Darren Gough (PA)

Wimbledon 2012: when the real Andy Murray stood up

By Duncan Hooper 09/07/2012 07:34

At the end of Wimbledon 2012 we saw the real Andy Murray. We saw a turning point in an individual’s career and a nation’s psyche.


Andy MurrayA lot of people who had doubted him, who had judged him and criticised him will have seen a completely different picture.


Some sportsmen (and women) never reveal their true selves because they are so preoccupied with their public face, the face they present to thieir opponents when they play.


Murray is serious on court, he plays to win and is focused on every little detail to do that. And in press conferences he is dull and dry so people think that’s how he is.


Celebrities who like the attention and joke about are always popular – look at Andrew Flintoff or Mario Balotelli – but those who prefer to be out of the spotlight never catch the imagination in the same way which is how it's been with Andy.


But we had him in at TalkSport a few weeks ago: he was funny, joking about and really passionate and what he was doing. He changed a lot of people’s minds in the studio - even cynical sports journalists.

In an individual event it’s crucial not to show weakness: I notice it when I’m playing golf - if your opponent can see any opening he will take advantage. With a team it’s different because you can’t hide in the dressingroom and your teammates spend all that time with you so can see what’s going on during the highs and lows.


Look at Federer: everyone loves him because he’s obviously a nice bloke but you never know on court what he’s thinking- whether he’s tired or hurting or weak. He's a smooth international operator but British heros generally aren't made like that.


There will always be people who dislike Andy Murray. People even seem to think it’s a problem that his mum supports him when he goes on court, I just can’t understand it.


But today in playing like he did and being a gentleman and obviously being choked  he will have won over a whole mass of people.


Before I think he didn’t really have the confidence to be himself, but now that he’s broken the boundary I think he could be a different player, unencumbered.

This could be exactly what he needs to lift the burden of expectation and create a force for good. Let’s hope so.

09/07/2012 09:36

Murray looks like he is starting to feel and know what it's like to be a champion. His hard work and more importantly, his belief have been given a boost. It's a new situation for him and it will take time to get used to and go that one step further.

For once Goughie you're not talking toffee!

09/07/2012 13:25
I cried like a baby during his speech, and I'm a 25 year old man!
09/07/2012 12:26
Trying not to sound desparate here, but the seeds as they were meant at the semis he was up against Rafa in 2011 (US Open/Wimbledon/French) or Dokvc (2012 Aus) and couldn't get past. Now Fedr is No.1 in the next hard-court semis (if he gets there), he will be up against the fed-express ... which has to slow down for a station at some point (surely!) .. fingers crossed for US 2012  and the next Aussie open! .. I'm not Scottish, and once wasn't fond of him, I just think he deserves some real success. Good luck Andy!
09/07/2012 14:48
What a man!!   His emotions yesterday when he lost, proved he is a man who desperately wanted to win for his country, and for himself.  We are proud of this young man and how well he conducted himself ,despite his own heartbreak at losing.  Great stuff Andy - keep going,
you will ,one day, get your reward for your efforts!!  
09/07/2012 10:37
I say this more in hope than expectation, but I do see the point and really hope that Goughie is right.
His biggest problem is the caliber of guys he has to beat to win one of the big tournaments. The top four players (and in this sense it is 4, not 3) in the world are so dominant just now that where Federer beat Philipoussis, Nadal beat Puerta, Djokovic beat Tsonga to win their first Slam, Murray will have to take out one and probably two of the top three to do so.
Like i said though, I hope Goughie is right.
09/07/2012 15:14
Andy was excellent. He played with all he had, he gave all he had and in defeat he was very a gracious, decent and very British loser!  Well done Andy
Those of us that have followed Andy for the past few years have always known that he is a true gentleman on and of the court. He does not hide anything, in his face his pain and his heartache are there for all to see.  I  managed to get his autograph in Dubai this year - he was ushered out of a different entrance to where all the fans where waiting. As he was spotted there where shouts from all the kids, Andy, Andy and instead of continuing his way with the official he dropped his bags after spotting us all, sprinted over to where we were queuing and begun signing away. I wished him luck for the next days game and he thanked me very politely. He is and always will be in my view a great champion of the sport whether he wins a Grand Slam or not, of course for his own personal achievement he wants that elusive one, so knowing the man he is that will spur him on to train harder and get fitter (if that is possible) until he has exhausted every avenue open to him to improve. He is a great ambassador for his profession and a very likeable man.
10/07/2012 01:35

Just not good enough & will never win a G.S. Has definitely improved his PR with tearful post final interview. Personally can't stand him & as he does nothing to inspire young (or old) tennis players in th uk with his attitude to journalists & interviewers...

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  • Darren GoughDarren Gough

    Former England strike bowler and Yorkshire captain Goughie talks all things cricket and occasionally shows off his knowledge of other sports...

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