Jun 09

I Hate Andy Murray

FT + TMFD83 comments • 7,034 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!!


  1. 1
    Billy Smart on 30 Jun 2009 #

    I don’t have any strong opinions about Murray himself, but watching him last night every time that he did something the camera would cut to faces in the crowd; freakish-looking people bedecked in Union Jacks, oafish lads in ‘funny’ hats, bellowing contorted faces.

    “If people like you want him to win so much” I reflected “then I automatically want the other player to beat him”

  2. 2
    Pete on 30 Jun 2009 #

    I loathe tennis, and yet it seemed to be on in every pub I ended up in yesterday. I found the first three games (which Murray lost) hilarious, and warmed very quickly to Stan and his bizarre red nose. Its when the game got to 10pm I started to lose the will to live, WHERE IS THE NEWS I found myself demanding? I agree with all you say above. Murray’s fist pumps make Henman’s old ones look positively aggressive.

    That said I sense a touch of personal jibe about your piece Eli. Is it because he is bringing durly haired men into disrepute?

  3. 3
    Kat but logged out innit on 30 Jun 2009 #

    The BBC coverage is pretty horrendous this year – they’ve ramped up the ‘but how would Michael Jackson’s family feel about that double fault’ and not just shots of the crowd but *replays* of Ewan McGregor clapping that they’d just shown on the previous point – all while the next point is going on! They would never miss a delivery in cricket, why is suddenly acceptable to miss a serve in tennis so the viewers at home can look at a fvcking jumbo jet taking off?

    Otherwise I really enjoyed the match last night – so glad Stan pulled it back to 5 sets and gave Murray a bit of a challenge at last.

  4. 4
    Pete on 30 Jun 2009 #

    Oh, the other key point that does Murray no favours – he had Gordon Brown’s non-smile and appears to be developing his accent too!

    Who were the commentators last night, because they were pretty poor?

  5. 5
    Tracer Hand on 30 Jun 2009 #

    A subdued Johnny Mac and someone else, I believe.

    Pete you may have something with the personal angle – I do think Murray is giving over-excitable brillo-heads a bad name.

  6. 6
    lonepilgrim on 30 Jun 2009 #

    The someone else was Greg Rusedski – he sounded too similar to JM and kinda cancelled him out. Tim Henman was a better commentary companion in Murray’s previous match, sounding bizarrely like Jack Dee.

    If you think Murray is bad this time round you should have seen him in previous years – I feel like I should stick up for him – we Brits are so unfamilar with sporting success we’ll take it where we can find it.

  7. 7
    SteveM on 30 Jun 2009 #

    Precisely. You’ve lived in the UK too long Tracer, picking up the ‘knock ’em down’ attitude in fine style.

  8. 8
    Martin Skidmore on 30 Jun 2009 #

    Come on people, get your nationalities right. Andy Murray is British at the moment, not Scottish. He becomes Scottish as soon as he loses. These are simple English rules for potential sporting successes, and we should all follow them.

  9. 9
    Pete on 1 Jul 2009 #

    Ah it was my birthday twin Geoff Rusedski who had the whiny voice. Oh well, we get to do it all again today!

  10. 10
    lex on 1 Jul 2009 #

    I’m increasingly worried about my support of Murray – I’m concerned that people might think that it’s to do with his nationality when I really just love his varied, tactical game. I don’t find his personality unappealing at all – he’s mopey, taciturn and kind of surly but that just seems like his natural demeanour and rarely extends to actually being a dick (eg Roddick, Hewitt) or disrespecting his opponent. Far rather that than Sharapova’s fakey-fake corporate charm or the way Clijsters was so keen to create her St Kim of Niceness role (because she could never beat the less gregarious, less “likeable” Henin). I’m always suspicious of the “likeability” argument w/r/t public figures anyway for various reasons – 1) “likeability” seems to encompass only a v narrow range of personality traits, 2) it doesn’t leave room for complexities of character, 3) we don’t actually know these people anyway.

    That said I’m perfectly happy for Murray to continue being the dislikeable Scot to Daily Mail readers as it hopefully means we won’t get anything like the intolerable Timbledon bullshit that I used to have to endure. Though given the idiots in the crowd the other night I’m not hopeful – I do want Murray to win a Slam, b/c he’s absolutely that talented. But not Wimbledon.

    (Oh yeah, I also find it funny when people who pay attention to tennis for a fortnight every year start opining about how he cracks under pressure and won’t be good enough to win Wimbledon. He may well lose to Federer in the final but unless it’s an outright Novotna-style choke, that isn’t necessarily cracking under pressure – if that match-up happens it’s 50/50 for me.)

  11. 11
    lex on 1 Jul 2009 #

    ‘but how would Michael Jackson’s family feel about that double fault’

    heh, 3/4 of Serena’s interview that day was about MJ. She spent much of it rhapsodising about how iconic he was and how much he meant to her, and then she couldn’t remember the name of her favourite song by him. Oh, Silliams.

  12. 12
    Emma on 1 Jul 2009 #

    i agree, i really dislike him.
    he has a strange attitude and, yes – he plays well, but he shows no personality in interviews and comes accross as a huge drip!
    i am scottish and am ashamed that he is representing us. he has talent, but i would never call him a role model. i would much rather be less successful but have charm, personality and a likability factor
    whilst he has improved with his attitude and is SLIGHTLY less aggressive on court (with his screwed up face) i still look at him and feel embarassed.
    laura robson, although not as succesful yet, is already much better in representing the sport as well as her people. she will be a far better role model
    he got the kind of face you could slap. he always look miserable – even when he won queens (when pictures were taken he barely smiled)

    im not saying he plays badly at all – i just wish he was likeable….


  13. 13
    xyzzzz__ on 1 Jul 2009 #


    No thanks — time for some ugly slam wins.

    He will be for Tennis what Nick Faldo was for Golf. Should a win a few slams, but few friends.

  14. 14
    Matt DC on 1 Jul 2009 #

    All the best sportspeople are moody, pissy and surly. I am 50:50 on fist-pumping though.

  15. 15
    AndyPandy on 1 Jul 2009 #

    lex @10: but its not particularly the Daily Mail types who don’t like him (actually I think a lot of those are the types who give him the benefit of the doubt and get behind him “because he’s British”-just look at the Wimbledon crowd)as far as I’m hearing on my work-related travels round West Yorkshire its the average person in the street (if they think about Tennis at all) who think he’s got a particularly unappealing (lack of ) personality and so dislike him.
    and you can also see this by going on certain Football club sites and see ther slagging he’s getting – and the posters on those are about as far from your Daily Mail types as it gets

    And I should imagine a lot of the dislike is also because he slagged England off …Oh and because he’s a whingeing Jock ;-)

  16. 16
    lex on 1 Jul 2009 #

    Oh yes, I do see a lot of comments which can’t get over one light-hearted comment made years ago when he was a teenager. I must say I don’t understand that mindset at all, and am glad not to.

    I just used “Daily Mail types” b/c I went by the comment boxes on that website – but my main point is that “particularly unappealing (lack of) personality” is a pretty meaningless phrase, and often seems to be shorthand for people who are less demonstrative, less cheerful, more standoffish or reserved and who don’t play to the crowd. I don’t see why this isn’t a valid personality to have!

    Also, half the time “having a personality” = “being an asshole”. Yes, I’m watching Roddick and Hewitt right now. Both “personalities” but I’ll take Murray’s surliness over Roddick constantly abusing umpires and line judges and disrespecting opponents, and Hewitt’s vulgarity and racism.

  17. 17
    Pete Baran on 1 Jul 2009 #

    I guess my problem with tennis is that it is an individual sport. I am all about team sports, the dynamic of team games are intrinsically interesting to an extrovert like meself. I just don’t really care about the prowess of an individual, I am a socialised human being. I know that sportsmen being on the autistic spectrum and training all the time are unlikely to be engaging individuals, and prone to saying stupid things. But in team sports this is overseen by a charismatic manager, or some kind of corporate view of how the club is. Andy Murray has the kind of personality any Britsih (Scottish (Gordon Brownish) ) individual might have. Media training came a solid last to, you know, tennis training. And it merely reflects on Tennis Being Rubbish, not just that Murray is a dishwater sulker.

  18. 18
    Jo Wilfred on 1 Jul 2009 #

    re: Baran, in team sports like you mention the individuals are prone to be drones, puppets on a string, servants to a master. In tennis, an individual and highly tactical, strategic sport, the players are out there on their own, and have to use their intellect and insight into the game. That’s the beauty of these grand slams, inbetween the games and sets when the players are sat at the side with a towel on their head, you know they’re analyzing what’s happened, thinking furiously of what to do, how to break the other player’s rhythm, how to make their own game disrupt the opponent’s. It becomes a game of chess and it’s why, to me, it’s so much easier to appreciate a great tennis player than a great athlete in so many other sports, team sports being an easy example.

  19. 19
    xyzzzz__ on 2 Jul 2009 #

    “I just don’t really care about the prowess of an individual, I am a socialised human being.”

    Behind the individual there is a support team of coaches, family support, physios. Behind any solo artist there is a list of collaborators and producers, or behind a composer there are collaborations with players and funding organizations. Visual artists need galleries and space, and so on and on.

    ‘Individuals’ we never get to hear about…

  20. 20
    Pete Baran on 2 Jul 2009 #

    Which makes it all the more selfish that Andy Murray is the person who will win Wimbledon, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. Of course other people are involved, other people are involved behind the scenes in team games, but what I am watching in team sports is that kind of interaction made flesh. It is a clear and declared aspect of the sport. It also means there is something which has life beyond the career of an individual. I am a Barnet fan, and watched Barnet in the 1980’s and sometimes watch them now. They have completely different individuals in them, but they are the same team.

  21. 21
    lex on 2 Jul 2009 #

    The reason I can’t take team sports seriously is that the involvement of other people has the effect of either carrying mediocre talent or stifling/not rewarding individual talent (eg a gifted footballer from a country w/no others on his level will never win the World Cup). With individual sports, all the “team” does is prepare the player – they have to go out there to execute their game by themselves. No help, no relying on anyone else. It’s a more pure demonstration of talent (which is found in individuals, not collectives).

    And in terms of supporting sportsmen – I cheer on my favourite tennis players b/c of their individual qualities. Presumably in football one is more attracted to certain players’ styles or personalities – so I just can’t comprehend loyalty to a club, which at any given time may or may not have players you even enjoy watching in it. I mean, the club can hardly have specific qualities of its own if its roster is always changing!

  22. 22
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 2 Jul 2009 #

    there is no ayn rand in team!

    “talent (which is found in individuals, not collectives” = would only be true if the individual never actually played anyone else — even if you consider a match between two solo people JUST a match between the two yr watching (which it never is), it’s still the fact that the talent of one emerges only in response to the other… talent emerges from the “collective of two” who are performing together

    there is no more interesting aspect of the team-play that openly structures itself as teamplay (as opposed to the teamplay which disguises itself as not-teamplay: viz tennis) than the role of people who don’t “seem to be doing anything” BUT ARE ACTUALLY INDISPENSIBLE (this is called the JULIA LENNON THEORY)

  23. 23
    Tom on 2 Jul 2009 #

    It can, though – if the club is associated with a particular style of play then it will look for players who can use that style effectively. One of the few really interesting things to come out of football’s 00s economic bubble has been the demonstration of individual vs team talent: several club owners have tried to build teams out of the best available individuals and it hasn’t worked, or at least not for long.

    The gifted footballer from a no-hoper country won’t win the World Cup but will quite possibly win a lot of things for their club. (eg Ryan Giggs) (just to make sure this post gets Welsh ppl cross as well as Scots)

    Team sports allow a lot more nuance in terms of talent: the individual genius can carry a team or make a difference in a game, but the team allows a lot of different positive traits to be rewarded. Someone who is brilliant at one particular thing can be accomodated.

  24. 24
    Pete Baran on 2 Jul 2009 #

    I am almost certain that the above discussion could easily be extrapolated into political manifestos / worldviews. Its the great man theory vs the inexorable march of progress. And yes, I would happily admit I find the concept of individual talent troublesome.

  25. 25
    xyzzzz__ on 2 Jul 2009 #

    “Which makes it all the more selfish that Andy Murray is the person who will win Wimbledon, Usain Bolt is the fastest man on earth. Of course other people are involved, other people are involved behind the scenes in team games, but what I am watching in team sports is that kind of interaction made flesh.”

    I didn’t really make the distinction between teams and individuals before (I like many many sports), but it appears to me that you really object to the narrative which the coverage of individual sport provokes.

    Surely cricket complicates the picture: a team sport, undoubtedly, but with two central figures (batsmen against bowler) battling out in the middle.

    “It is a clear and declared aspect of the sport. It also means there is something which has life beyond the career of an individual.I am a Barnet fan, and watched Barnet in the 1980’s and sometimes watch them now. They have completely different individuals in them, but they are the same team.”

    Similarly, what’s important about Wimbledon is the Tennis and competition and the battle. The individual will move on once he/she retires, but the competition will go on.

    You can flip the the above on its head for teams: there is always one individual that often stands out, in any team, and you’ll go to see the team with different individuals and think you often wish you were watching that individual. It happens when I sometimes watch Arsenal and see that Dennis Bergkamp isn’t there.

    Additionally, teams are fondly thought of as if they were a single person (Hungary in ’54).

  26. 26
    a tanned rested and unlogged lørd sükråt wötsît on 2 Jul 2009 #

    there is no ayn rand in sledging

  27. 27
    Pete on 3 Jul 2009 #

    “Every time I fucked Ayn Rand she gave me a biscuit”

  28. 28
    nick gallagher on 3 Jul 2009 #

    Re: Andy Murray.
    He really is an annoying tosser,I’d love to see him lose just to hear what excuses he came up with in that annoying droning voice of his that makes watching paint dry seem like an extreme sport.

  29. 29
    Lucy on 3 Jul 2009 #

    I think Andy Murray is the most loathsome thing to represent “British” sport this guy is not “British” he is Scottish, most of the English cannot stand his conderscending and patronising swagger and mannerisms. The other thing is all of the idiots dresed up is union flag clothing (made in China) looking like the Chavs they are jumping on the badwaggon of some nasty guy. The guy is Scottish, just like David Coulthard and Colin McRae. They do not represent the English or the Welsh or the Irish. The notion of British is convoluted rubbish and Anrew Murray is the prime example of Media bandwagoning and “I think I am the best” Murray.

  30. 30
    AndyPandy on 3 Jul 2009 #

    Come on Roddick – almost there (I hope)

  31. 31
    lonepilgrim on 3 Jul 2009 #

    Andy Roddick’s sparkling personality wins the day.

    Go Murray!

  32. 32
    Ronald on 3 Jul 2009 #

    Yes, he’s out!

    No more silly whining. No more super-psyched mom. No more unnecessary hawk-eye challenges. And luckily no more fist-pumping every single one of your opponents’ unforced errors.

  33. 33
    TFUNK on 3 Jul 2009 #

    Thank you! I live watching tennis but cannot stand watching someone fist pump and yell c’mon! after every shot! It’s beyond annoying. Luckily Mr. Roddick has taken care of the problem this go around!

  34. 34
    Conrad on 4 Jul 2009 #

    22, I’m not sure that Bob Dylan would agree with you…Andrew Ridgeley might

    in sport though, you are absolutely right.

  35. 35
    raashi on 4 Jul 2009 #

    i fukiin lovee andy murray ur juz a fukiin idoit man go 2 hell

  36. 36
    James on 4 Jul 2009 #

    Response to raashi :

    You may love Andy Murray all you want but stop ramming him and all this fake crap down throats of those who want neutral and impartial coverage of Tennis and other associated sports on the BBC. This is because we all pay into the licence fee those who like, love, loathe hate and those who just do not care. So keep your selfish attitude to yourself. Some will hate him just as much as he is quite stupidly loved, by you idiots.

  37. 37
    Kevin on 6 Jul 2009 #

    You don’t get to #3 in the tennis world rankings by simply hitting soft backhand slices.

  38. 38
    Annabel on 10 Jul 2009 #

    you dont even know him, how can you judge his mum and girlfriend?
    I agree you cant get to number 3 by hitting soft backhands.. hes a great player and most of the haters have just swallowed the media crap. I dont understand why you hate him.
    yes he is not as charming as federer but he is only 22 and there are not many 22 year olds able to deal with the amount of pressure he has on him.

    I love Murray.

  39. 39
    John on 28 Jan 2010 #

    To Annabel,

    There are tonnes of people under 22 who have more pressure then him.

  40. 40
    chris on 28 Jan 2010 #

    brilliant piece about andy muray- i cant stand him either-hes about as likable as a mouldy piece of cheap white bread

  41. 41
    Onion Salad on 31 Jan 2010 #

    Ah that was really enjoyable seeing him get spanked by Federer. Hope he enjoyed the tennis lesson given to him in the 1st 2 sets. Can’t stand the abhorrent Scottish twat.

  42. 42
    Emma on 20 Feb 2010 #

    I agree with Onion Salad, there really is nothing better than seeing him getting a good spanking by a real classy gifted player XD

    Now hopefully he’ll bomb out of Wimbledon early and we won’t have to endure the shitstorm of hype we had last year.

  43. 43
    mirran on 1 Jul 2010 #

    do any of u hav a clue about tennis? talk about the games and not your predudices.

  44. 44
    mirran on 1 Jul 2010 #

    got to ask why u hate murray? is it cos he’s not english, and doesn’t deserve in your small minds to represent the UK. at least he’s into the semi’s unlike the english football team (payback is a bitch) and yes he might get gubbed in the next round, but at least he will have got further than ur (world beaters) ha ha

  45. 45
    thefatgit on 1 Jul 2010 #

    I tend to dislike Murray for the very reasons given above, but “hate” the chap? Has he wronged me personally? No. Has his actions on court annoyed me? Yes. Has he said anything that offended me? No.

    Will Murray get past Nadal?


    Will that make me dislike him all the more?


    If by some miracle, he beats Nadal and makes it to Sunday’s final, will he have my support?


    Who would be a churl?

  46. 46
    lex on 1 Jul 2010 #

    Hahaha I really like Murray but he must never win Wimbledon, I’m behind Djokovic (sadly not literally).

    Still can’t take team sports seriously!

  47. 47
    mirran on 1 Jul 2010 #

    why must he never win wimbledon? i thought he was british, always being told to support the home countries but that appears to only be the case if you are english.

  48. 48

    The writer of the original post is from Tennessee, mirran

  49. 49
    lex on 1 Jul 2010 #

    The great thing about individual sports like tennis is that there’s no reason or rhyme to cheering based on nationalism. I like Murray for his game and have happily cheered him on at the AO/RG/USO, but a) I like Djokovic more, b) the press idiocy, already hard to take, would reach unprecedented levels in the event of Murray winning Wimbledon.

    I think the people who usually cheer for British players but don’t cheer for Murray because he’s Scottish (and disguise it by blaming his personality, whatever the fuck they think they mean by that) are racists who should be beheaded, though.

  50. 50
    punctum on 1 Jul 2010 #

    Lex seems to be nearest the mark (#46 notwithstanding) in this rather unfortunate thread.

    If Rafa beats Andy tomorrow – please note the “if,” #45; we do not possess the ability to see into the future, no one knows who is going to win the match until it has been played, and what you should have said was “Do I believe that Murray will get past Nadal?” – then will Andy get all the post-World Cup opprobrium spilt on him? I hardly think it likely; as usual he will be termed “Scotland’s Andy Murray” if he loses and “Britain’s Andy Murray” if he wins but overall there will be no net loss to the British sporting psyche. There will be the usual grumblings and cackles imbued with the casual racism and not-so-casual snobbery seen elsewhere throughout these comments if he fails to beat the world’s top-ranked tennis player in a semi-final but more probably, as with England FC, there will be resigned shrugs, although, unlike England FC, there is also the saving and hopeful probability that he will do at least as well next year.

    Ultimately, what Murray haters can’t stand is that Murray’s in the semi-final tomorrow, and they’re not. Or, to put it another way, the person they really can’t stand is themselves, and Murray, like the England team, will be a useful conduit for projecting their self-hatred onto a convenient target.

  51. 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?

  52. 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.

  53. 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.

  54. 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.

  55. 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.

  56. 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?

  57. 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.)

  58. 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)

  59. 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.

  60. 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?

  61. 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.

  62. 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.

  63. 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:


  64. 64
    Sam Higson on 17 Jun 2011 #

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


    Thanks for your time.

  65. 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

  66. 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.

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

    Tennis bat?

  68. 68
    harry on 13 Sep 2011 #

    he is quite simply a scottish cunt

  69. 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

  70. 70
    mark g on 28 Jan 2013 #

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

  71. 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).

  72. 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

  73. 73
    xyzzzz__ on 30 Jan 2013 #

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

  74. 74
    xyzzzz__ on 7 Jul 2013 #

    today is the day :-)

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

    The picture is still so LOL

  76. 76
    Izzy on 7 Jul 2013 #

    Muzzer rules, lol @ all u haters

  77. 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…

  78. 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.

  79. 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.

  80. 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.

  81. 81
    xyzzzz__ on 9 Jul 2013 #

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

  82. 82
    Andrew Boughton on 15 Jan 2019 #


  83. 83
    Gareth Parker on 1 Jun 2021 #

    Will Andy be fit for Wimbledon this year?

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