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Diamonds Are Made Under Pressure: Andy Murray And The Media

September 12, 2009

It is not a secret that I have little love for Andy Murray. Andy Murray is everything I dislike about tennis. He is a pusher, he is immature, he whines a lot, he fist pumps double faults, he has zero charm or grace, and his relationship with Roger Federer is shakey at best. You would be correct in guessing I was cheering for Cilic in this years forth round encounter at the US Open. You would be right in assuming I celebrated his loss with much yelling and smiling. What might suprise you, however, is the way I have been feeling for Murray since. I have certainly suprised myself.

Andy Murray is under pressure. Intense pressure. If you thought the pressure at Wimbledon was bad, it is nothing compared to now. After his loss at Wimbledon, Murray was disappointed, but not forlorn. The US Open has always been his favourite surface and tournament, he has had great runs on hard courts all year, winning five Masters titles, including the recent Montreal. Last year he made the final at the US Open only to fall to the more experienced Federer. Everyone expected him to make the semis this year, many expected him to make the final. It is fair to say Andy Murray was the player considered second most favourite to win coming into this open.

 

We all know what happened. Murray played too defensive. He served poorly. He lacked fight and enthusiasm. He looked downright miserable. After his loss he called it the biggest disappointment of his career. He stated he didn’t know how long it would take to get over this loss. That he needed to look ahead to the Australian Open and focus on his chances there. He gave full credit to Cilic. Compare this to the man who was harping on about how he would be number one by now if only he had done a little better in January. Andy Murray seems humbled.

The media have always been a doubled edged sword. They can draw attention to you in the most glorious ways, build up your wins, compare you to the greats, announce you as the next big thing. They can also drag you down, question the future of your career, and compare you to people who are known as sporting failures. Roger Federer and Andy Roddick have experianced a little bit of both. Now, Andy Murray is too.

Take a look at a few of the headlines going around at the moment:

  Andy Murray: Where Is All The Hype Now?
  Why Murray Can’t Win The US Open
  Andy Murray Must Play More Aggressive To Win
  Time Running Out For Andy Murray And His Grand Slam Quest
  Major Doubt Over Sad Murray
  I Can Still Win A Slam, Insists Andy Murray

Andy Murray must be feeling like shit at the moment. He hasn’t tweeted since his loss, which is a shame, considering all the messages of support he must have recieved. Murray is in withdrawl mode, and I don’t blame him.

Murray is 22 and he will learn. He must already be learning the huge difference between winning a Masters and winning a Slam. I don’t believe time is running out for Murray, but I think the media need to set their focus elsewhere. Hopefully, Andy will bounce back strong and prove to the world that he is no Tim Henman or Colin Montgomerie.

Roger Federer believes he can;
“It’s tough. It happens like that. You have to move on from it, get stronger, and give yourself opportunities. That’s exactly what I’ve been doing.”
Federer is not wrong, it was not that long ago the media was calling for his retirement and wondered if he would ever win another slam. His heartbreak at the Australian was as much to do with the cruel words of the media has it was to do with the actual loss. The tears he cried at Roland Garros were as much relief as sheer joy.

There is something else I hope Murray learns how to do. Enjoy himself. He said before the Open that he doesn’t smile on court because it is just a job and nobody really smiles when playing. His first round opponent was Ernests Gulbis. Gulbis cracked up laughing several times during their match. What Murray said is simply not true, Roger Federer often cracks a smile on court, as do Andy Roddick and Novak Djokovic. I am not sure whether the intense pressure Murray is under has something to do with his demenour on court, but I would love to see him relax and enjoy the game.

I would also like to see him win a slam.

Good luck, Andy Murray, I hope you bounce back.

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