July 3rd, 2010

Andy Murray

Andy Murray has been growing his beard over the Wimbledon fortnight. It's scraggy, patchy, gingery- a poor thing but his own. My guess is it's his wee protest against his co-option by the British establishment. They want him to be another Tim- and when he says or does un-Timlike things- for instance questioning the need to bow to the Queen when she blew reluctantly into Wimbledon the other day in one of her lampshade hats- his words are immediately glossed and spun into inoffensiveness- and the media assured that actually it was always his boyhood ambition to take tea with Her Maj. I feel sorry for him- and hate how his interestingly chippy persona is being laundered into patriotic spotlessness,  but at least the follicles are free- a visible protest against all the crow he has had to eat to stop the Mail and the Sun and the Express from eating him.

Of course he lost against Rafa. He said he was only there to win, but he wasn't. Rafa was there to win. Murray played beautifully, but Rafa played daemonically. This is the only way in which Andy is another Tim;  he can beat the great champions at shove-ha'penny events- but at the grand slams- when there's glory at stake- he doesn't have a prayer. He used to seem to have the necessary hunger, but I'm wondering if it hasn't been laundered out of him. If he does eventually win a slam I think it'll be one of the others- not Wimbledon- but maybe the Australian or the US Open- where he'll be as far away as possible from the Pimms and the club ties and the lady in the lampshade hat.