Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 16 April 2014

How Murray served up an answer to his critics

Andy Murray

A few weeks ago, I was sure nothing Andy Murray could do would eclipse this year's great Olympians. I had Bradley Wiggins nailed on for Sports Personality of the Year. But the more I think about it, the more I'm knocked out by Murray's astounding year.

I've always liked Murray, but then I get that droll, dry Scottish sense of humour that so enrages and confuses middle England.

I know why he said he'd support "anyone but England" while sitting next to his pal Tim Henman at a press conference all those years ago (though there are many who still 'can't forgive' the joke - humourless, bitter, stupid people who don't understand the tribal banter of football).

I laughed when, asked how tough Wimbledon must be for his parents, he said, dead-pan, "It's a lot harder for me", though I knew there would be thousands who would take his words at face value and believe them to prove that Murray doesn't love his mum and dad.

For the last couple of years I've felt Murray was as technically brilliant as Nadal or Djokovic, just not as good at controlling his emotions (which is ironic, as he's always being accused of not having any.)

But with his Olympic Gold and incredible, body-pushing US Open win, this gawky, awkward kid from Dunblane has put his name alongside three of the greatest players tennis has ever seen.

He will claim more Slams now and history won't ever be allowed to forget him.

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