Will a freshly-minted Murray finally capture our hearts?

Andy Murray on court
Can a facebook campaign get more people to "like" Murray?

More importantly…will he care?

Well, if this slightly nauseating viral campaign on You Tube, in which we are encouraged to “Like” Andy’s fan page is anything to go by, he, or at least his sponsors, care a lot.

I’m not sure Andy Murray cares too much about how loved he is compared to good old “Tiger” Tim Henman but there is one reason he should care a bit more than he seems to (note “seems”).

It has nothing to do with securing sponsorship deals for well-known juice drinks or washing powder, this is to do with his game. The home crowd are a HUGE advantage in any sport, especially one so isolated and solitary as singles tennis.

When Henmania ruled SW19

“Tiger” Tim Henman and his contemporary Greg Rusedski had some fine moments on SW19, buoyed by a crowd and a chance to achieve beyond themselves.

Murray had the all-round game to blow both of those two crowd favourites off the court at an early age without having to reach to the crowd for inspiration. However, against the likes of Nadal and Federer and the inspired Novac Djokovic, who has seen Murray’s rise and bettered it, Andy needs to be able to reach inside himself and out to the fans for that extra burst of energy, that crucial moment of inspiration.

There is no need to moan on here about what has gone on before, how Murray hasn’t seen eye-to-eye with the LTA etc because frankly, the watching British public couldn’t give a strawberry. They want a British champion (I’m not going to get into the Scottish issue, the BBC are as complicit in that message as Murray is, they do it with the snooker too you know).

The vast majority of the viewing public on TV and in the grounds don’t, as a rule, follow the tour year-round and see Andy regularly beat all three of the superstars previously mentioned. They tune in for a fortnight, once a year, get a bit giddy about tennis all over again and then often leave, deflated by their hero’s unfortunate demise to a superior player.

The three in the way

For that is what they are. Nadal, Federer and Djokovic have consistently shown they are the best and that is shown in the rankings. On his day though, Murray can beat them. He just needs a bit of help from his friends, old, new and on Facebook. What doesn’t help is that Novak does funny impressions, Rafa is a showman and an incredible shot-maker and Roger is perhaps the nicest man in the world.

So what can Murray do about it?

It sounds bizarre but…he should be himself. I do watch tennis year-round, I follow him on twitter and you know what, he’s a pretty funny guy. He has character. The problem is, it doesn’t always show and he is so bottled up with the tension of the crowd and the perception that perhaps he can’t win them over anyway that we don’t get to see it.


Last week Andy was interviewed on BBC Radio 5 Live and when asked about wincing after a certain shot, Murray laughed gently and noted that “I grimace after every shot!” A sense of humour alert was issued immediately throughout the press box and we saw a different side. If he can show this more, the press will report it more. Oh, and a few more of these [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u7euMZ0L69g] trick shots would help too Andy.

Good luck.