When a crestfallen Andy Murray gave a choked-up television interview immediately after losing last year’s Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, few would have predicted that joy would quickly replace disappointment for the shy Scot from Dunblane. Four weeks later he was back defeating the Swiss ace on the same court to claim Olympic gold, and in September he became the first Brit in 76 years to triumph at a major, beating Serbia’s Novak Djokovic at the U.S. Open. For Murray’s newfound supporters, won over by his public display of emotion in SW19, tennis had suddenly expanded its horizons irrevocably.
It seemed an opportune time for a book about the professional game, thought Neil Harman, a sports correspondent for the Times and respected authority on the ins and outs of tennis (both on the court and off it). Published in the run-up to this year’s Wimbledon, his account traverses the season that saw Murray shine, starting in Australia in January and finishing up at London’s O2 arena, for the men’s tour finals, in November.