Andy Murray has been tipped to earn up to £100million after he became the first British man to win a Grand Slam singles title for 76 years by claiming victory at the US Open.
And today the 25-year-old looked a new man as he appeared on US television to be interviewed following his thrilling five-set win against defending champion Novak Djokovic.
Murray, who was made to sweat for almost five hours before winning the match point, looked much more relaxed in the CBS studio as he answered questions about his first Grand Slam triumph.
Perhaps it was because the Scot had celebrated with only a soft drink after the match – while his 30-strong entourage ran up a bill of more than £4,000 at an upmarket New York restaurant.
Publicist Max Clifford said the US Open triumph had crowned Murray a ‘tennis king’ with an earning potential of £100million.
Mr Clifford added that Murray’s astonishing year – he was Wimbledon runner-up and won gold at the London 2012 Olympics before becoming champion in New York – had changed the public perception of him from a ‘miserable Scot’ to a potential Sports Personality of the Year.
‘Andy has had the most amazing summer in terms of changing public perception of him,’ Mr Clifford said.
‘The British public have warmed to him since he cried at Wimbledon. He came across as a miserable Scot but his image has had a massive improvement.
‘In addition to the success he has had, he is a tennis king – the first since Fred Perry.
‘He has broken into that sports elite class with Federer and Nadal. He is one of the kings as opposed to the prince now.
‘He has joined the tennis elite and it could earn him a potential £100 million through sponsorship and advertising deals.’
The importance of Murray’s commercial interests was clear to see immediately after the match had concluded, when Murray looked agitated as he tried to find a watch provided by one of his sponsors.
On-court microphones caught the British number one saying ‘I don’t have it, I don’t have it’ as he pointed at his wrist.
Limping in pain, he called out from the court to his girlfriend Kim Sears, who was wearing an expensive-looking timepiece herself: ‘Have you got my watch? I don’t have my watch.’
Luckily for the tennis star, the watch – a Rado D-Star Automatic Chronograph worth £2,580 – was found in time for him to wear it as he received the trophy.
Only three months ago, he was announced as an ambassador for watchmakers Rado – a sponsorship deal reportedly worth a seven-figure sum.
Murray dominated Djokovic, from Serbia, in the early stages of the match at Flushing Meadows, taking a two-set lead.
But he had to call on all his reserves to clinch the match, as Djokovic fought back to take it to a deciding set.
Murray took the set 6-2 to become Britain’s first men’s singles winner at a Grand Slam since Fred Perry won the US Championships in 1936.
The Scot celebrated his victory with Miss Sears and about 30 members of his entourage by going to the Hakkasan restaurant in New York, spending about £4,000 on food and drink.
But while Miss Sears appeared to be enjoying a glass of bubbly, Murray stuck to soft drinks.
The tennis season is not over, and Murray is expected to be among a host of stars competing in the ATP World Tour Finals in London in November.
‘He was there as one of a group of 30 in the restaurant’s private dining room,’ a source said. ‘He didn’t drink any alcohol – he had a lemon soda – but there were several Martinis consumed.’
The party ordered dishes including dim sum platter, crispy duck salad and stir-fried black pepper rib-eye beef with Merlot.
Within minutes of Murray lifting the trophy, a host of celebrities took to Twitter to congratulate him on his triumph.
Former tennis star Andre Agassi tweeted: ‘Well deserved…Congratulations to the £USOPEN Champion Andy Murray!!!’, while world golf number one Rory McIlroy said: ‘Massive congrats Andy Murray!!!! The first of many and well worth the wait!’
Comedian Jimmy Carr quipped: ‘Andy Murray has just made me cry. The man is a God. I’m so happy,’ while Scottish writer Irvine Welsh had some patriotic praise for his countryman: ‘God bless @andy-murray, his friends, family, and the good people of Dunblane, Stirlingshire, Scotland. Big love and big thanks from us all x.’
Golfer Luke Donald summed up the feeling, saying: ‘Great tennis Andy Murray, thoroughly deserved, another glorious moment in British sport this year.’
Comedian David Williams joked on Twitter that the presence of James Bond actor Sir Sean Connery in the crowd had helped Murray win the title.