LONDON: Queen Elizabeth joined politicians, sports stars and celebrities in congratulating Andy Murray yesterday after he made tennis history by becoming the first Briton in 77 years to win the Wimbledon men's title.
Millions of tennis fans across the country were glued to their televisions as Murray took to Centre Court for his second Wimbledon final, facing the world No. 1 Novak Djokovic after he lost last year to Roger Federer.
At the All England Club in Wimbledon, up to 30,000 fans packed Centre Court and crowded on to a hill within the grounds recently retagged "Murray Mound" to watch the match live on a giant TV screen, chanting "Murray, Murray, Murray".
Waving Union Jack flags and sheltering from the blazing sun under umbrellas, the tension rose amongst the crowd on the hill as Murray took the first two sets against Serbian Djokovic and erupted when he won in a nail-biting finish.
In Centre Court's royal box, Prime Minister David Cameron cheered on the Scottish player alongside England striker Wayne Rooney, Hangover actor Bradley Cooper and Victoria Beckham, the ex-Spice Girl, who cracked a rare smile as Murray won.
"It was an amazing performance from Andy Murray but also an amazing day for British tennis and for Britain. He never gave up and it was magnificent," Cameron told BBC Radio 5.
Cameron earlier said he hoped Murray would add the Wimbledon title to the British and Irish Lions' win over Australia on Saturday which ended a 16-year wait for a series triumph.
One notable absentee from the royal box was the Duchess of Cambridge, Kate Middleton, who watched Murray last year but is due to give birth to the future heir to the British throne.
Queen Elizabeth is not a tennis fan and last came to the tournament in 2010, her first visit in 33 years, but she was reported to have sent Murray a private congratulatory message.
Sports stars, celebrities and politician jumped on to Twitter to congratulate the 26-year-old Scot who is the first Briton to claim the title since Fred Perry in 1936 - and the first British to win the tournament wearing shorts.