Andrew Murray and the expectations of a nation…

Do always remember that the worst, most pessimistic media of them all is the British media…. they screwed up Tim Henman’s head so much that he could never become the player he should have been.

Andy Murray is a bit different. He is a Scot for starters, and has already courted a bit of media flak for speaking his mind when he was a wee teenager. The Scottish and the Welsh are not the best fans of the English, so when Murray, then a teenager was asked who he would support in the World Cup football, he mentioned ‘Anyone except England’.  And as you could expect, all hell broke loose (click here) (click here).

Well, back to business, Murray seems tougher, and more talented. Infact, very talented. And gritty. While he might not have the sublime shotmaking ability of Richard Gasquet or the awe-inspiring power of Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, Murray has a good combination of both, as well as a very Nadal-esque, very Novak-esque amount of fight in him. Oh yeah, plus he is no wilting flower, and is known for his brash press conferences (he was even referred to as ‘petulant’) … may I say, he has a bit of Kevin Pietersen about him.

And a bit of trivia here. Did you know that Murray (as well as his older brother Jamie Murray, a grand-slam winning doubles player) were kids studying in the same school in which the Dunblane massacre took place in 1996. This was one of the first few infamous school shooting incidents (click here)….

Trivia 2. They used to call the Wimbledon following of Henman, Henmania; so what do they call the Murray phenomenon? Andymonium, of course!

Well, he has reached the semis of the US open… and will be playing Nadal.

I, as normal, will support Nadal. But here’s wishing Murray a good tournament and a great career.

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US Open ’08

If it goes according to plan, Dinara, Venus, Dementieva, Jankovic will be the semi-final line up. And that would have been my prediction before the tournament started.

And now, it goes funny. Who will win? Form says Safina, logic says Jankovic, common sense says Venus, and the heart says Dementieva. Would not really mind if any of the four win, I like them all… but would really lke the bridesmaid stage for Dementieva to end.

And of course, there is Serena to put a spanner in the works. If she beats Venus, and if she is really in the mood, she can brush aside the opposition and win in a canter.

Question, how good, really, is Juan Martin Del Potro? An Argentine who prefers the hard courts to dirt? That’s new. Oh, and super name! Same with Kei Nishikori, who he beat in the roud of 16. Hmm, well, I don’t know really. Maybe either names are as plain as , say, James blake, in their respective countries.

If not now, then when, for Andy Murray? he faces Del Potro.

If not now, then when, for Mardy Fish? Really like the guy, and he has got real game for a journyman. But then, alas, he faces Nadal.

Can Nole face the power of Roddick, who, it seems, is back? If I were a betting man, I would have put in a few quid for Roddick in that match.

And really, the journeyman of all journeymen, Gilles Muller of Luxembourg, is in the quarters. He actually managed to beat Davydenko. But then, all that he has is a big serve. And that will surely not be good eough to beat Federer.

Who will win? Nadal, if he is not too tired by the end of it all. Else … tough to say. Let’s see. My listing is Murray Federer Roddick. But you never know about Federer. His aura is gone. The lower ranked players don’t mind having a go at him these days, in the hope of an upset. Nadal, I’m sure thinks that he is beatable five times out of five… but how about Roddick? He has eternally been in Federer’s shadow… can he really believe? I doubt it. And let’s not forget, Federer is still a very, very good player.

Perfection.

Westwood has missed his shot, and Rocco Mediate has already played the few rounds of his life, and has all the chances to be the upset story in sport, for the year …. It’s only he that stands between Rocco and the US Open…

The last hole, potentially, of the tournament. an 8-footer.

All eyes are on him, the maestro….

The maestro waits. And waits some more.

He practices his putt a few times.

Okay, all ready.

He plays his putt.

 Tiger!

There’s a moment where perfect theory meets perfect execution. And it was then.

I saw perfection.

No, you cannot go on, and be a Tiger. He is one for the generations. And be happy that it is our generation that got to see him play.

We are blessed.

(p.s. And he goes on to win it all the next day. If Nicklaus was better than Tiger, he must have been pretty exceptional. I’m sure he was phenomenal, but I’m sure too that he wasn’t as good. As good as Tiger? Nope. That’s impossible.)