Belfast Telegraph

Critics of Andy miss the point

By Gail Walker

You have to wonder what really goes through the minds of the likes of John McEnroe, Boris Becker, Pat Cash, Tracey Austin and Lindsay Davenport as night after night they are asked to dissect - with straight faces - the latest exit of some low-ranking Brit from Wimbledon.

No matter that Federer or Sharapova has been playing that day, the pecking order remains fixed. A N Obody, who has impossibly been playing on centre court, takes precedence over former Wimbledon champions playing on some outer court.

I don't know. Maybe they just think about the fee, try to keep their faces straight and humour the interviewer. Mind you, it requires their full repertoire of passing shots, parries, drop shots and dinky lobs to avoid embarrassing their hosts.

Perversely, it's the same interviewers who always seem to imply Andy Murray is a failure, chiefly because at 24 he has yet to win Wimbledon or any Grand Slam tournament.

This nonsense about Murray really has to be put to bed once and for all.

At a sustained position of number four in the world, with every possibility of rising certainly to number two, Murray is already a major force in tennis.

Carping about what he has not yet done is more than a bit perverse and makes his considerable achievements seem strangely inadequate - a fact which baffles pundits from other countries.

Rory McIlroy has shown how difficult it can be at the very, very top of his sport to achieve greatness.

Murray also must contend with Nadal and Federer, two of the greatest tennis players of all time. The monkey on his back happens to be the British public. It's time to get off it.

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