Belfast Telegraph

Billy on the Box: Major misery as door slams shut on Andy Murray

He came, he saw, he got gubbed. Not since Culloden, or when Gash was clashed around the coupon by Rab C Nesbitt, has a Scotsman been given such a thorough pasting.

See you: At least one Murray was making their point in Melbourne on Sunday

You could see it coming though. Soderling — out; Nadal — out; Federer — out and all opening the door for Andy Murray to break his grand slam duck at the Australian Open. Or not.

“We’ve been here before, but here we go again,” promised Sue Barker as we all tucked into a square sausage supper for the early morning final with Novak Djokovic.

“The weight (or wait) weighs heavy on a country steeped in tennis history. He’s ready to win his first Major,” she added. I’ll stop you there, Sue. A country steeped in tennis history? Scotland? That’s mince, ye bampot.

It got worse. “Tim, you of all people understand the pressure Andy is under.”

She may as well have just come over to Mr Henman with a T-shirt with ‘Tim, nice but can’t win’ written on it, walked over to his sofa, ruffled his hair and shouted ‘loser’ in his face.

That’s being slightly unkind on Andy — at least he waits to the final to let us all down, bravely, of course.

Bizarrely the hot weather, we were told, would favour Andy. Indeed his face being the colour of a haggis suggested that he was no stranger to the searing heat that he grew up with in southern Scotland, that hotbed of tennis.

Of course, being the Beeb, any Novak negatives were pounced on like Sue grabbing a can of Ronseal, and a bandage on the Serbian’s knee was a sign that all was not well in his camp. Can you imagine what a thumping he’d have handed out had he had two working legs?

Maybe that’s where Andy is going wrong. He’s Scottish, so fighting should be second nature, but there was only one Scot in a white vest upholding the dishonour of Caledonia. No, not Rab C, but old Ma Murray who I’m sure mouthed “I will tell you this boy, I will tell you this,” during the first set.

For the record, Judy appeared, and I counted them with growing vitriol, 24 times during the three sets in which her wee lad struggled to knock the ball over the net. The last thing to chase something yellow with such futility was Sylvester.

Djokovic could call upon slightly more glamorous support in the shape (insert sexist comment here at your peril) of Ana Ivanovic, but the crowd, apart from one rather suspect looking gentleman in an alarming Serbian wrestling outfit that seemed to be holding quite a few Slazengers, seemed to be pro-Murray.

Well, I’m guessing that as one was holding a big sign with ‘Great Scott’ written on it, a damning indictment of the Scottish education system, unless, of course, it was a Neighbours fan who’d just returned back from Ramsey Street to pay homage to Jason Donovan.

Back to Judy, now looking like Anne Robinson in a really bad mood, the white vest covered now by a skull and crossbones, imploring Andy to ‘c’mon, c’mon, c’mon’, but not even Mrs Doyle or Mrs Murray could save the day.

There was to be no swashbuckling end to proceedings, as scraggybeard was cut down to size in no time and the pieces of eight were on their way to Belgrade, while back in the studio the post mortem examination began.

“When things are going wrong, a tennis court can be a very lonely place to be,” sobbed Sue.

Indeed, but if your mammy is there to wipe up the tears, then it’s not so bad.

Belfast Telegraph


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