Wimbledon champion Andy Murray was almost left red-faced during his last match – against an insurance firm’s customer services worker.
Murray – who plays for Great Britain against the United States in the Davis Cup in Glasgow today – edged out Jamie Gregor in a nail-biting table tennis clash after visiting his sponsor Standard Life.
The company’s Lothian Road headquarters was transformed into Centre Court with strawberries and cream and Pimms dished out to the 400-strong crowd of spectators.
During a heated tournament, which saw 16 workers battle it out for the right to take on Murray, the 27-year-old world No 5 mingled with onlookers.
Jamie and colleague Kirsty Lloyd-Williams triumphed in the knockout stages, with Murray easily dispatching Kirsty 19-5 in a six-minute mismatch.
But in a nervy encounter, Murray was forced to find an extra gear as he scrambled to avoid embarrassment by claiming a last-gasp 14-13 victory.
At the start, I think he wasn’t trying as hard as he could. But then I went two points up and his face just changed. Then he was taking it seriously. I think he was trying fairly hard.”Jamie Gregor
Lifelong table tennis fan Jamie blew a two-point lead as he came within touching distance of an incredible win.
He said: “I was mostly nervous about how many folk were watching the game, rather than playing Murray.
“I never thought he would have been as good at table tennis as he was – he was pretty great.
“He wasn’t giving an inch. At the start, I think he wasn’t trying as hard as he could. But then I went two points up and his face just changed.
“Then he was taking it seriously. I think he was trying fairly hard.”
Despite the competitive clash on Monday, Jamie said his opponent had been a good sport.
He said: “He was having a bit of banter during the game, but he shook my hand afterwards and praised me for the game.
“He was even looking for some tips, but I said it should be the other way around. There wasn’t much to improve in his game.”
Jamie added: “I wouldn’t mind a rematch to be honest, as I had been playing for a long time before that game. It was a pretty close game.”
Murray, in a post on his official Facebook page, admitted he had been made to sweat against Jamie.
He said: “The table tennis tournament was awesome, there was some serious talent in the room. Safe to say I was feeling the pressure.”
Standard Life signed a three-year sponsorship deal with Murray last June.