Angelic Paranoia

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Andy Murray
Monday 14th January 2019 8:26 pm

So Friday was a bit of an unexpectedly big news day. To the point where I wasn't at all surprised at the end of an item on 5 Live with kids paying tribute that they clarified he wasn't dead. As sad as it is that he's having to retire rather than deciding to, I still prefer his brother. And there are plenty of other British players around - it's looking a lot better than it has for years. And I realised last year that although I'll miss the Big 4 and the ones below them, I'm ready for the next batch to come through.

I have two Andy Murray memories that are not at all like anyone else's that have been retweeted on Twitter.

The first time I saw him play was at an exhibition. They were trying to do things to pep the sport up a bit. This was to have just one set - an idea that didn't catch on. We saw a few matches and Tim Henman was due to play in one. But he was injured, so he commentated and a 17 year old Brit who I had never heard of called Andy played John McEnroe. He lost 6-1.

Afterwards McEnroe said that Andy was going to be good one day. I didn't believe him, partly due to losing 6-1 (although in retrospect a 17 year old losing 6-1 was not a surprise) but mostly because he was British. And British players never do well.

Then there was the 2012 Olympics where I didn't see him win a gold medal. I was in Court 1 watching the bronze medal match between Del Potro and Djokovic. We were sitting at the back where there was a gap between the side and the roof and it was freezing cold. It says something about how long ago it was that the crowd were all supporting Djokovic. We were supporting Del Potro, partly to be contrary. At Wimbledon, during the sit downs, they show you the scores from other courts. But not at the Olympics. We were following the progress of Murray vs Federer via the live scores on my sister's phone. And updating the crowd in our vicinity, mostly due to our surprise at the scoreline.

The bronze medal match finished and unlike at Wimbledon we couldn't get on Henman Hill (it was manned and ticketed) and there were no screens around anywhere else. We ended up stood watching a scoreboard while my sister ate ice cream (it had warmed up a lot). I've been to Wimbledon before on the final Sunday, sat on Court 1 and had no idea who had won the men's final. There was clearly no point in bothering this time, as God Save the Queen was a bit of a dead giveaway.

Speaking of not knowing results: when Andy won the US Open I had no idea until I finished listening to the match the following evening. I'd gone to bed after the first set. At the time the only way of following it was on the radio and it's really hard to listen to that and not fall asleep. As I remember from listening to Greg Rusedski in the US Open final. People were amazed that I managed to have no idea he'd won (I avoided all internet, TV, radio, shop and told people at work I didn't want to know).


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