Imagine if you were the fourth best person in the world at anything. The fourth best rocket scientist, businessman, comedian, or dad. To excel to such a degree at something you are passionate about would be a crowning achievement in anyone’s life. So why is Andy Murray so miserable right now?
Because it’s time to take center court at Wimbledon.
The Brit has made over 20 million dollars in career earnings, has a smoking hot girlfriend, and as the previous point highlights, is the fourth best tennis player on the planet. None of this changes the fact that Andy Murray is a loser. And it will never be more apparent than when Murray walks off the court at the all England Club for the final time in 2012. Just as he has done the past seven years he will most likely do so a loser, and Great Britain’s hope of embracing a homegrown champion, even if he is a Scot, will have to wait at least one more year.
There is nothing quite like Andy Murray’s predicament. In the United States during the US Open we of course root for American’s such as Roddick and the Williams sisters, and have always had perennial winners such as Sampras, McEnroe, and Agassi to keep us feeling good about ourselves. The national pressure isn’t the same for golfers at the British Open, especially when their nation currently have three Brits, Rory McIlroy, Luke Donald, and Lee Westwood, holding the top three spots. Australians forgive Hewitt for not winning an Aussie Open because at least he’s won A grand slam. The last time a Brit won Wimbledon the Queen was 10. Not even that old bird can remember it.
The main difference between between these scenarios and Murray’s current situation is that British fans, specifically the British media, are absolutely mad when it comes to sports. They sing “God Save the Queen” at Three Lions football matches until they are hoarse. They will smash a bottle over your head if you bad mouth their football club. They will even root for a Scot if it means they as a nation will be proclaimed winners. Whether it’s some sort of superiority complex developed during Colonialism when England was the most powerful nation in the world, or this general fervent nationalism is a genetic trait found in portly and pristine Brits alike, they expect the best.
Though British fans may be delusional when it comes to their soccer teams, club and country alike, as well as Murray’s chances at Wimbledon, for this reason they are the most endearing fans in the world. Soccer players dream of playing in the UK because there football is a way of life. The passion of these fans is unparalleled. British fans live and die with their team on the pitch, cringe with every set, and look forward to the next chance with a twisted optimism once they inevitably lose. If Murray can channel even an ounce of this passion instead of looking pained and exasperated on the court, he will have a shot. The excuse that he is playing in an unwinnable era dominated by greats such as Federer, Nadal, and Djokovic, though probably true, is getting old. Unless he wins a Major (Wimbledon please!) or people start lowering expectations, Andy Murray will always be a loser.