Punch declares: Australia must support the skinny Scot
Following Andy Murray’s pretty convincing win in last night’s Australian Open semi-final The Punch now argues Australia must support the young Scot in the final. For one it has been 74 years since the last British male won a grand slam, and secondly Australia kind of killed their last champion.
If you are ever tempted to complain about the state of Australian tennis just remember this: the British are really, really bad. They even have to say British because as individual UK nations it would look even more pathetic.
While Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977 for all the British ladies in the place, the last male Briton to win a grand slam was Fred Perry back in 1936. In 1936 the Nazis were running Germany and refrigeration was looked upon with the same awe as the iPad is today. Perhaps only bettered by Cronulla’s inability to ever win the premiership it’s one of the longest standing failures in sport.
By all accounts Perry was an amazing player who between 1933 and 1936 won eight of the old amateur grand slams, before turning professional and travelling around the world in a tent and wrestle Lucky Lindy, or whatever they did on those “professional sportsman” tours.
Perry also defeated a representative of the Third Reich in two Wimbledon finals, beating the fabulously named Baron Gottfried Van Cram, thus making him doubly the hero in English folklore.
(Although to be fair to Baron Van Cramm he didn’t like the Nazis. In fact he refused to become a poster boy for Hitler and as a result the Gestapo outed a gay relationship he had with a young Jewish actor and sentenced him to one year in prison, something that gave Britain and America reason to ban him from tournaments and stunted his career. At one point he also married the richest woman on earth. None of this has to do with anything much other to further illustrate the point that tennis used to be a hell of a lot more interesting)
Another reason the nation should get behind Murray is the fact that Australia was responsible for Fred Perry’s death. Well not quite, but he slipped in his hotel bathtub and died while he was in Melbourne to watch the Australian Open. Needless to say it’s been a bit awkward, so we probably owe the Brits on some level and if he wins here there’s a nice “circle of life” aspect to the whole thing.
Some fans may be a little torn as he could be up against Frenchman Jo-Wilfried Tsonga in the final, a decidedly more exciting player and character than any of the other top tennis players at the moment. But given that Tsonga is up against Federer in the other semi-final it’s a choice that is likely to be made for us.
Murray is an odd-looking incongruous kind of an athlete. Even though he’s cut his hair and bulked-up a bit recently he still looks like a skinny and pasty Scottish teenager who should be smoking pot and listening to Tool. For this reason alone he is more deserving than that boring genius Roger Federer who has won everything there is to win.
But besides the blood money and historical rationale, the best reason for having Murray win the final is that he is the best player going around yet to win a grand slam tournament. Put simply the guy is due and so are the British.
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