Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Bedtime with Sue and Andy at Australian Open

There's nothing worse of a Sunday morning when you wake up a little worse for wear after a wee Pimms and Robinson's Barley Water too many and you're confronted by something frightening looking at you.

Having the orangey glow of Sue Barker beaming out of the TV at early o'clock should come with a warning, maybe a flashing Wotsit in the top corner of the screen, but it was a necessary evil as ‘oor boy' Andy Murray was about to give Roger Federer a good thrashing.

Or so you would believe had you listened to Sue and Tim Henman, who appeared to have been prepared by his mammy for a trip to Sunday School after finishing his stint.

They were joined on the sofa by Boris Becker, not the natural choice as a British drum-beater, but looked more like he hadn't yet got home from a night on the town and surely destined to become a Bond villain at some time in the future in From Prussia With Love (Forty).

For Federer, a different genre clearly awaits as the caption beside his career details informed us that he now lives in a Swiss town called Bottmingen — I await Carry On Roger, while for Andy Murray it's a return to Bond in Dr No (Grand Slams). He certainly got the Living Daylights knocked out of him.

Over in Melbourne, dusting their claymores off under the desk were Chris Bailey and John Lloyd, who all plumped for Murray too, and they were less than pleased that Roger appeared to be trying far too hard.

“He's brought his ‘A’ game tonight,” wailed Chris. What did you expect him to bring — a couple of Toblerones for the barbie? And John was at it too. “Federer's been playing like a man from a different planet and he's been on a different planet for years,” he told us. Indeed, the planet ‘Genius'.

Sue managed to break in occasionally to tell us about the usual BBC1 programmes of a Sunday morning that had been shunted over to BBC2 to make way for Scotland's (must be losing) finest, including the Andrew Marr Show.

He couldn't make it, but we were promised an interview with Julie Andrews as they showed clips of her prancing about the Alps singing in A Sound of Music, while back on the sofa the only sound was of deflated hopes. At least there was still a menacing German in the background.

“Roger is playing with magic, Andy is missing his magic,” Boris told us, before returning to his underground lair, while back Down Under Chris was becoming increasingly frustrated at trying to flog a dead horse.

As a Federer drop shot fell short he suggested that ‘if that had gone over it would have been rather special.' Quite. And if your Aunt Sheila had Wilsons she'd be your Uncle Bruce.

Still, Tiger Tim, king of the losers was on hand with the Big Boy's Book of Feeble Excuses, saying that Andy appeared to be struggling with something — back, quad or hip. Funny when he was 5-2 up in the third he was as fit as a fiddle.

And that was that, Roger winning his umpteenth Grand Slam and Andy slumped as the side of the court with only a bottle of Buckie for comfort.

And so the clock ticks onto 151,000 years...

Belfast Telegraph


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