Spectators watch the big screen from Wimbledon’s Murray Mount, formerly known as Henman Hill. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

A news conference question: The country is a bit miserable right now. We need a new prime minister, (a new) “Top Gear” manager (a reference to a BBC TV car show with troubled ratings), a new England football (soccer) manager, and Wales is losing (at Euro 2016). How does it feel to be the nation’s last hope?

Andy Murray paused, then deadpanned: “It’s not that bad, is it?”

A crowded room laughed.

There went another fine moment in a long-running sideshow that has become part of the Wimbledon fabric in this era. It’s the match of the robust British media and one very robust British tennis player, a Scot ranked No. 2 in the world, and the two of them do meet, and meet, and meet.

They’ll meet again Sunday after Murray’s Wimbledon final against Milos Raonic. If form holds, Murray will begin most answers with his trademark, contemplative “Ummmmm . . .” Then — another trademark — he will give an answer well-considered. For all the occasional looniness that stays in memory, this is a working relationship of a marked respectfulness.

Britain's Andy Murray, reacting here to a point against Tomas Berdych in the men’s semifinal, is less dour now than in years past. The Scot enjoys a robust serve-and-volley relationship with the British media. (Justin Tallis/AFP/Getty Images)

“Oh, he’s very bright; he’s bright enough to learn not to reveal quite how bright he is,” said Alix Ramsay, a tennis journalist who often writes for multiple outlets, including Scotland on Sunday here at Wimbledon.

“Guarded, initially suspicious, takes a long time to gain his trust,” said Barry Flatman, the tennis correspondent of the Sunday Times. “Quite deep-thinking. Doesn’t miss very much at all. Smart. But, he cares, and he’s immensely loyal. If he knows people, likes people, and regards them as good at what they do, he’s immensely loyal.”

“He’s genuinely very sort of thoughtful, articulate,” said the BBC’s Piers Newbery, who helps Murray write his BBC column. “He’s interested in the world . . . And he is renowned behind the scenes as being pretty kind and courteous.”

On the court, Murray can seem gloomy, as if beneath a wee cloud. Answering questions, he’s not anybody’s idea of animated, but a decency does prevail, even as he’s not a classic schmoozer, and even as maybe nobody fields a wider array of questions, even in a sport with long-answer ambassadors in Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal and Novak Djokovic.

“We know that if you ask Andy a direct question, he will give you a direct answer,” Ramsay said. “I don’t think he could tell a lie successfully. He may have told us a few porky pies over the years, if he doesn’t want to release some news today, because it’s coming out next week. But it’s almost a red flag. ‘That’s not Andy. Okay, there’s something going on.’”

Asked out of the blue at the French Open whether he’d gotten to meet spectator Leonardo DiCaprio, he managed a polite answer. Asked here about Muhammad Ali and LeBron James, he went on knowledgeably about the crowds lining the streets at Ali’s funeral, and James’ basketball unselfishness. Interloping news reporters here have brought the odd Brexit question, and he won’t bite — “I have followed it very closely,” he said — a lesson learned a few times through the years (as with the 2014 Scottish referendum).

“You’re in a press conference,” Ramsay said, “and suddenly a foreign voice with limited English will pipe in with something completely left-field. He’s good as gold. He waits. He listens. If he doesn’t understand, he gets them to explain again. He gives a considered answer.”

Match point doesn’t even begin to end his workday. Next, he begins layer upon layer of interviews: news conference, TV stops, a regular session called “afters,” with British print journalists. Years ago, they explained to him why such meetings could help justify newspapers’ trips to tournaments. “He thought for a minute and said, ‘Yeah, that makes sense, okay,’” Ramsay said.

Sometimes, Newbery will follow him from stop to stop through Wimbledon hallways — ESPN, BBC, Japanese TV — while Murray tells Newbery what he wants in his column. Other times, the whole post-match process can be a sight, as at the recent French Open, where he remained in his news conference seat as British broadcast reporters came up one-by-one. Questions, and his patience, were repetitive.

“He’s mature,” Flatman said. “He’s not the grouchy, scruffy little Scot now. He’s a lot more mature.”

His analytical brain even discerns media nuances. “He has been extremely generous with his time, with us, and he kind of knows what we all do,” Ramsay said. “Because, as you know, in Britain we have a wide range of newspapers, with a wide range of markets and story ideas.” Screaming tabloids, broad sheets . . . “And, of course, he’s got limited time so you ask a question, and he sees who’s asking the question, and you can see him processing, ‘You need that, and you need that . . .’”

Seldom has Newbery noticed Murray exasperated more than a sigh or shrug, but Queen Elizabeth’s visit to Wimbledon in 2010 did bring a distinctive batch of questions. “That’s when they still bowed to the Royal Box,” Newbery said, and questions concerned what Murray, as a Scot, might do. “And you could tell everyone was just digging for a chink, a weakness, for him to say something suggesting, ‘I don’t want to bow for the Queen,’ that he was going to do something disrespectful . . . Would he bow to the Queen? How did he feel about bowing to the Queen? ‘Did anybody tell you you had to bow to the Queen?’”

There was exasperation, but he’s usually all aplomb. On Friday night came a news conference question about renaming “Henman Hill,” the on-grounds fan gathering spot named for the English former serial semifinalist Tim Henman.

Question: “You’re in another final. An incredible achievement. An entirely unofficial straw poll this week by celebrities and fans has shown there’s a little bit more to do to win the nation’s heart where it really counts, which is the naming of ‘Henman Hill.’ One woman said she would want three Wimbledon wins to win your allegiance. What are you willing to do? How far are you willing to go? Are you happy to leave ‘Henman Hill’ to Tim?”

Murray paused, then deadpanned: “Yeah, Tim can have it.”

The crowded room laughed.