Whoever said that nice guys finish last should eat their hat, words, and come up with a new saying. Jonathan Marray, the 31-year-old, playing with Frederik Nielsen, a 28-year-old Dane, re-wrote several bouts of history with their extraordinary triumph to win the Gentlemen’s Doubles Championship as wild cards.
As Robert Lindstedt flounced off the court, a third consecutive loss in the Wimbledon final his to bear, all Marray and Nielsen could do was grin at each other in disbelief. Far be it from them to act like diva’s, or divo’s, to be precise. All they could think about was what it meant for the other.
“When you're not really doing so well, those moments you kind of second guess yourself whether you want to carry on or not,” Marray said.
“But I felt like I had a bit of unfinished business and things like that, so I'm more than happy to have made the decision to carry on.
“I've been saying to Freddie, I don't feel any kind of different or anything. I don't know. It's just like winning another tennis match. I suppose it will take time to sink in.
“When I see my friends and family and speak to them about it, over the course of a few days, a few weeks, I'm sure it will sink in a bit more.
Sneaking a look at each other with every answer they gave in their post-jubilation pressers, Nielsen showed the measure of the two when he offered to do his press to the Danes in English too, just so Marray wouldn’t have to sit there listening to a lot of Danish burbling that he couldn’t understand.
“Maybe because of my family history I have a different relationship with Wimbledon. That's possible,” Nielsen said.
“I think the fact that it is just Wimbledon, it carries its name by itself pretty well. I'm pretty sure that the fact that it's just Wimbledon is enough for me.”
Marray meanwhile showed some character of his own by acknowledging that his concession of a point was absolutely fair.
“We both knew it, so you own up to it,” the Brit said, also admitting that he’s been wearing the same match shirt every day. Superstition, naturally.
Marray also had a few words for fellow finalist, Andy Murray, who will aim to make it the most extraordinary weekend for Britons at Wimbledon since 1936 on Sunday afternoon.
“He follows how all the guys do,” Marray said. “We're friends and everything. I'm sure he was watching it. Yeah, if it gives him any kind of inspirational help, I'm sure it would be good.
“He's come so close in a lot of Grand Slams so many times before. He's working hard and he's right at the top of his game. I don't see why he can't.”
There was clearly some inspiration at work on Centre Court today. And it couldn’t happen to a nicer duo.