The British mood at work this morning may have been clouded by Andy Murray’s brave loss in yesterday’s Wimbledon Men’s final, but there was at least was a silver lining of sorts in the form of a resulting six-figure windfall for famine charity Oxfam.
Following Roger Federer’s first victory in the Men’s Final at Wimbledon back in 2003, William Hill punter Nick Newlife placed a £1,520 bet at odds of 66/1 that he would register six more individual titles on the hallowed grass courts by 2020, equalling US player Pete Sampras’ record of seven men’s championships in SW19.
While Newlife passed away in 2009 at the age of 59, he bequeathed his entire estate to Oxfam, including the proceeds of any outstanding wagers. With Swiss ace Federer yesterday overcoming Murray to register his record-equalling seventh men’s title, Oxfam yesterday landed a pay-out of £101,840. Hill’s spokesman Graham Sharpe said it was “perhaps the most spectacular bet we have ever taken on tennis”.
Oxford resident Newlife also won a total of £37,000 at William Hill on bets on Federer winning 5 Wimbledons, 12 and 14 Grand Slams.
A peak audience of close 17 million tuned in to watch Murray’s valiant defeat by Roger Federer on the BBC yesterday, the highest figure for live Wimbledon coverage since at least 1990, and the record for a British player at the Championships.
Murray has however slipped to four defeats in as many Major tennis finals, but may take comfort from the fact that his current coach, Czech-born tennis legend Ivan Lendl, also had as many losses in Major finals before eventually going on to land eight titles during his career in the other three Majors, the Australian, French and US.