Trying to mirror Wimbledon champion Andy Murray? It's not a smashing idea
Every silver lining has a cloud, though in the case of ... sorry, that’s horribly inadequate cobblers, even by the general standards of this column. http://www.telegraph.co.uk/sport/tennis/10174638/Trying-to-mirror-Wimbledon-champion-Andy-Murray-Its-not-a-smashing-idea.html
So let us begin again. Every 24-carat golden lining, shimmering with rubies and diamonds, and fringed with the translucent wings of smiling cherubim, has a cloud - although in the case of what occurred in SW19 on Sunday afternoon, there happen to be two.
One is more fittingly a concern for the mental-health professional, but I mention it anyway in a wild and obviously doomed stab at self-medication.
Far from abating, the addiction to the Wimbledon men’s final intensifies alarmingly. On Wednesday night, I watched the third set seven times, and found something new to activate the lachrymals in every viewing.
With one, for instance, it was the frighteningly visceral roar that greeted Andy Murray’s recovery, with a brilliant backhand defensive lob from a seemingly hopeless position, to earn his fourth and blessedly last championship point. The Centre Court crowd’s heroic response to last week’s plea to intimidate Novak Djokovic with ferocious noise and passion made we weep. So did Kim Sears muttering to herself, when her gentleman caller broke for 5-4 in the third set, an adorably bamboozled, “I don’t believe this”. Who did?
When that seventh review concluded at 2.33am, there was no option, of course, but to watch the last two hours of Andy’s marathon US Open final victory from last September, when he spared us Sunday’s excruciation by serving out for the title for the loss of a single point.
Perhaps the lack of sleep sharpened the cantankerousness, but Thursday morning’s slovenly lollop around a west London park brings us to the second and more pernicious of those clouds. This one usually hangs over us for about a fortnight after Wimbledon, but this year, as this section reported on Wednesday under the hateful headline, ‘Murray factor sparks rush for the courts’, it will persist for longer and more menacingly than ever before.
To the staggeringly useless tennis dilettantes of Ravenscourt Park, where I overheard a sixtysomething wife advise her husband, “Darling, do you not think you should take the cellophane off the racket?”, and indeed of every park in the realm, I say this. Don’t do it. Just do not do it. If the flame of Wimbledon burns uncontrollably in your breast, do what I do, and restrict viewings of the final to as little as 14 hours per day. That way, you will distress nobody other perhaps than your family and a boss umbraged at the drastic diminution of your work-rate.
If you are pathologically incapable of putting more than one out of 23 serves into play, and then at 11 miles per hour, however, and if you cannot reach the net, never mind clear it, with a return of even so feeble a service, you have no business inflicting your disgrace on innocent passers-by.
In a civilised world, legislation would be passed for every public court to be patrolled by riot police instructed to deploy water cannon at all before frogmarching the drenched to court, where they would summarily be rewarded with an all-expenses paid holiday of a lifetime to HMP Belmarsh.
If that seems too draconian (though, God knows why), every council should at least institute a bylaw whereby the fences surrounding its public courts are draped with thick black curtains.
Would anyone who visited last year’s Leonardo exhibition at the National Gallery have been thrilled had the first thing to greet their eyes, after marvelling at The Last Supper, been the work of an unconscionably bad Trafalgar Square pavement artist? Would you honestly wish, on emerging spellbound from a concert hall, in which Vladimir Ashkenazy had played a Rachmaninov piano concerto, to find Les Dawson tinkling the ivories in the foyer? No you would not.
It is one thing for children to be inspired by Murray to take up tennis, and a good thing at that. However, there is something uniquely repellent about the vision of wilfully malcoordinated middle-aged schlubs demeaning his epochal achievement with savagely incompetent pastiches of his work. If I feel any urgent need for that, I can always hunt out the old Dunlop and wave it pitiably at the mirror.