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Tennis star Murray astonished by British-Iranian hostage’s ‘incredible’ support

Andy Murray revealed his amazement Wednesday at how a British-Iranian citizen watched his 2016 Wimbledon singles triumph while in solitary confinement in a Tehran prison.

Nazanin Zaghari-Ratcliffe spent six years in jail before being freed in March after Britain agreed to pay a longstanding debt to Iran.

She was imprisoned for allegedly plotting to overthrow the Iranian government and for propaganda against Iran, charges she has always denied.

Zaghari-Ratcliffe, 44, was asked to be one of the guest editors of the Today programme on BBC Radio Four during the Christmas and New Year period and in that capacity interviewed British tennis great Murray in an edition broadcast Wednesday. 

She recalled how she was given access to a TV with two channels in 2016. Matches at that year’s Wimbledon were shown with Murray triumphing in the grass-court major by beating Milos Raonic in the final at the All England Club.

“I think what you’ve told me is by far the strangest, most incredible story that I have been told about someone watching me. Nothing has come close to that, so that’s incredible,” a tearful Murray told the Today programme.

“We all have our own problems, but after listening to you and speaking to you I’ll certainly make sure I’m a lot more grateful for everything that I’ve got.”

Zaghari-Ratcliffe said watching Murray’s victory was “joyful” and made her feel “ecstatic” a couple of months on from her initial detention in Iran.

“I was always a big fan of you, but also there I was in solitary confinement watching the match that you actually won in the end,” she told Murray. “I can’t tell you how joyful it was and I was ecstatic just to see you win.”

She added that at the time she hoped to watch the former world number one in person at the 2017 Wimbledon Championships, only to spend a further five years in prison.

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