As noted, there was a rain delay during the third set. It takes almost an hour to close the stadium at Wimbledon so during that time ESPN anchor Mike Tirico introduced a news segment on Andy Murray's background, especially on the tragedy in his hometown of Dunblane, Scotland. In 1996 a shooter entered Dunblane Primary School and killed 16 young children and one teacher before turning a gun on himself. The kids were 5 and 6-year-olds. The Wikipedia entry for the shooting is here. The ESPN segment included news clips of emotionally distraught parents running down the street to the school. Dunblane's a small town of 8,000 or so residents. And the shooting was one of the worst in the history of Great Britain, so that background is a big part of the huge emotional support for Andy Murray.
The New York Times reports on Dunblane's support for Murray, "Scottish Town Rises And Falls With Andy Murray":
DUNBLANE, Scotland — Inside Dunblane Youth Centre, strangers hugged, fists were pumped and children cheered. Boys lay on chairs shaped like tennis balls. Girls with Scottish flags painted on their cheeks wove through the crowd chanting, “Let’s go, Andy!” The room was so crammed with people breathing stale, warm air that personal space seemed more an extravagance than a basic courtesy, but no one seemed to mind because up there, on the giant projection screen, was one of them.More at the link.
The people of this village 30 miles northeast of Glasgow have congregated before, have packed its pubs and its social halls and its gathering spots, to watch their most famous son compete at Wimbledon. For three straight years, Andy Murray had reached the semifinals, and for three straight years, Murray had lost. They lauded his effort — “the Scots love a valiant loser,” said Gordon Sloan, of nearby Greenloaning — but yearned for glory.
“We’ve been teased a lot these past few years,” David Macaskill of Dundee said. “A lot of Scottish hearts broken.”
That chance for glory came Sunday, against the indomitable Roger Federer. An island that had produced a men’s Wimbledon finalist for the first time since 1938 wondered if Murray would actually win. A country prayed. A town hoped.
In the town center, two popular pubs, the Village Inn and the Dunblane Hotel, heaved with people 45 minutes before the 2 p.m. start. Crowds spilled onto Stirling Road, which was not a problem because few cars were out driving anyway. Those who could not spend their afternoon planted in front of a television still tracked the score. Outside the youth center, a coffee van blared the radio broadcast of the match. At Simply M&S, the supermarket next door, cashiers asked customers for updates.
Sitting at a table in the Dunblane Bowling Club, Doreen Rose tried convincing herself before the match that Murray could win, should win, would win. “He’s won 8 of 15 matches against Federer,” said Rose, of nearby Callendar. “But they’ve never played on grass. Oh, I don’t know. I’m so nervous, I can’t think.”
Murray captured the first two games of the first set (“Come on, Andy!”), then lost the next two (“Go get ’em, Andy!”). When Murray broke Federer to go ahead, 5-4, Malky McLachlan of Dunblane was standing against a wall. He was cradling his 16-month-old son, Magnus, who was sleeping through the commotion — and through what was Murray’s first set won in a Grand Slam final. “Maybe he’ll see more history when he wakes up,” McLachlan said.
Magnus woke up about a half-hour later, when Murray was toiling through an arduous second set. Federer broke Murray at 5-6, and Sheena Herley of Dunblane sensed a shift in the mood.
“It’s a wee bit subdued now,” Herley said.
Plus, some reactions to Murray's emotional speech. At Telegraph UK, "Wimbledon 2012: Tearful Andy Murray loses on court, but wins the nation’s heart," London's Daily Mail, "Murray lost to a master of the universe, the tennis equivalent of Pele or Ali - tearful Andy's hopes dashed as Federer wins 17th Slam," and the Guardian, "Andy Murray: the fans' tears."
And a critical reaction at USA Today, "ESPN dropped the ball on Murray's reaction." And the Chattanooga Times Free Press, "Roger Federer, Andy Murray both won."