Scotland

Fans 'united' to support Andy Murray in Wimbledon clash

Fans are watching Andy Murray in his bid to be the first British man to reach a Wimbledon final since 1938.

The 23-year-old tennis player is taking on world number one Rafael Nadal on Centre Court.

People in Murray's home town of Dunblane have been voicing their support for the British number one.

And Scottish First Minister Alex Salmond said Scotland was "united in cheering Andy on".

The last first British man to reach a Wimbledon final was Bunny Austin in 1938.

Murray has won three of his last five matches against Nadal and has dropped only one set in this year's tournament.

Ahead of the game, a Scottish National Party MP urged David Cameron to fly the Saltire over 10 Downing Street to show support for the player.

Angus MacNeil made the request after the prime minister's decision to raise the cross of St George in support of England's football team.

Image caption The Scot has dropped only one set on his way to the semi-final

It was replaced with the Union flag after their defeat to Germany.

Asked whether the blue and white cross of St Andrew could be flown should Murray make Sunday's final, Mr Cameron's spokesman said: "We'll reflect on that in the light of this afternoon's game."

Mr MacNeil said: "I think it would be wise of Downing Street to fly the St Andrew's Cross while they still can - in a few years' time they might not be able to because we will be independent."

Dunblane residents were gearing up to watch the match.

Ann Brown, a volunteer in the Scottish International Relief store in the High Street, said: "I just feel this is his year somehow, it's just all looking good for him.

"Nadal has not had such an easy ride to the semi-finals either so hopefully this will be Andy's year."

Brian Melville, a former coach of Murray who lives in Dunblane, said: "His chances are very good as long as he plays to his potential, but against Nadal it is going to be very, very difficult.

Image caption Shops in Dunblane have been displaying their support for Murray

"Nadal will be trying to play to his potential as well and I think it will be a great match.

"Andy is a very good defensive player but he can also attack as well. He has to be on the top of his game to beat Nadal."

Keith Hannah, who works at John Hill Butchers in the town, said: "We do Murray burgers the whole year through, but obviously we sell six to 10 times as many at this time of year when he is doing well.

"He's got a tough game. Hopes are quite high, especially now with Federer out."

Meanwhile, footballer David Beckham is among the celebrities watching the match on Centre Court.

All Centre Court tickets were sold in advance, although people queued through the night in the hope of any spectators leaving early.

Susan Pyefinch, 44, from Great Yarmouth, Norfolk, said she had been camping since the second day of the tournament.

"It seems unfair that at the later stages there is nothing available on the day," she said.

"We're here for days on end for a chance to see Murray."

More on this story

Related Internet links

The BBC is not responsible for the content of external Internet sites