NOT even winning a second Wimbledon title could make the Champagne taste any sweeter for Andy Murray.
That did not stop him from trying, mind, as for the first time ever he let down his hair and partied, staying out beyond 3am in Drama nightclub in the West End of London after his stunning triumph of Milos Raonic on Centre Court on Sunday.
He told Sue Barker on court of his determination to enjoy himself more after admitting his 2013 triumph never really sank in.
True to his word, once the official duties had finally been done at the Wimbledon Ball, he headed off into the night with a few close friends and hangers-on, determined to reward himself with a rare night off.
One observer still capable of counting said the world No2 maybe had “three glasses of bubbly” all night. One for 2013, one for this year and presumably the third to belatedly wet his daughter Sophia’s head.
One night out in a lifetime leaves a lot of catching up to do.
As a result, he was still bright-eyed this morning when he met up with the media in the cold light of day following his success. Unlike too many of our sports stars, Murray is far too professional to allow his trip to Drama to turn into a crisis.
“Have I learned to like the taste of alcohol? No, it was brutal,” he said by way of partial explanation. “I didn’t enjoy the taste that much. But I have never had a proper night out like that. Certainly not in celebration.
“It was nice to feel like a normal person for once. That was the thing, you get a good group of your friends, work colleagues and family around you and you can relax.
“I very rarely get the chance to do that and it is very rare too that everyone is around. It was good fun. Everyone messaging me this morning seemed to say they had a good time.
“I wanted to enjoy it just because of the experiences I have had over the last few years.
“Dinner on the second night will be a bit calmer. It will just be nice to be around the team – although we will probably chat more about last night than the match, I would have thought. There were some amusing scenes.”
Then it is bags packed for Serbia, but only in a supporting role. Murray was keen to help out the British Davis Cup team in their quarter-final but coach Ivan Lendl is adamant it could hamper his form for the coming weeks – a small matter of the Olympics and US Open.
Moreover, putting individual pursuits ahead of team vocation for once could yet yield the ultimate goal of overtaking Novak Djokovic as the world No1.