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xxdanixx
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4740 on: January 13, 2013, 11:43 PM »
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Baker and Murray: Friends reunited at the top

Jamie Baker has overcome a series of setbacks to make Australian Open with oldest buddy Murray, writes Paul Newman

They have been friends for 20 years, they spent their boyhoods travelling together to tournaments across the country, and this week they will be Britain's lone representatives in the men's singles at the Australian Open.

Andy Murray's delight at Jamie Baker's achievement in qualifying for the year's opening Grand Slam tournament was evident here on Saturday night. At every break during a round of television interviews, Murray checked on the score in Baker's final qualifying match and punched the air in delight when told his compatriot had beaten the American Donald Young. Baker will face the Czech Republic's Lukas Rosol, who famously beat Rafael Nadal at Wimbledon last summer, in the first round tomorrow.

If ever there was a player who shared Murray's dedication it is Baker, even if the respective talents of the two men are demonstrated less by their national rankings (they are British No 1 and No 2) than by their world rankings (No 3 and No 246).

Baker has grown used to looking up to Murray, despite being one year older. "I remember going to one of my first under-10 tournaments at the Dunblane tennis club," Baker said. "We were playing in a round-robin. He beat me 6-0. It was embarrassing."

Not that Baker remembers his friend as a particularly accomplished player at that age. "He had a double-handed forehand back then, up until he was about 12 or 13," the 26-year-old Glaswegian said. "All he did was hit moonballs. Everyone was saying, 'This guy has got no chance, he can't do anything with that.' And obviously his behaviour wasn't the best back then. If there was talent identification at the time it would have been tough for him."

Baker added: "We've known each other since I was about six years old. In terms of a friendship he's perhaps the only person in my life who I have known for that long. No matter what he does, there are no secrets between us. I know everything about him and vice versa. It's nice in a crazy tennis world to have someone like that."

Their tennis journey may have started on the same roads, but while Murray has been speeding down the super highways for the last five years Baker has been down many a dead end. Although he has never had his friend's outstanding talent, Baker has also been short on luck. Injuries have repeatedly halted his progress, while in 2008 he was told he was unlikely to play competitive tennis again after being diagnosed with a life-threatening blood condition.

Baker suffered from depression as he tried to rebuild his career, but, as is his wont, he worked tirelessly to maximise his talent. He reached a career-high No 186 in the world rankings last summer, when he kept Andy Roddick on court for more than three hours in a hard-fought match at Wimbledon, and might have had an even better year but for stomach surgery which kept him out of the game for more than two months.

The prize-money of $Aus27,600 (about £18,000) Baker is guaranteed for reaching the first round here will be a welcome bonus for a player with average earnings of about £22,000 a year since he made his first steps on the senior tour 10 years ago.

As someone who made the gruelling journey Down Under on an economy ticket he also welcomed the cheque for $Aus1,000 (about £650) that Tennis Australia has given to each player to help with their travel costs. "I couldn't believe they gave it to everyone," he added. "They gave Andy a cheque for a thousand dollars. What's he going to do with that? Have lunch at Nobu?"

Having checked out of his original budget hotel before his final match in qualifying, Baker spent Saturday in the Hyatt, though he was not planning to stay for long. "I'll be looking online to see if I can get a cheaper place," he said. "I can afford to stay there, but I'm saving for a house so I don't want to spend my money on a slightly nicer hotel."

Having friends in high places has its practical benefits. Murray, who has great respect for Baker's work ethic, once again invited him to join his team at their Florida training camp last month.

Baker welcomed the chance to witness Murray's ability at close hand. "He is right at the top, one of the best three in the world, and to see what he does on a daily basis has been great," Baker said. "Just hitting balls with him is so eye-opening.

"At times I will come off the court and say, 'I just cannot understand how he has got that good. I cannot relate to what he is doing with the ball compared to how hard I'm trying to do similar things. I can't relate to it. We're doing all our training sessions together and he isn't putting any more into it than I am'."

He added: "We train differently but if we went up against each other he'd probably beat me in everything. Look at him, he's like a tank. The difference is that he has had six or seven years of a regular diet of that volume of training.When he first started working with Jez and Matt [Little] he was still training hard, so he's got to a point now where he can cope with anything which is thrown at him. When he first started with them his body wasn't in that position."

Baker said Murray had been very supportive through his toughest times and added: "If I have anything on my mind or I want to ask him anything about my game, how to improve, he's there and it's on tap."

Although Baker has never won a main draw match at a Grand Slam tournament, this is the second time he has qualified here. Five years ago he pushed Ivo Karlovic, then the world No 24, to four tough sets. On current form he might fancy his chances against Rosol, who has done little since his stunning victory over Nadal last summer.

Baker said that winning tomorrow would make a "massive difference" to his year. "It would be huge ranking points and huge money and would set me up for the tougher schedule I aim to play this year," he said. "It boosts my position to get into these tournaments. When I got to this stage in 2008 I felt I played my best match at a Slam apart from the Roddick match.

"I felt so much better because I felt I had earned my place in the draw. I qualified, I am here, no one has given it to me. I lack confidence sometimes, but I feel better if I have qualified on my own right. I don't owe anyone a good performance. I feel like I am good enough to be here."

Baker said that the example of another friend, Jonny Marray, who won the Wimbledon doubles title at the age of 31 last summer in partnership with Frederik Nielsen, showed the importance of perseverance.

"He shows up for work every day, does the right things and is a true pro," Baker said. "Most of us are doing that, but it's hard to relate to that. Will we ever see anything like that again? It gives us all hope though. I feel I always harp on about the depth of men's tennis and how many good players there are of a very high level. The difference between winning and losing matches between players whose rankings are at different ends of the scale is so, so small."

http://www.independent.co.uk/sport/tennis/baker-and-murray-friends-reunited-at-the-top-8449936.html
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TheMadHatter
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4741 on: January 14, 2013, 02:10 PM »
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"As someone who made the gruelling journey Down Under on an economy ticket he also welcomed the cheque for $Aus1,000 (about £650) that Tennis Australia has given to each player to help with their travel costs. "I couldn't believe they gave it to everyone," he added. "They gave Andy a cheque for a thousand dollars. What's he going to do with that? Have lunch at Nobu?""

lol

Nice touch from TA that.
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4742 on: January 14, 2013, 02:22 PM »
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"As someone who made the gruelling journey Down Under on an economy ticket he also welcomed the cheque for $Aus1,000 (about £650) that Tennis Australia has given to each player to help with their travel costs. "I couldn't believe they gave it to everyone," he added. "They gave Andy a cheque for a thousand dollars. What's he going to do with that? Have lunch at Nobu?""

lol

Nice touch from TA that.

I thought that last comment was hilarious lol. True as well lol.
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ally
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4743 on: January 14, 2013, 06:35 PM »
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I just came across this article from The Sun, posted on Andy's Facebook.  I love the picture.

http://www.thesun.co.uk/sol/homepage/sport/tennis/4742074/Andu-Murray-is-out-of-this-world.html


And also an article from Daily Mail.

www.dailymail.co.uk/sport/tennis/article-2261768/Andy-Murray-make-history-says-Andre-Agassi.htm

Hope I have done this ok.
[ Last edit by ally January 14, 2013, 06:39 PM ] IP Logged
angiebabez
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4744 on: January 14, 2013, 06:54 PM »
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Yes I got it OK ally it was fab. Ha muzz light year Smile at least u know how to post articles- I still can't figure it out on my tablet  confused
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ally
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4745 on: January 14, 2013, 06:57 PM »
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Yes I got it OK ally it was fab. Ha muzz light year Smile at least u know how to post articles- I still can't figure it out on my tablet  confused

It did take me 3 shots as the Sun article wouldn't link, so don't know what I did wrong or right Angie!
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4746 on: January 14, 2013, 07:08 PM »
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"As someone who made the gruelling journey Down Under on an economy ticket he also welcomed the cheque for $Aus1,000 (about £650) that Tennis Australia has given to each player to help with their travel costs. "I couldn't believe they gave it to everyone," he added. "They gave Andy a cheque for a thousand dollars. What's he going to do with that? Have lunch at Nobu?""

lol

Nice touch from TA that.
  Maybe there should be a tapered payback depending on how far you progress! Very Happy
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4747 on: January 15, 2013, 03:00 AM »
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Short article on Jamie B, not particularly relevant to Andy but a small insight into his world ahead of his third ever main draw Grand Slam encounter.

Quote
It is day two of the Australian Open and there is much to discuss. The pundits are chewing the end of their pens and pondering whether Novak Djokovic can become the first man in the Open Era to win three consecutive titles in Melbourne, whether Andy Murray can become the first man in the Open Era to back up his debut Grand Slam success by winning the next major title or whether Roger Federer can break his own record and become the first man ever to win 18 Grand Slam titles.

The media spotlight shines bright on these three international superstars and, professional to a tee, they deflect the glare with panache and aplomb and take it one match at a time.

But there was a time when Lukas Rosol was on the front and back page of every newspaper. Just six months ago, Rosol, then the world No.100, did the unthinkable and beat Rafael Nadal in five sets in the second round of Wimbledon. For 48 glorious hours the big bloke from Brno was the talk of the tennis world: how had he won? How could this happen? Could he do it again?

"It¹s like just some B team in the Czech Republic can beat Real Madrid," Rosol said at the time as he tried to put his achievement into context. "It's something like this. I think if I beat Rafa now so I can beat anyone. It's just tennis and everybody's human."

And then, just to prove his point, big Lukas showed just how human he was by losing in straight sets to Philipp Kohlschreiber in the very next round. From there it was just a short step back into obscurity. Over the course of the rest of that season, he failed to qualify for the US Open and won just six more matches on the main tour. This year, he has won just one match in a tour event ­ the first round in Qatar ­and now finds himself out on Court 20 today facing Jamie Baker.

Who is Jamie Baker? He the world No.246 from Glasgow and a great pal of Andy Murray. He spent the off-season working with the world No.3 in Murray¹s Miami training base and after working himself narrow following the Muzz¹s eye-watering training regime, he arrived fit and battle hardened enough to fight his way through the qualifying competition. Then again, Baker has never been shy of hard work. One of nature¹s grafters, his work ethic and professionalism are second to none ­ if only he had some of Murray¹s sublime skills, his ranking and his bank balance might be looking a little healthier.

Despite the fact that he has known Murray for a lifetime, his fellow Scot never ceases to amaze Baker. And what he saw of the US Open champion¹s form and fitness over Christmas took our Jamie¹s breath away.

"Just hitting balls with him is so eye opening," Baker said."³At times I will come off the court and say I just cannot understand how he has got that good. I cannot relate to what he is doing with the ball compared to how hard I am trying to do similar things.

"We¹ve known each other since I was about six years old. In terms of a friendship, he¹s perhaps the only person in my life who I have known for that long. No matter what he does there are no secrets between us. I know everything about him and vice-versa. It¹s nice in a crazy tennis world to have someone like that."

It was particularly important to have such a good friend to support him when, in 2008, he was diagnosed with Idiopathic Thrombocytopeni Purpura (ITP), a disease that attacks the clotting agents in the blood and leaves the patient at risk of bleeding to death from the slightest cut or bruise.

Practising in Tampa, Florida, with his friend Brendan Evans, suddenly noticed lots bruises on his arms and a rash on his shoulder. Evans called his mother, who is a nurse, for advice and she urged Baker to get himself to hospital as soon as possible. There he spent three days in intensive care as the doctors discovered the clotting agents in his blood were at 'catastrophically low' levels, meaning that a tiny bump on the head could have led to a brain haemorrhage.

It took three months before he could play again but Baker being Baker, he kept plugging away and now, four years on and having earned his place in the draw here, he knows that a win today could be a turning point in his career.

"I have never won a match at a slam," he said. "Ranking wise it would make a massive difference: huge points, huge money and it will set me up for the tougher schedule I aim to play this year. It boosts my position to get into those tournaments."

Court 20 at Melbourne Park may not be the biggest stage in the sport and Rosol and Baker may not be the marquee names on everyone's lips but wherever you turn today, there are men and women fighting tooth >and nail for every point. And while a first round win maybe a routine occurrence for Messrs Djokovic, Murray and Federer, for the lesser ranked players, it can make all the difference in the world.
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4748 on: January 15, 2013, 09:43 AM »
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http://www.australianopen.com/en_AU/news/interviews/2013-01-15/201301151358235254354.html

Andy Murray 15-1-13
Tuesday, 15 January, 2013

Start of Transcribed Interview
       
Q.  That seemed really impressive from the start.  Did it feel that way to you?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, it was a good start.  I mean, it was very different conditions to what it's been the last four, five days.  So the court was playing much different.  Bouncing a lot higher.  It's much livelier.

Yeah, I thought I did a pretty good job from the start of dictating the points and not giving him too many freebies.

Q.  What did you make of the singing fans that supported you?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think it's the same group of guys that come every single year.  So, yeah, they've been there, yeah, I would say at least four or five years.  They've been coming to watch.  Try to sort them out some tickets when we can.

Yeah, they're good support and pretty amusing songs.  Although I think they haven't come up with too many new ones, so challenge them to that.

Q.  Are they Australians?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah.

Q.  Do you know anything about your next opponent, Sousa?

ANDY MURRAY:  A little bit.  I don't know too much about him, but I've seen him play a couple of matches during the clay court season last year in Barcelona.  I saw him play.  I also saw him a little bit at the French Open, as well.

I've never practiced against him; never played against him.

 Q.  Physically are you exactly where you want to be body wise?  Not so much fitness, but you seem to fill your shirt out perhaps even more than you did 12 months ago.

ANDY MURRAY:  Most of the weight that I put on is in my legs, but the T shirt I'm wearing is tighter.  It's not that I'm any bigger in my upper body.  It's just because of the tightness of the T shirt, maybe it appears that way.

 Q.  But are you where you want to be physically?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I think, you know, you train hard and prepare the best you can and then see where it takes you when you get into the tough situations, the hard conditions.  Especially here, it can be extremely hot, which it probably will be on Thursday.  You know, then throughout the year you make adjustments based on how you're feeling.

But I trained hard to get ready for this event.

Q.  Is there a bit of relief about getting the first game of the season at this Open out of the way?

ANDY MURRAY:  Yeah, I mean, I started the year well in Brisbane, but obviously coming into the slams the first match is normally pretty tough.

You know, there's nerves in the buildup.  You just got to try and focus and play solid, you know, not make too many silly mistakes.

I did a good job of that today.  It's always nice to get through the first round of any tournament, but especially here.

 Q.  Do you even feel nerves with your success?

ANDY MURRAY:  Everybody does.  I don't think there's anyone that doesn't.  I think nerves are a good thing.  If you aren't nervous, it shows that you're really not that bothered.

When the nerves are there, sometimes it can be, you know, for 10, 15 minutes before you go on the court or the beginning of the match or the evening beforehand.  You know, they can affect you at different times.

But it shows that you care, and that's the positive you take out of it.  Often when you are nervous, you can play your best tennis.

 Q.  Did it feel noticeably different walking out as a major winner?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, not really.  I think I've been asked that question a lot.  It didn't feel much difference to me.  Still nervous before I went on to play the match.

You know, I think when I would see the benefits of that is if I get myself deep into a slam this year and you're playing against the top players, that's I think when you'll draw on that experience and use it in the right way.

But I don't think it makes, you know, personally a huge amount of difference to how you feel at the beginning of events.

Q.  Is it tricky that everyone is understandably looking to the last major and all you want to do is look forward?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, it's not a bad thing.  I've often had to look at majors, having lost in finals or having lost in tough semifinals.  It's nice to have that memory of having won one.

But, yeah, doesn't matter what anyone else is doing; it matters what I'm doing.  I'm focused on this event, and I trained really hard to get myself ready for it.

So whether everyone else is still thinking about the US Open or not makes no difference to me.

 Q.  I think the forecast is for about 39 degrees on Thursday.  Does that make you more concerned about where you are in the schedule at all, what time of day you play?

ANDY MURRAY:  No, I mean, you know, obviously preferably when there's a bit of shade on the court in temperatures like that.  It obviously helps.

But, yeah, I mean, half the draw's going to be in the same situation.  Whether you play at 11:00, I mean, it's going to be really warm in the evening as well, but obviously not quite so bad.

But, yeah, for a majority of the day, it's going to be tough conditions to play in, and need to be ready for it.

Q.  Did you check in which half of the draw Janowicz is in?

ANDY MURRAY:  It wasn't the first thing I did when I saw the draw, no.  I didn't focus on that too much.  But I'm pretty sure he played yesterday.  I saw him warming up for his match, so...

I see he's in the top half.
 
Q.  There has been so sad news today about Brad Drewett, the ATP World Tour chairman stepping down.  Do you have a message for Brad?

ANDY MURRAY:  Of all the people in his position, since I've been part of the ATP, I spent more time with him than I did with any of the other guys before him.  We had, you know, numerous meetings with him, with the Grand Slams, you know, chatted to him a lot privately, as well.

Yeah, it's obviously very shocking news.  Very sad.  You know, he's done a very good job for the tour.  He's done a good job of bringing the tournaments together and arranging, you know, the meetings we had with the slams.  He's definitely had an impact in the time he's been working there.

So, yeah, it's a big shame to hear something like that happen.  Hope he's okay.
 
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4749 on: January 16, 2013, 07:25 AM »
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Oh my goodness gratious!!!



http://www.mirror.co.uk/sport/tennis/australian-open-andy-murray-looking-1536012
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4750 on: January 16, 2013, 04:04 PM »
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ANDY’S LATEST COLUMN - THE AUSTRALIAN
Andy - Wednesday, January 16 2013

SHADOW boxing with Lennox Lewis? Standing on the starting blocks with the Thorpedo a lane over? Telling a one-liner that cracks Will Ferrell up?
As a mad sporting fan, something I’ve always done is imagine what it might be like to go up against the best of the best, to wonder what it is that makes them so special or what sort of sacrifices they made to top the world.
From my columns over the past few years, you’ll know how into boxing I am. I’ve YouTubed clips of old Muhammad Ali fights and try to take in as much live boxing as I can. A couple of Australian Opens ago, I even had the pleasure of having Ricky Hatton courtside in my box as I fought my way through to the final. One of the highlights of the off-season was meeting Lennox Lewis, an undisputed heavyweight champion during his time in the ring, for the British Sportsperson of the Year Awards night. It actually created a bit of a stir, which I’ll touch on first. Because I was training in Miami through December, I wasn’t able to make it back to London for the night, but knowing that I love my boxing, the BBC arranged to fly Lennox to Florida from Jamaica to present an award to me, there was a video link back to ceremony in London. The problem is, only I could hear what was happening back in England as Lennox didn’t have an earpiece, so when it came time for him to hand me the trophy, he stood there frozen. That’s something that never happened in the ring! It left me to jokingly present the trophy to myself and it probably looked a little awkward, I’m told there was a fair bit of reaction on Twitter but Lennox was great about it and even cracked jokes about missing his cue. I’d hate to be standing next to him if he got punchy, after all.
For me, though, the chance to meet Lennox was brilliant and it is the inspiration for this column. I was able to ask him about his time at the top, how he was able to motivate himself when he had defend his titles, what it took the “pugilist specialist”, as he was known, to stay at the top.
As a tennis player, I’ve been fortunate to meet famous actresses and actors, politicians and people from all walks of life, it can be a bit weird sometimes because quite often it isn’t planned and you have to think on your feet. Will Ferrell, who loves his tennis, is an example. I met Will during the US Open last year as he attends the tennis nearly every day. In that type of situation you can get a bit nervous, particularly as Will is one of my favourite actors, I spared him any of my jokes! But, I love meeting people that have made it to the top because I’ve always been fascinated in what makes them tick. I tend to ask a lot of questions of them and the great thing about those conversations is that you don’t have to hold back because both of you have a common understanding about professionalism and hard work and dedication needed to reach the top.
All sports are different in the way you have to train, of course, but if you want to get to the top in any sport, you need to be incredibly dedicated and work hard. That is why it was great to meet Ian Thorpe the other day. I obviously knew what a great swimmer he was and during last year’s Olympics he was on TV a lot in London commentating.
As every Australian would know, Ian retired at a pretty young age when he was the best swimmer in the world before trying to make a comeback. I found that interesting because you see it happen occasionally with some of the women on tour. Players like Martina Hingis achieved great success at a young age but were retired in their mid-20s. With Ian I asked him why he wanted to come back and how long it took him, as an elite swimmer, to get himself back into world-class shape. It is a long road for any athlete to get back to where they were after taking a few years off, but he said that if you want it enough and you are talented enough, it is possible.
Don’t worry though. I’ve no plans to quit yet, I’ve still got plenty of unfinished business on the court.
Today I play Joao Sousa from Portugal and as always, I’ll need to be on my game, particularly given it’s going to be a hot one in Melbourne. It is on days like today, when it’s predicted to reach 39C that I hope all the work I’ve done in Miami will pay off, because it is really challenging playing in that heat. The key is to make sure you’re rested. Yesterday I had a slightly lighter hit than usual and made sure I kept myself cool and relaxed and well hydrated. Hopefully it pays dividends today.
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4751 on: January 16, 2013, 04:29 PM »
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Love reading articles you know are andys own words. Thanks Zarfeen.
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4752 on: January 16, 2013, 04:45 PM »
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^ No probs Angie Smile
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4753 on: January 16, 2013, 04:53 PM »
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 This Article.  LOL.   it talks a load of ********.  The Aussies must really be desperate for some sporting success.  They are envious I guess.
 

http://tvnz.co.nz/tennis-news/merciless-murray-roars-into-second-round-5319028?utm_medium=referral&utm_source=t.co


  the Aussie love affair with Murray is not over  imo.  I think they quite like him tbh
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Re: News Articles « Reply #4754 on: January 16, 2013, 05:00 PM »
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I found when I lived in Australia the TV channels hardly ever showed sports unless Australia had won. But I do think Andy is liked in Australia I know plenty of Scots who go to watch him when he is in  Melbourne to play tennis.





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