Courting Attention. Andy Murray has won the nation’s affections, but still needs to win his matches.


This is an article by The Times

Courting Attention

Andy Murray has won the nation’s affections, but still needs to win his matches.

Andy Murray needs all the help he can get — and the people of Britain seem happy to assist. Witness the appeal from a national newspaper this weekend, asking its readers to place their healing hands on a photograph of Murray taken as he nursed his sore hip.

“I believe in the immense energy of the mind,” the psychic Uri Geller said — and the evidence suggests that thousands were prepared to rub the picture in their copy of The Sun, to send their hero fit and healthy onto the Wimbledon courts in the hope that he will win the championship again.

How much has changed since this angular, chippy young Scot, the antithesis of a clean-cut All England player, first started winning competitions.

Then he was the “Marmite” of the tennis world, putting up as many backs with his surly antics as he won fans for his demon game on court. His muttering and self-criticism when he was in a sticky patch was seen as weird and alien to the image of a British winner. Now we know that it is part of the secret of his success, and he has become the darling of the nation.

With the news that he and his wife, Kim, are expecting their second child breaking oh-so-neatly on the eve of Wimbledon, he draws a sigh of collective emotion from his many admirers, who have accepted him into the bosom of the tennis world. Will the new arrival be a distraction, he is asked. “Certainly not,” he replies stoutly, while the rest of us conjure up images of sleepless nights and nappy changing.


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