• BBC viewers left waiting until afternoon for Australian Open final highlights
  • Eurosport opened with Star Wars theme including opening story scroll
  • Rob Curling, Virginia Wade and Greg Rusedski were present in the studio

Mark Webster for the Daily Mail

He arrived in Melbourne as the reigning BBC Sports Personality Of The Year. But Andy Murray didn’t get to open his campaign for the new tennis season live on the channel that had crowned him as the people’s choice. 

So, if you were waiting for Auntie to bring you the Australian Open Final against Novak Djokovic, then there was a LOT of baking and John Wayne wearing a furry hat in The Alamo to get through before their highlights show began on BBC 2 in the afternoon.

The reason for which, I’m not aware of. A simple matter of rights perhaps? Or just the Corporation making judicious use of our licence fee? Or they simply deemed the broadcast times too awkward to get an appropriate audience? Whatever the decision ultimately was, it meant that the field was left clear for Eurosport to take advantage.

Andy Murray poses with his runner up shield alongside Novak Djokovic with the Australian Open trophy

Andy Murray poses with his runner up shield alongside Novak Djokovic with the Australian Open trophy

Murray looks dejected as the Scot lost his fifth Australian Open final - four defeats have come against Djokovic

Murray looks dejected as the Scot lost his fifth Australian Open final – four defeats have come against Djokovic

Perhaps aware of the fact they were on to something of a winner, they opened up big to the familiar refrain of the epic John Williams’ theme tune, we were welcomed to TENNIS WARS: ROUND Vll – MURRAY AWAKENS, complete with the iconic ‘story so far’ scroll. Although thankfully they did stop short of then having Andy swishing a glowing tennis racket like a light sabre. May the forced backhand be with you.

Things then settled down to a mood that was a little more easy like a Sunday morning. The Eurosport equivalent of the BBC’s blonde bombshells of Sue Barker, Andrew Castle and John Lloyd are host Rob Curling with Virginia Wade and Greg Rusedski. While among those on the ground Down Under were Annabel Croft. And it was she who was tasked with interviewing Murray prior to the Final. Something she attempted with real bonhomie.

However, Andy was having none of it. And managed to conduct the entire chat with the countenance of an Easter Island statue.

Annabel’s co-pundit Alex Corretja had a much easier ride with Djokovic, who seemed to be in a distinctly upbeat frame of mind. Different attitudes that each player then seemed to carry with them into the match itself. 

Djokovic celebrates and holds the Australian Open trophy aloft after claiming a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 victory

Djokovic celebrates and holds the Australian Open trophy aloft after claiming a 6-1, 7-5, 7-6 victory

Murray cut a frustrated figure as defeat by Djokovic meant the former Wimbledon champion has now lost five Australian Open finals
Murray looks on during the defeat by Djokovic

Murray cut a frustrated figure during the match and was in focused mood during his pre-match interview

With the Serb applying himself with real vigour and intensity. And Andy somewhat more tensely. It wasn’t until the second set that he was caught on camera allowing a first sardonic smile. Not even what commentator Simon Reed described as the ‘Andy Army’ in the crowd could lighten Murray’s mood. 

Although from what we first saw on our screens, that seemed to consist of a quartet of young fellas performing a little song and dance routine in t-shirts that spelled out Murray’ s first name. So more the Four Top Spins, perhaps?

And to cite that legendary Motown vocal group, it was then something of the same old song between these two. So, as breakfast turned into Sunday brunch, it was the No 1 seed who had got off to a flyer and he never really lost his grip from there. 

Murray jokingly admitted 'I feel like I have been here before' after taking to the mic to speak to the crowd

Murray jokingly admitted ‘I feel like I have been here before’ after taking to the mic to speak to the crowd

Indeed, towards the end of what turned out to be the third and final set, we were treated to a slow mo of Andy’s ‘next’ smile. Only this one seemed much more philosophical than the first. His countenance almost suggesting ‘ah well, not my day’.

Which, of course, proved to be the case. Meaning that as midday approached, Andy stepped up to the podium to collect his runner’s up trophy and make his acceptance speech. Which, credit to him, he opened with a nice little one liner – ‘I feel like I’ve been here before’ – and a cheeky little grin and ended it with some choked back tears as he paid tribute to his pregnant wife Kim – ‘watching back home’ – for being ‘a legend’. 

So, as the clock struck 12, there he finally was. The Andy Murray so many had voted for last year to make him our favourite sportsman of 2015. And what timing! The Alamo’s on. 

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