Ian Monk: Murray's emotion wins over nation

Tearful but unbowed, Andy Murray played the ultimate PR love game at Wimbledon, wooing millions by emerging as Britain's biggest sporting winner for years.

Ian Monk: Murray's emotion wins over nation
Ian Monk: Murray's emotion wins over nation

His conduct after his historic final was as devoid of spin as the sledgehammer strokes that had so often unsettled the rhythm of his conqueror, the greatest tennis player ever.

The welling tears were genuinely those of a frustrated winner, not a loser, in which role Murray has often wrongly been cast for his 'failure' to deliver that elusive championship.

Plainly unscripted from a man not given to the platitudes of PR, Murray's post-match response captured the moment as well as the hearts of the nation.

That nation now is Britain, rather than simply the part of it whence Murray hails and which Alex Salmond, a vigorous and almost proprietary presence on Centre Court, seeks to make independent.

It would have defied the wiles of PR to craft Murray's post-match performance. The man himself spontaneously hewed it from courage, emotion, humour and an indefatigable warrior spirit. Searingly honest and eschewing the norm, Murray instinctively, chokingly, mined pure PR gold from the jaws of defeat.

Confronted with the sudden urge to love Murray, the vast TV audience was not just being presented with the latest character from the pantheon of great British losers.

Rather it was looking at a winner coerced, against his every instinct, by the sporting forces of nature ranged against him into the role of temporary loser.

His powerful combination of frustration, despair, determination and grace was unique. This new image of a man often thought of as being unsympathetic and commercially user-unfriendly should, as well as melting hearts, be worth a fortune commercially.

Monumentally paid footballers have made curiously gotten gains from the cult of failure by exploiting their failures in penalty shoot-outs.

Murray, the loser now perceived by the world as a winner, has served an ace for his marketing and PR teams. He deserves a return with interest from them.

Ian Monk is founder of Ian Monk Associates and a former executive at the Daily Mail and The Sun.

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