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Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Press can't get enough of Murray

Photo Titled Murray aims high
Murray aims high
Henmania was never like this. As Britain's pressmen and women drummed their fingers impatiently on their desks waiting for the next episode of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon story – which is due on court on Thursday when he takes on Ernests Gulbis – their editors were getting twitchy.

Covering Wimbledon has never been a job for those of a sensitive disposition. In fact, it is not a job for any sane individual (and, thankfully, there are precious few of them in the press room). Every British newspaper and media outlet is obsessed with Murray and demands yards of copy about every aspect of his life. The nation needs to know what Scotland’s finest has for breakfast/does with his old socks/likes to sing in the shower.

Anyone and anything is chatted up for quotes about young Braveheart. What does John McEnroe think of Murray? Has Boris Becker ever hit with the man from Dunblane? Has Sir Sean Connery been in touch with him yet this year?

By careful study of the newspapers we can learn that Murray is “lucky to have my Kim”. In this our hero reveals for the first time that his long-term girlfriend, Kim Sears, is the secret to his success. Her influence on everything from his hairstyle (shorter, neater and tidier) to the housework (she is, apparently, very good with a Hoover), has helped Murray relax and concentrate on his climb to third in the tennis rankings.

As for coping with the stresses and strains of his home Grand Slam tournament, the secret lies with his dog, Maggie. “Why Maggie May help Murray win Wimbledon” explains at some length how being a pet owner can help keep the nation’s treasure calm in the coming days.

Regular walks in the park with Maggie (named after the Rod Stewart song, “Maggie May”) will, according to pet psychologists, provide an escape from the pressure-cooker atmosphere of Wimbledon. (And presumably pet psychologists are psychologists who use pets in their therapy programmes rather than Yorkshire Terriers with a deep understanding of Sigmund Freud.)

One radio station even went as far as to look the time of Murray’s birth on May 15, 1987, in order to work out his astral calendar. Should you be of an astrological bent, you may be interested to know that the new moon, the one that started doing what ever new moons do on June 22, is a good sign for all Tauruses.

The only fact we know for sure, however, is that Murray is not reading any of this. He is a generous soul and gives willingly of his time to the hacks. But once he has spoken, he has little interest in where the quotes are used or what the headline writers come up with. Especially not this week.

Anyway, I would tell you more about all of this but I have a million words left to write about Dunblane’s favourite son. There are places to go and people to see. Does anyone have the Pope’s mobile number and do you think he’s been watching Andy?

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