murray. But that is the life of any British sports star. And the rewards - win or lose - are, by way of disproportionate compensation, huge. Even as runner-up, Murray nets £575,000. Not a shabby pay day by anyone's estimation.

Moreover, Murray - the first British man to reach the Wimbledon final since 1938 - is financially set for life. He is an advertiser's dream. How can we feel sorry for him?

He would do better to heed the no-nonsense example set by champion Federer, a man with the resting pulse of a dead sheep and the emotions to match.

Liam Nolan, Wimbledon's former chief racket stringer, told last week how the Swiss is a crashingly boring man with whom you would not want to get "stuck in a lift". So what? He is a natural winner. And that is his day job, not stand-up comedy.

Federer entertains us simply by playing sublime tennis. He does not need to be a life-enhancing social butterfly to boot.

Thin-skinned Murray has battled hard to bring his notorious temperament to heel. And - despite the odd tiff over ill-fitting shorts or dodgy line calls - he has come far this year. Mentored by the steely Ivan Lendl, he is stronger mentally than he was even 12 months ago. But he still has some way to go.

Sunday's tears were not proof - as has been claimed - of Murray's hitherto unseen lovable side. They were, rather, a throwback to his greatest weakness: a naïve and self-reverential petulance.

Murray has the talent to be a champion. Now he just needs the resolve.

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