Britain’s Andy Murray has extra inspiration for today’s US Open final after meeting two of his most famous fans, Sir Sean Connery and Sir Alex Ferguson, and knowing they will be on hand to watch him.
Olympic champion Murray booked his spot in his fifth Grand Slam championship match with a 5-7, 6-2, 6-1, 7-6 (9/7) victory over Czech Tomas Berdych, then met football coaching legend Ferguson and the former James Bond.
“I’m a huge James Bond fan and I love football as well,” Murray said. “Sir Alex is one of the most successful managers of all time and both of them are from Scotland. So to have them both here was very nice.
“They re going to be here for the final as well so I hope I can do it for them both.”
Murray, a lanky 25-year-old Scotsman, had a somewhat awkward first meeting with Connery and Ferguson to say the least after withstanding wickedly windy conditions in his match, what he said were probably the toughest he has faced. “It has been a strange day for sure,” Murray said.
The meeting came during Murray’s post-match news conference because Arthur Ashe Stadium was being evacuated after the second semi-final between defending champion Novak Djokovic and Spain's David Ferrer was halted due to severe incoming weather, ensuring a Monday men’s final for the fifth year in a row.
Connery, best supporting actor Oscar winner from “The Untouchables” in 1987, and Ferguson, who has guided Manchester United since 1986, walked in with Murray’s mother Judy and Murray rose and walked over to greet them. “Thank you very much for coming,” Murray said.
“You smell of wine,” Murray told Connery. “He made me have wine,” Judy Murray said. “He has just been telling me that Scotland invented the world.”
“Been coming here the last three years to New York and I explained how Scotland invented the world,” Ferguson said. “Today we invented the wind.”
“Today they conquered the world,” Connery cheered.
The icons and his mother then departed, leaving Murray to remark on how it felt to have such famous countrymen watching him play. “To meet those two guys was cool,” Murray said.
“I had been in touch with them, we had traded messages and e-mails, but I had never met them before. Nice to have their support.” Murray’s match was almost a stunt from a Bond movie, trying to hit a tennis ball with precision in conditions where tornados could be created. “It was hard to control the ball. I just had to fight my way through,” said Murray.
“It was brutal.” Murray welcomed an extra day of rest with the final being delayed from Sunday. “It will be nice to get a rest and to be able to practice and get my rhythm back,” Murray said.
And what would it mean to be the first British man to win a Grand Slam title since 1936? “It would mean a lot to me,” he said. “I’ll fight for every point. I want to leave everything on the court and I will do that on Monday.”