SHEFFIELD’S Jonathan Marray set his sights on Wimbledon glory after becoming the first Briton to make the men’s doubles final in 52 years.
Marray and partner Freddie Nielsen had played together in only three tournaments before Wimbledon, but yesterday they defied the odds to pull off a huge upset against 11-time grand slam champions Bob and Mike Bryan.
The 6-4 7-6 (11/9) 6-7 (7/4) 7-6 (7/5) victory enhanced the feelgood factor around British tennis after Andy Murray progressed to the men’s singles final. Marray will take to Centre Court for the first time today since he visited the most famous arena in tennis to watch Tim Henman lose to Goran Ivanisevic in the semi-finals 11 years ago.
Now, after going one better than the former British number one, 31-year-old Marray wants to fulfil his childhood dream of lifting a trophy at Wimbledon.
Marray said: “Winning a trophy at Wimbledon is why I play tennis.
Marray is the first British person to reach the final of the men’s doubles since Bobby Wilson and Mike Davies did so in 1960.
Marray is hoping that his remarkable run can inspire more people across South Yorkshire to take up tennis.
He said: “I’ve loved tennis all my life, and if this encourages a few more people back home to pick up a tennis racket then I’d be delighted. Quite a few people in and around Sheffield already play but it would be great if we could get a few more out there.”
The Anglo-Danish duo broke in the 10th game and then edged two tie-breaks to cause euphoric scenes among the few hundred spectators who had shunned Murray to watch Marray on Court 12.
“It’s a big scalp, definitely,” Marray said.
The gulf in status between the two pairs is summed up by the fact that the Bryans have won over £11.5 million throughout their careers while Marray has amassed just £275,000 playing Challenger tournaments in some unsavoury parts of the world.