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Andy Murray has become the first male British grand slam tennis singles winner in … 76 years! Congratulations, Andy — brilliant work.

Oliver Brown from the Telegraph writes:

Finally, Murray has crossed the Rubicon line. Finally, after four wrenching defeats in slam finals, he has claimed the prize he coveted above all others …

So great was the spectre cast by the deeds of Fred Perry in another age that he had to summon up prodigious strength of mind to end, decisively, the mention of that name.

Murray’s gold medal from the Olympics might have given him that extra fight factor in Flushing Meadows.

The Daily Record reports that Murray took a comfort break after the fourth set to collect his thoughts:

I said to myself, ‘It’s just one more set. Give everything. You don’t want to come off this court with any regrets. Don’t get too down on yourself. Just try and fight’…

“The Olympics was obviously huge for me. It was the biggest week of my life. But before the match, when I was sitting in the locker room, there were still doubts.

“You’re still thinking, ‘If I lose this one – no one’s ever lost their first five finals. I didn’t want to be that person’.

“I have had a lot of tough losses in the past and you do think if it will ever happen.

“Even during this final I was still questioning myself and doubting myself. But I proved I could come through against one of the best competitors ever to play the game.”

The dramatic match lasted four hours and 54 minutes and tied the record for the longest US Open Final.

Fittingly, Murray now shares the honour with his coach Ivan Lendl, who also battled for six minutes short of five hours against Mats Wilander back in 1988.

What do we learn from this? The same thing that we derive from Murray’s fellow Olympians and from the Paralympians:

1/ Stand your ground — don’t let the opponent into your space

2/ Stay focussed — the road to victory is a long one

3/ Dig deep — stay healthy and use physical as well as mental strength

4/ Be positive — avoid doom merchants

Opponents of goodness, hope and truth are the bullies we need to combat. They want us to fall for their rhetoric and propaganda. They don’t care about saving the Earth, their fellow man or public health. All they care about is themselves and power.

Let’s not let them cow us into submission.

Ignore them.

Stay strong. Follow the truth. Stand firm.

In the words of St Paul:

Be watchful, stand firm in the faith, act like men, be strong. (1 Corinthians 16:13)

Therefore, my beloved brothers, be steadfast, immovable, always abounding in the work of the Lord, knowing that in the Lord your labor is not in vain. (1 Corinthians 15:58)

For freedom Christ has set us free; stand firm therefore, and do not submit again to a yoke of slavery. (Galatians 5:1)

(Graphics credit: Biased BBC)

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