The Two-Way
11:24 am
Sun July 21, 2013

British Bask In Summer Of Sporting Triumphs

The stars are finally aligning for British sport.

Earlier this month, Andy Murray broke a seven-decade lockout for the British, picking up the men's title at Wimbledon in straight sets against six-time Grand Slam winner Novak Djokovic.

NPR's Philip Reeve's described the reaction in the U.K. as a "tsunami of euphoria" amid calls for the Scotsman to be given a knighthood.

Murray's victory came as the British and Irish Lions won their first rugby series in 16 years, handily defeating Australia's Wallabies.

Meanwhile, British cyclist Christopher Froome is about to win the Tour de France, becoming the second-consecutive (and second ever) Brit to wear the yellow jersey across the finish line in Paris.

Although Lee Westwood — who teed off on Sunday at the British Open with a solid shot at the championship — fell short, the sting was offset by Justin Rose's victory at the U.S. Open in June.

The Guardian's Tim Adams, in a story on Saturday headlined "British sport: we are the champions" wonders aloud "precisely when the great shift – the national conversion from doubt to faith – occurred."

"For me the real instant of revelation came watching Andy Murray fall two sets behind against the hard-hitting Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in the quarter final at Wimbledon. The unnerving shift in perception at that moment went against all the cynical received wisdom of the first four decades of my sport-watching life."

And as Reeves observes, even before Murray's victory at Wimbledon, the "usually hard-nosed" Sunday Times captured the mood in the opening line of a front page story proclaiming morning in the U.K. again:

"Britain is basking in unaccustomed sunshine, sporting triumph and the best spirits for three years this weekend," it gushed.

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