Jun 09

I Hate Andy Murray

FT + TMFD81 comments • 6,011 views
Andy Murray
Andy Murray chastises a tennis ball

During Wimbledon’s inaugural set of night-time tennis on Monday night, played under what’s become the most famous roof since the Sistine Chapel, I found that I loathe every particle of Andy Murray.

Now, I realize Andy Murray is a professional athlete. Macho theatrics and being as interesting as a pile of firewood come with the territory. But Wimbledon is not just a collection of freakishly fit young adults whacking things between each other, it’s a drama, and in this drama he pushes buttons I didn’t even know I possessed.

I can’t stand his super-psyched mom.

I can’t stand his periwinkle-eyed girlfriend.

I can’t stand the way he throws his wrist bands into the crowd, like Jimmy Page blessing his fans with a plectrum.

I cringe at his whiny tantrums after every mis-hit, the snarled barks at himself to “FOCUS!” (I would have thought focusing was a given.)

And the fierce fist-pumps that accompany every single point he wins — and he wins a lot of them — are tiresome and bathetic.

People whose opinions on tennis I respect say that despite all this they love his game. And it’s true that he will occasionally dink in a nifty drop-shot that leaves his opponent basically pissed off at him (which is the default reaction to Andy Murray anyway as far as I’m concerned). And he does run after every ball like a singed hyena. And yes, he’s Scottish, so I guess that’s something, though it’s difficult to hear it through the braying monotony of his voice.

But mostly I see a guy who is content to hit soft backhand slices at you until you lose all zest for life and find yourself strategizing excuses to forfeit the match out of sheer boredom — feign knee injury? eat some amphetamines? say that you actually really need to call your sister right now cause it was her birthday yesterday and you forgot? — and boom your shot goes wide.

You look across the net and there’s Andy. Fist pump! BARK! C’MON!!


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  1. 51
    Tom on 1 Jul 2010 #

    Punctum I assume you’ve seen this! http://andymurrayometer.com/

    I have no interest in tennis at all – don’t know enough about the sport to follow either the play or the players, beyond the occasional polite conversation with my father-in-law. As such I don’t hate Andy Murray.

    Agree that most of the randoms on this thread are less likeable than AM, but I’ve never really bought the “all hatred of success is self-hatred” line – would it apply to (say) the Goss twins, or Simon Cowell?

  2. 52
    thefatgit on 1 Jul 2010 #

    Punctum @50 Point taken. The “will” is a subconscious reaction to someone I know banging on about destiny, because he wasn’t at school on the day of the Dunblane shooting. “He was spared so he could win Wimbledon”.

    No, I don’t buy it either.

  3. 53
    pink champale on 2 Jul 2010 #

    well, i like andy murray all the better for his slight grumpiness and occasional refusal to play along with media idiocy (in particular, *of course* he doesn’t support england!), will certainly be cheering him along this afternoon and am baffled and depressed by all the henmaniacs who (however they dress it up) don’t like him because he’s scottish and not (obviously) middle class. but i’ve got to say, much as it’s a thing i’ve heard claimed a million times, and much as I accept that britishness can be quite elastic according to convenience (though it’s not just english people who do this surely), i have NEVER ONCE heard a commentator or anyone else do the British if he wins, Scottish if he loses thing cited by punctum at 50. Not about Andy Murray and not about anyone else either.

    there’s certainly some metaphorical truth in the idea, but it drives me mad to hear it repeated so often as an actual fact about how things work, when as far as I can tell it just isn’t.

  4. 54
    pink champale on 2 Jul 2010 #

    having said all that, i’ve just read a guardian article titled ‘from whinger to winner’. aaargh! Murray is described as preparing for the semi “with the diligence of a presbyterian minister” and is (i can hardly bring myself to type) at one point referred to as “wee Andy”. christ.

  5. 55
    thefatgit on 2 Jul 2010 #

    1st paragraph of Simon Barnes’ article in The Times today, begins “British today, Scottish tomorrow…” he goes on to explain it away as a “journalistic joke” but unfortunately for Murray, the genie is out of the bottle. Punctum was right, and it’s an uncomfortable truth to face up to. If he fails today, he’s going to be pilloried by the press for having the temerity to lose to the World #1.

  6. 56
    Billy Smart on 2 Jul 2010 #

    I want Murray to lose because I really like Nadal a lot and find him an inspiring character both as player and personality. Where does self-loathing fit into this?

  7. 57
    lex on 4 Jul 2010 #

    A PERTINENT QUOTE from someone called Frank Leboeuf who is apparently a footballer:

    “In tennis there is no one to help you. You have to look after yourself. It is a game for adults. Football is a game for those who do not want to take responsibility.”


    (I’ve never really encountered the “British when he wins, Scottish when he loses” thing with Murray; there’s more of a simmering – not resentment, but a self-congratulatory and almost moralistic refusal to warm to him in place already, most explicitly manifest in the “anyone but Murray” thing that self-appointed wags (not WAGs) think is a play on his “anyone but England” joke from years ago.) (All of this is insofar as anyone gives a shit about tennis. The past fortnight has been DISAPPOINTING in that regard.)

  8. 58

    Lex you should read C.L.R.James’s book “Beyond a Boundary” on — among other things — the politics and ethics and aesthetics of this issue (the dialectics of the collective and the individual in sport): because it’s a giant big tangly fascinating issue and James writes beautifully clearly about it

    (obviously caribbean-born and of a certain era James favoured cricket rather than football or tennis or whatever: but he’s someone everyone should read anyway…) (I met him once swank swank)

  9. 59
    punctum on 5 Jul 2010 #

    Racism on the front of Saturday’s Sun and Mirror, as expected. Not that too many people were really bothered one way or the other – they still want The Right Sort Of Chap to win, however many centuries that takes. Henman had a better opportunity than most, except he came up against the brick wall that was Pete Sampras, and when he did have his one big chance in the 2001 semis it rained and wild card Ivanisovic played the rain better and also seemed to want it more. Then again I think Andy would probably benefit from wanting the title less, since the more you struggle to win, the more of a struggle it becomes.

  10. 60
    Tom on 5 Jul 2010 #

    Is it just bad luck that the women’s game seems way more open (in terms of a range of ppl winning grand slam events) than the mens? If he’d been Abby Murray he’d have won it by now surely?

  11. 61
    Erithian on 5 Jul 2010 #

    Dunno, right now Abby would have the Williamses in her way. It’s a question of whether there’s a dominant force in the sport at any given time, and Murray looks like he’s being squeezed between the imperial phases (to borrow a theme from Popular) of Federer and Nadal. Interesting list in this morning’s paper showing that the all-time top five women have won more Grand Slams than the top man – showing if anything that the women’s game has historically been slightly less open:
    Men’s titles: Federer 16; Sampras 14; Emerson 12; Laver and Borg 11 (though Laver would probably have been out of sight had it not been for the politics of the sport in the 60s); Tilden 10; Nadal and five others 8.
    Women’s titles: Court 24; Graf 22; Wills Moody 19; Evert and Navratilova 18; Serena 13; Lenglen and King 12.

  12. 62
    lex on 5 Jul 2010 #

    @60 – yes and no.

    – Yes, the WTA in 2010 is going through an unprecedented period of parity, while the men’s game has a very solid hierarchy which shifts only incrementally – the inverse of what’s historically been the case. Lots of possible reasons why this is now the case that I could write an essay on.

    – Doesn’t necessarily mean that an Abby Murray would have won a Slam by now; the parity on the WTA is partly caused by up-and-coming prospects over the past few years either flaming out completely (Ana Ivanovic, Nicole Vaidisova, Tatiana Golovin) or failing to deliver at elite level at all (Victoria Azarenka, Caroline Wozniacki). Azarenka and Wozniacki (and Jelena Jankovic) “should” have been the prime new-generation candidates to have taken advantage of any parity, especially at Roland Garros, and they haven’t. It’s likely that the WTA will be defined in the foreseeable future by big runs by solid journeywomen veterans with experience on their side (eg, Francesca Schiavone winning RG) or inconsistent hard-hitters who happen to be “on” their game but aren’t necessarily regular Top 10 players (Aravane Rezai, maybe Petra Kvitova), rather than teenage supernovae.

    – Would an Abby Murray have developed to the level that Andy Murray has, given the situations they emerged into? Andy Murray (and Novak Djokovic) landed in a top 10 dominated by Federer and Nadal, who’d both set the bar impossibly high. Which actually benefited them – they had to work doubly hard to get level with Roger and Rafa, and by constantly playing them they learnt how to beat them. This didn’t happen on the WTA: while Roger and Rafa were dominating, their female equivalents – the Williamses and Belgians – were dropping in and out of the game, part-timing their way through years, retiring and unretiring. So the equivalent up-and-comers never got a chance to hone their games to the level necessary to beat them, and backed into elite rankings and big tournament wins without developing the mental strength commensurate with such accomplishments. Hence flaking out whenever required to actually play an on-form Williams or Belgian in a major.

    – Picking up the first point, I don’t know how much Andy Murray needs a more open field. He still leads his head-to-head with Federer, and has beaten Nadal and Djokovic enough times that game-wise, it shouldn’t be considered beyond him. It’s his mind that has failed him at the Slams, for some reason not quite bringing his best tennis when it matters. So in one sense he doesn’t need a more open field, cuz he has the game to beat anyone in the current field; but in another, it wouldn’t matter how open the field was if he becomes tentative and passive in Slam SFs and Fs.

  13. 63
    Logged out Elisha Sessions on 31 May 2011 #

    For those who wish to haunt my waking hours, I give you this Andy Murray mask from the BBC, as a PDF:


  14. 64
    Sam Higson on 17 Jun 2011 #

    For all those tennis fans out there. Please read the following carefully.


    Thanks for your time.

  15. 65
    Please_stop_looking on 25 Jun 2011 #

    I found myself utterly loathing Andy Murray.
    He’s a dick, he has that type of face that you just want too punch with all your might. He’s a show off and is very boring too watch. Also lets be honest, he’s Scottish, subtitles please! Just an annoying little f**ker really, Nadal for the win, fuck murray. Lets pray that he breaks a leg, arm neck etc.

    – Please_stop_looking

  16. 66
    JAMES on 26 Jun 2011 #

    Murray is a vile cretin. Ugly beyond words. That large adams apple he has is just eugh. sweaty arm bands into the crowd? I’d wang them straight back at the arrogant little cunt. Keep your dirty scottish sweat. He has a fairly hot gf though, but lets be honest if he couldn’t swing a twnnis bat he’d still be a virgin. The way he walks around the court acting like some kind of demi god, thinking he looks the biz. Like he believes he’s a hit with the ladies. Makes my skin crawl. And not because he’s scottish! Yes scottish people are the lower class of the british isles, and in general they are annoyingly pale, but they have Alan hanson, and kenny dalgliesh. Awesome people, even though they are scottish. Being scottish withoutbeing a cunt is possible under certain circumstances, but even if andy murray shit gold i’d still think he’s a cunt.

    Send him back over the boarder and put adrains wall back up.

  17. 67
    Logged out Elisha Sessions on 27 Jun 2011 #

    Tennis bat?

  18. 68
    harry on 13 Sep 2011 #

    he is quite simply a scottish cunt

  19. 69
    ste on 27 Jan 2013 #

    to all you cunts defending that scotch cunt murray,what the fuck are you doing here on a i hate murray site you fucking slavering cunts

  20. 70
    mark g on 28 Jan 2013 #

    Was this a one-off sport article? Nice comments anyway….

  21. 71
    Tim on 28 Jan 2013 #

    At one point in history FT consisted of several linked blogs, each with a separate name. One of those was dedicated to sport. Its name was TMFD, bless it (and us).

  22. 72
    admin on 28 Jan 2013 #

    We kept some of the old blogs as wordpress “categories”, so all the tmfd/sport posts are still found here…


    see also


    along with some “podcast channel” categories

  23. 73
    xyzzzz__ on 30 Jan 2013 #

    Reviving this to laugh at the hate brigade when he wins Wimbledon :)

  24. 74
    xyzzzz__ on 7 Jul 2013 #

    today is the day :-)

  25. 75
    Alan not logged in on 7 Jul 2013 #

    The picture is still so LOL

  26. 76
    Izzy on 7 Jul 2013 #

    Muzzer rules, lol @ all u haters

  27. 77
    SteveInHalifax on 8 Jul 2013 #

    Whatever he wins can never stop him being a complete twat but with a stuck-up pushy mother like his I suppose he can’t help it.

    Two more reasons why the English are twice as much in favour of Scottish independence than the sweaties are themselves…

  28. 78
    lex on 9 Jul 2013 #

    100% convinced that any and all hate directed at Judy Murray is misogynistic, because it’s just pure fear of a someone who comes across as a forthright, strong, formidable matriarch figure. She’s one of the few people in British tennis who knows what she’s doing, she’s done a terrific job as Fed Cup captain and she’s not even “pushy” (what is this word even supposed to mean hmmm, maybe women in tennis should just be decorative?) by any standards, let alone tennis parents’.

    Not here for criticisms of Murray’s personality either. It’s rather sad that people demand their leading sportsmen fit into a limited number of pre-packaged character moulds. I see no evidence for him being a twat. He can be mopey/grumpy/taciturn but that’s just keeping it real. He doesn’t habitually abuse officials or engage in bad sportsmanship.

    Also REALLY not here for people slagging off Murray, or Wimbledon, or tennis, if they only deign to pay it attention for two weeks of the year.

  29. 79
    swanstep on 9 Jul 2013 #

    @78, lex. Not being in the UK I can’t really judge what criticism/hate’s directed at Judy Murray but ‘pushy’ is one of those weird gendered descriptors (like ‘bossy’) that only gets applied to girls and women. That may not indicate misogyny but it’s a warning sign that something like that may be on the way or be in the vicinity.

  30. 80
    enitharmon on 9 Jul 2013 #

    Judy Murray, as an LTA insider, simply had the gumption to make sure her boys never fell into the LTA’s clutches.

    Brief knickerflash: I had five minutes on Radio 4 today to make my observations about the difference in attitude between Britain and France. It was on You and Yawn so I don’t think anybody I know would be listening. I was cut off in my prime, before I had a chance to say a fraction of what I wanted to.

  31. 81
    xyzzzz__ on 9 Jul 2013 #

    Really this article was doomed with words such as “strategizing excuses” strung together.

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