Monday, 8 July 2013

Arise, Sir Andy Murray - what a wonderful display of guts, determination and sheer talent. Thank you so much!

Here’s what I wrote when Murray won his first slam title last September:

“My prediction is that Murray will win at least another two grand slam tournaments over the next couple of years. He isn't a Roddick or a Del Porto - very good players who managed a slam in their early days and then never quite got there again. Murray is a brilliant, classy player, seething with ideas, and blessed with oodles of God-given talent. It would, of course, be nice if Wimbledon 2013 was the scene of one of those future triumphs - surely Federer can't do it again; despite winning Wimbledon last year, grass isn't Djokovic's natural surface; and while Nadal may snaffle another couple of French Opens, I doubt he'll win a slam on any other surface from here on in.”

Not bad, eh? But I'll admit that today's Wimbledon win was better than "nice". It was utterly, ridiculously glorious. And all in three sets. THREE SETS!

It’s too late at night for coherence, so here are some random observations:

Having just watched the highlights of today’s match, I may have to revise the number of slams Murray’s will go on to win – I reckon he’ll end up with at least five. In the Federer/Nadal/Djokovic era, that woult be an astonishing feat. In fact, winning two represents an astonishing feat.

Given today’s success, Murray should consider withdrawing from next year’s French Open – he’s never going to win on clay, and might as well get in a few extra weeks of practice on grass. (Lendl twice withdrew from Roland Garros in order to concentrate on Wimbledon – it didn’t work for him, but, unlike MUrray, his game wasn't suited to grass.)

Andy Murray deserves a knighthood for one of the greatest British sporting feats in history. As a foreigner, Lendl should receive an honorary knighthood – Britain owes him.

Djokovic is a class act. He was extraordinarily generous and gracious following his defeat.

Kim Sears is doing a very good job of filling in for the Duchess of Cambridge. The British public will be demanding a baby from her in the not too distant future.

Alex Salmond attempt to garner political capital from Murray’s win by cack-handedly displaying the saltire in the Royal Box was one of the tackiest stunts I’ve ever witnessed – what a ghastly man. Whoever can be credited with Scotland producing such a great champion (apart, of course, from Murray himself), I’m pretty damned sure it had whatsoever nothing to do with any of that country’s dreadful politicians.

I was surprised that Murray’s glorious win today didn’t fill me with patriotic fervour (as happened last year at the Olympics). Rather, I felt delighted that justice had been done – Murray is a better grass-court player than Djokovic, and posseses more natural talent for the game: Murray is Federer’s natural successor, and that’s why today’s triumph was so pleasing.

There’s a part of me that would love to pooh-pooh the professionalisation of British sport, but by God it’s fun to be living in an era when – apart from the greedy, talentless twerps who represent the country at football – we’re suddenly so astonishingly good at so many sports. Pity it’s practically been banned from our schools.

Millions and millions of pounds from the annual Wimbledon windfall have been spent on armies of administrators and coaches and young hopefuls with a view to producing the next Murray. And there is nothing at all to show for it. We’d better enjoy Andy Murray while we can.

Twice during today's match, my heart was hammering so hard I had to take a quick nerve-settling walk around the block - I'm getting too old for this. If it had gone to five sets, I might very well have ended up in intensive care (probably sandwiched between Djokovic and Murray, given the superhuman amount of effort they were expending). Now that Andy Murray has broken Britain's 77-year Wimbledon drought, I wonder if we can watch his matches without our guts cramping in terror whenever he loses a point!


  1. I was pretty elated too when I saw the result. But, being in SE Asia just now, didn't actually see the game, unfortunately. Felt the Wimbledon title was just a matter of time after he won the US Open. Can he even get the number one status off Djokovic? Glad my son's named after him! Roll on, Murray

    1. Poor old Djokovic must be feeling as sick as the proverbial parrot, having come within an ace of beating Nadal at Roland Garros and now having been crumped at Wimbledon. I predict, though, that he'll win the US Open - anyway, it'll be fun watching him try.

  2. Am still in a state of astonishment and admiration after this week-end's sporting events. Your blog gives much space to sport so what better place to express gratitude to the Lions and Andy Murray for pitch perfect performances. So, on to the Basilisk Cook, his Yappie assassins, Baby Face Nelson and Maestro Swann.The success of the sporting summer is already in the bag, but come on you cricketers..sprinkle some more stardust on us.

    1. Unfortunately, it's never good for the England team to go in as favourites, but from what I've seen of the Aussies, I think they'll be okay.

  3. E.W.Swanton [deceased]10 July 2013 at 02:24

    Thank you for perceptive comments about the Ashes. Not dissimilar to Wayne Rooney's brilliant evalution of Ronaldo: " 'E were a great lad who liked a good 'laff". I shall await further nuggets of cricketing wisdom.