It is the fiery against the calm. The spirit against the tactician. The unorthodox against the norm. The relentless against the simple. The hope against the nearly man. The Scot against the Englishman. This was Andy Murray against Tim Henman.
Hypothetically, this scenario seems pitiful but the theme I am discussing is the level of support between the two.
Henman, without any calculations, is the people’s hero. He was the man who could never quite make it. Of those Grandma’s and Granddad’s watching Wimbledon, who thought that Tim would be a fantastic son-in-law, loved the way he presenting himself and played his tennis.
Now steps up the new lad, Andy Murray. Who could, say the less, is a bit controversial. He has been slapped black and blue for, well, making the air black and blue. He did promise to tone it down though, thank you Grandma Murray.
Excellent, family sponsors like Robinsons and Adidas followed Henman religiously and those were his trademarks for commercial success. His face was seen with those in the heart of the family, a typical young good boy from Surrey.
On the other hand, Fred Perry sponsors Murray, which, initially, is classed as being a bit trendy, a bit youthful. A young, new, hip fashion clothing wear. Quite the contrast I think.
Who would appeal to the younger ones? Tennis needs a next generation, and Murray will provide that. His amazing, astounding, first-class, first-rate, comeback against the hapless Richard Gasquet was quite remarkable.
I am not speaking about the gutsy fight back he produced but the crowd’s reaction.
For a first time in a long while, the crowd went bonkers, it was certainly more a football crowd, than a tennis one. (Well perhaps not a Manchester United home following)
As Murray punched the air with delight and ecstasy, every fan was doing the same. As he pounded out his chest whilst on the bare fringes of the photographer’s pit, he resembled a true champion. His pure love the game was rushing out, his vain in his neck was about to explode with pure adrenaline. It was at that moment, perhaps, the tennis public fell in love with Andrew Murray.
Before then, the crowd have never taken to the Scotsman as he was ruled out of last year’s SW19 championship through injury and the one before that he was fast out of the blocks.
Henman was always glowingly liked and respected, well it was easy too.
Murray is harder to like but any sort of patriotism to get the British public roaring will always go down superbly.