So Andy Murray has won his first big title after clinching the Cincinnati Masters Series against Novak Djokovic last night. As he moves on to the Olympics and the US Open Murray finds himself in a career high position of number six in the world.
He’s a strange one, our Andy. Petulant, miserable and treating anyone outside his team with an expression of disdain that suggests nobody else is allowed in on his bullying school boy jokes.
But he’s proved in the past fortnight that he is not of place in the upper reaches of his sport. And that gives me no little satisfaction.
During Wimbledon I found some of the negativity aimed at Murray quite disconcerting. In newspaper articles – and especially in newspaper forums – the vitriol poured on him was quite unnerving.
Why? Some of it is caused by the type of “contrary, look what a cool cat I am” sneering that certain Brits seem to think is a worthwhile antidote that must be applied to anything or anyone that seems to be successful. It’s not really that cool – it’s just dull.
There was also, I feel, a degree of anti-Scottishness. Me being too sensitive? Perhaps, but a lot of what was written about Murray could easily have been written about Gordon Brown. It seemed too well rehearsed, too nasty to be about a simple dislike of a tennis player.
And then there is Britain’s bizarre armchair relationship with sport. We write people off as “crap” if they don’t win everything and then bemoan that we have no world class players. Well Andy Murray has proved he is world class. Just as Tim Henman couldn’t live with Pete Sampras so Murray is well behind Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal. Poor old Britain – our best tennis player is only of the ten best in the world, he’s not been blessed with a once or twice in a generation genius. He’s crap. Get real.
Murray is a real talent. And, hoepfully, he’ll get better and better. He might, if we’re lucky, snatch a Grand Slam or two. But, for whatever reason, the usual morons will berate him for this or that and for not being this or that. Good luck to them. Because you get the impression that, much as they would love him to fail, all they succeed in doing is motivate him even more.