Medals, microphones & socks - six memorable Murray moments

By Kheredine IdessaneBBC Scotland

I started following Andy Murray around the world tennis tour in 2009, which was the year he first reached number two in the rankings.

It's been quite a journey, in all senses, since. And, as the 31-year-old Scot's career apparently nears its end, these are six of my most memorable moments... serious and otherwise...

Olympic Gold, 2012

Murray shows off his singles gold and mixed doubles silver on a visit to his hometown of Dunblane
Murray shows off his singles gold and mixed doubles silver on a visit to his hometown of Dunblane

Murray's first big win. And one of my first big tennis commentaries.

I think it's the only one our "man of rugby" has done. Big John Beattie was my co-commentator that day on Centre Court, having talked our producers into taking the whole match live.

It wasn't a Grand Slam title, but in many ways was just as good. In fact, Murray still refers to it as his favourite victory. A triumph made all the sweeter by the fact that London 2012 was a 'home' Olympics, the tennis tournament was played at Wimbledon and he defeated Novak Djokovic in the semis and Roger Federer in the final. Both in straight sets.

It finally ended the argument over whether Murray had what it takes to win one of tennis's big honours. It came, you may remember, only weeks after another gut-wrenching Grand Slam final defeat on the same court, to the same opponent, in the Wimbledon final.

Remember the tears afterwards (his, not mine) in the on-court, post-match interview: "I'm going to try this, but it's not going to be easy…."? They became tears of joy as he paraded around SW19's best manicured lawn with his shiny new gold medal.

The Olympics play a key part in Murray's tennis evolution. It was after a first-round failure in Beijing in 2008 that he vowed to become more professional about every aspect of his game. Look where it took him.

Kheredine was joined by John Beattie in the Wimbledon commentary box
Kheredine was joined by John Beattie in the Wimbledon commentary box

Olympic Gold, 2016

Coming full circle, could the Team GB flag-bearer truly lead by example and defend his title? Of course he could.

What a final against a rejuvenated injury-free Juan Martin del Potro. The Argentine took bronze in London and made sure he was in for an upgrade, one way or another, by knocking out the world number one, Djokovic, in the first round.

Murray's progress through the tournament was patchy, nearly faltering against Fabio Fognini and Steve Johnson along the way. Once in the final, though, there was no way he would relinquish his title.

The battle was brutal. Four hours of inspired, courageous tennis across four sets, resulting in Murray becoming the first player in the history of tennis to successfully defend an Olympic singles title.

For me, it was the stand-out gold medal of a stand-out Olympics for both Team GB and the Scottish athletes therein.

Kheredine has covered the globe following Andy Murray's tennis journey
Our man Kheredine has covered the globe following Murray's tennis journey

Wimbledon champion, 2013

Seventy seven years had passed since the last British man had won Wimbledon. On the seventh day of the seventh month, in gloriously hot Wimbledon sunshine, could Murray finally banish the ghost of Fred Perry from the All England Club?

A year earlier, he'd lost in the final to Roger Federer. Since which time, the Olympics and his maiden Grand Slam title at the US Open had been claimed, all under the watchful eye of new coach Ivan Lendl, a presence both inspiring and reassuring to a protoge approaching the peak of his powers.

If you get a chance, go back and watch that Wimbledon final. It's a brilliant baseline battle between Murray and Djokovic in which both play some exquisite tennis.

From memory, the very first point produced a long rally, setting the tone for all three sets. And then there were the multiple match-points.

Andy Murray with the Wimbledon trophy in 2013
Murray's first Wimbledon triumph ended a 77-year wait for a British men's singles winner

Could he get over the line? Surely his nemesis, Djokovic, wouldn't foil him again?

I was doing ball-by-ball commentary with Murray's long-time friend and former Davis Cup doubles partner, Colin Fleming. I'm not sure who was the more nervous.

When the winning point was played, Flembo was literally dumbstruck. Which makes for interesting radio, as you can imagine.

Neither of us could truly believe what we were witnessing. Having fought off several match points, on the final one, a back-hand from Djokovic hits the net. Centre Court creates a noise we've never heard before. Murray lets his racquet drop to the ground.

The boy from Dunblane was the Wimbledon champion. His good friend is choking back tears beside me and I'm on the microphone as history is made in front of my eyes.

Davis Cup champion, 2015

From Melbourne to Paris, from London to New York, Murray has competed in all the great tennis arenas around the world. But, when it comes to atmosphere, two very unlikely places stand out. The East End of Glasgow and Ghent.

We're talking Davis Cup here, of course. I'm not sure I've ever heard a noisier venue than the Emirates Arena, which hosted two Davis Cup ties in 2015 and helped create another piece of British sporting history.

A super-human effort from James Ward against John Isner gave GB the chance to beat United States in the first round. Then the Aussies came calling in the semi-final, when Murray and brother Jamie famously defeated Lleyton Hewitt and Sam Groth in an epic five-set doubles rubber on the Saturday before Andy sealed the deal the next day.

Murray collected a remarkable 11 points in Britain's success
Unbeaten Murray collected a remarkable 11 points in Britain's success

Which took us all to the picturesque medieval town of Ghent for a final, on clay, against Belgium. There was extra security as the hunt continued for the Paris terror-attack suspects, but the tennis went ahead.

The Murray brothers won the doubles - again - before Britain's first Davis Cup since 1936 was duly delivered by its best player since that era. Thanks to the most gorgeous backhand topspin lob on match-point.

I had a perfect view of it from the commentary box high behind Murray's baseline. The perfect arc. The perfect shot. Game, set, match Great Britain, with Murray flat on his back on the red dirt.

On rushed his ecstatic team-mates to mob him. I joked that Dunblane had just won the Davis Cup. Not a million miles from the truth, was it?

Andy interviews Jamie, Rotterdam, 2011

Stuart Fraser captured this moment when Andy interviewed his brother Jamie, as Kheredine gets a chance to focus solely on his camera skills
Stuart Fraser captured this moment when Andy interviewed his brother Jamie, as Kheredine got a chance to focus solely on his camera skills

There are some people who, annoyingly, are good at most things they turn their hand to. Murray is one of them.

We don't need to mention tennis, in this context, clearly. But he's a good golfer and was also offered the chance of a trial with Rangers as a youngster, when football might have been a viable career.

So it shouldn't have come as to much of a surprise to me that he'd be pretty handy with a microphone too.

He and Jamie had just got through to the doubles semi-finals at the early-season indoor event in Rotterdam. To mix things up a bit for the post-match interview, I ventured to suggest the brothers might want to interview each other for a change.

Andy couldn't get the mic out of my hand quick enough. 'Yeah, I'll do it," as he brushed me aside.

Needless to say, he made it look remarkably easy. Seems he could do my job no problem. If only the reverse were true too.

Taking socks to a future world No.1, Dubai, 2009

Andy's socks

Confessions of a sports reporter. I was Murray's "socks mule". It's one of the more unusual memories from my early days on the tour.

Sports men and women are very particular about what they put on their feet, naturally. So much so that, when Murray realised he'd forgotten to pack the exact type of socks he likes to wear, there was an emergency call to mum Judy. Who made an emergency call to me, as I hadn't left for Dubai yet.

And so it came to pass that I carried a brown envelope into the world famous Burj Al Arab Hotel (the big one that looks like the sail of a boat). I delivered it personally to Mr Murray in his swanky suite, which he was sharing at the time with his then coach, Miles MacLagan.

Sadly, these weren't lucky socks. Murray had arrived in the UAE with a dodgy ankle, having hurt it the tournament before. He lasted two matches before giving Richard Gasquet a walkover win in the quarter-finals.

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