Ace Murray crowned king of Queen's to end 71-year wait

ANDY MURRAY was last night facing up to the wave of expectancy that will come his way after etching his name in British tennis history yesterday.<br /><br />The 22-year-old Scot completed a stylish 7-5, 6-4 victory over American James Blake to claim a first grass-court success at the Aegon Championship and become the first home-grown champion at Queen&rsquo;s since Bunny Austin in 1938.<br /><br />Traditionally, the Queen&rsquo;s tournament is viewed as a dress rehearsal for Wimbledon and Murray&rsquo;s win has further whetted the appetites of the expectant British crowd, who see the world No3 as the man to finally break the 73-year duck of a British triumph at Wimbledon when the tournament gets underway in seven days time.<br /><br />Not since Fred Perry in 1936 has a British man lifted the Wimbledon trophy, but amid the euphoria of his Queen&rsquo;s triumph, Murray was left to reflect on the hopes of a nation resting on his shoulders.<br /><br />&ldquo;Regardless of whether it&rsquo;s like this next week or four months ago, the majority of people I speak to say, &lsquo;Good luck at Wimbledon&rsquo; because it&rsquo;s kind of how people view tennis in this country,&rdquo; he said. &ldquo;When I go for a walk with the dog, if I bump into someone who my dog is playing with their dog, then I&rsquo;ll have a chat with them.<br /><br />&ldquo;But I&rsquo;m going to live my normal life. I&rsquo;m not going to start switching the TV off and not listening to radio. It doesn&rsquo;t matter what people write and say. It doesn&rsquo;t win me matches.&rdquo;<br /><br />Winning such a prestigious event without dropping a set represents ideal preparation for Wimbledon, but with world No1 Rafael Nadal and five-time champion Roger Federer standing in his way, Murray refuses to get carried away. &ldquo;I&rsquo;m a long way from winning Wimbledon. I feel confident but I try not to get too far ahead of myself. If I play my best like I have this week I&rsquo;ve got a chance, but two of the greatest players of all-time are going to be there so it will be tough,&rdquo; he added.<br /><br />Murray, the No1 seed, found Blake a tough nut to crack before making the decisive break at 5-5 in the opening set. Blake came back with some thumping forehands but too many errors cost him and Murray broke in the seventh game before serving out for a hugely popular win.<br /><br /><strong>GRASS KINGS </strong> DOUBLE CHAMPIONS<br />Murray&rsquo;s win means he is now looking to join an elite band of six players to have claimed the grass-court double; winning both Queen's and Wimbledon crowns. Two have done it twice, the full list is:<br />1981&nbsp;&nbsp; John McEnroe<br />1982&nbsp;&nbsp; Jimmy Connors<br />1984&nbsp;&nbsp; John McEnroe<br />1985&nbsp;&nbsp; Boris Becker<br />1995&nbsp;&nbsp; Pete Sampras<br />1999&nbsp;&nbsp; Pete Sampras<br />2002&nbsp;&nbsp; Lleyton Hewitt<br />2008&nbsp;&nbsp; Rafael Nadal