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'It means a lot for British tennis'

Keldy  Ortiz

By Keldy Ortiz
July 7, 2013 at 2:07 a.m.

Andy Murray, of Britain, reacts as he defeats Novak Djokovic, of Serbia, during the men's singles final match at the All England Lawn Tennis Championships in Wimbledon, London, on Sunday.

When Andy Murray won the Wimbledon title Sunday, Mike Collins felt as though he was there.

Watching with friends and family at the Victoria Country Club, the 61-year-old from London was proud Murray brought home the title, defeating rival and Serbia native Novak Djokovic.

"Towards the end of the match, I was talking to friends in England," said Collins, who grew up in Ewell, a suburb outside of London. "But when he won, we were jumping up and down."

Collins admitted that he was nervous in the early and late parts of the match for Murray, who became the first British man in 77 years to win the Wimbledon title. But if anyone had the chance to win, he felt Murray could.

"He has the game to pull it off," said the director of tennis at the Victoria Country Club. "The fact that Andy won shows what a wonderful tradition it is to play on grass courts. It means a lot for British tennis."

Dressed in predominantly all white clothing, Collins and others, including his wife, Eunice, enjoyed a Wimbledon tradition, including a Pimm's No. 1 drink, cucumber sandwiches and strawberries and cream.

A native of Victoria, Eunice, 54, enjoyed watching the match and was glad Murray won.

"I'm excited for my husband because he was excited for his country," she said. "It was like watching a little boy."

Married for 20 years, Collins introduced Eunice to tennis.

Collins grew up playing across the street from the grass courts at The Wimbledon Club. He moved to Victoria in 1983 after graduating from Oklahoma State University in 1982.

Though Collins was not in London to watch the historic match, he hopes to bring his 12-year-old grandson Ty Taylor to London this time next year.

"I want to show him where his granddad played and enjoy watching tennis on the lawns of the All England club," said Collins.



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