Tennis: British newspapers call for Murray knighthood

LONDON (AFP) - British newspapers were in raptures on Monday after Andy Murray's Wimbledon win, with several calling for him to receive a knighthood for ending the country's 77-year wait for a men's champion.

Every single national daily devoted its front page to Murray's straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic on Sunday, with almost all of them splashing huge pictures of the 26-year-old brandishing the trophy in the blazing sun.

The Times newspaper led the calls for Murray to be knighted. "Arise Sir Andrew, knight of the holy grail," it said.

"Impossibly, dreamily, unbelievably and yet somehow almost easily, somehow almost inevitably, Andy Murray won the Men's Singles final at Wimbledon yesterday," it said.

The Times came swathed in a huge souvenir wraparound picture of Murray surrounded by a sea of spectators as he climbed into the families' box at Wimbledon's Centre Court, with the headline: "The History Boy".

The 77-year gap between the last British winner, Fred Perry, was an "awfully long time", it said, noting that the was the "first Brit to win the title in short trousers", as in Perry's time male tennis players wore long ones.

The Daily Mail reported that Murray would be recommended for a knighthood.

"Now it'll be arise Sir Andy!" said the Mail's front page headline over a picture of Murray kissing the golden Wimbledon trophy.

It said that sources in Prime Minister David Cameron's Downing Street office said the government would pass his name to Britain's Honours Committee in the same way it had done with cyclist Bradley Wiggins after he won the Tour de France last year.

It noted that Queen Elizabeth II herself had sent her congratulations to Murray on his victory.

The Mail also featured a "glorious picture pull-out souvenir plus Murray victory poster" with nine pages of coverage in the front section of the paper, normally dedicated to news.

The Sun, Britain's biggest selling newspaper, typically punned on Murray's first name with its headline "And of Hope and Glory".

"Finally, after 77 years, 15 PMs, three monarchs... Brit man wins Wimbo", the tabloid said. It also came with a pullout section saying that Murray had been "Born to Wim." The Daily Telegraph also focused on Britain's long wait for a Wimbledon champion, saying: "After 77 years, the wait is over."

"The shame has passed. Frustration has been banished. Wimbledon fortnight is no longer a ritual of hope and despair. Centre Court has shed its inhibitions," it said.

The Daily Mirror's front page headline said Murray had "History In His Hands", with a picture of him lifting the golden cup skywards.

The Mirror also asked if Murray would now propose to his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears, who has followed him around the world supporting him at tournaments for years.

The Daily Express dubbed him "Magical Murray".

Both the Guardian and the Independent newspapers both opted for the simple headline "Champion" over pictures of Murray with the trophy that covered the entire front page.

So did the Scotsman, which bills itself as the national newspaper of Murray's native Scotland.

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