Friday 17 November 2017

Squeaky bum time for Fergie in role as Scot's lucky charm

Oliver Brown

Consumed by the high anxiety of Andy Murray's marathon saga, Alex Ferguson could bear it no longer. He forsook his seat next to eldest son Mark in the Royal Box, seeking solace instead alongside Nemanja Vidic.

There they gasped and grimaced with 15,000 other tortured souls, Manchester United's former manager and captain united in admiration of competitive resilience at its finest.

While Ferguson was re-imagined here as a gentleman of leisure, he bore the look of one living every nerveless ace, every snatched volley, every deftly-angled winner.

As established a connoisseur of tennis as he is of vintage Tempranillo, he famously jested that he found the Scot's US Open final a more nerve-shredding spectacle than a United match.

LIMIT

His constitution was tested to the limit again last night as Murray contrived to find a way back from the precipice.

Ferguson has suddenly emerged as the unlikely good-luck charm, the comforting presence whose watchful gaze appears to galvanise Murray at the most pivotal moments, whether it be on Arthur Ashe Stadium or a febrile Centre Court.

Unlike in New York, the former Manchester United manager chose not to gatecrash the press conference with tartan accomplice Sean Connery, but the 71-year-old has emerged as Murray's emotional crutch in extremis.

Murray headed off for a private tete-a-tete with Ferguson in the aftermath of victory, and all celebrity congratulation was well-merited in the aftermath of a supreme act of escapology.

This was Act Seven in his epic compendium of recoveries from two sets to love down at Grand Slams, and none had been engineered with such mature calculation. (© Daily Telegraph, London)

Irish Independent

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