“Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.”
Andy Murray - Wimbledon Champion
I feel a little guilty that I'm the one starting this thread, because I'm not even British.
CONGRATS ANDY MURRAY on becoming a WIMBLEDON CHAMPION today. It's been a long time coming, not just for Great Britain but also for Andy Murray personally. Andy played a great match. He totally deserved to win this tournament and I'm so happy he seized the moment. Last year, his speech after he lost the Wimbledon final to Federer was so painful to watch. Props to him for going on to win Olympic Gold and Silver and then the U.S. Open. Do you think there will be more pressure or less pressure on Andy at next year's Wimbledon? Part of me thinks there will be less, but then again, he'll be coming in as the defending champion, so who knows. He'll definitely have a HUGE monkey off his back though. Bring on the U.S. Open!
Oh, and I also love the documentary that the BBC just did on Andy. He seems like such a down-to-earth person.
Yes, congratulations to Andy!!! I hoped that he´ll win, but did not believe it would happen.
I was so excited! I think it will be less strain next year. After all, this was a 70-year drought. If he wins next year, grand. If he doesn't, he's still the man of the century in British tennis. This can never be taken away from him. He himself said that he thought he'd never have to play a game as hard as this one again. This match was probably one of the few sports competitions in which the athlete was under the same degree of pressure as YuNa Kim in Vancouver, or at least similar. The fate of an entire nation was pressing down onto his shoulders, and there was no other athlete who could take the strain off him. I think he was the only Brit who made it into even the second round of the tournament.
“Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.”
Too bad women don't count. Virginia Wade won Wimbledon in 1977.
Originally Posted by Olympia
EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Firstly, I have to make clear that I am not a big tennis fan, and I did not watch the match (I had a motorsports-filled Sunday, with British Superbikes and Formula 1 both on!) But, I have to admit that I was supporting Djokevic in the final.
Don't get me wrong, it's not that I don't like Andy Murray (as skatingfan4ever says, he seems like a really nice, down-to-earth guy!). It was because I knew how unbearable the British media would be if Andy won!!!
The reason nobody British has posted on here about Andy Murray winning Wimbledon is that the coverage in the British media has made us sick of hearing about it!!!
Let me tell you how the British media works when it comes to our sports personalities.
But first, an important note. As you probably know, Andy Murray is from Scotland (just like Sinead and John Kerr). And, very early in his career, it became very obvious that whenever he did well, the media referred to him as “British tennis player Andy Murray”, but when he did not do so well, they referred to him as “Scottish tennis player Andy Murray”. In fact, it quickly got the stage that if you wanted to know how he got on in a tournament, all you had to ask was “Is he Scottish or British?”!!!
I should add, the same happens if you are from Wales (e.g. Paralympic legend Tanni Grey-Thompson), Northern Ireland (e.g. golfer Rory McIlroy), the Isle of Man (e.g. cyclist Mark Cavendish), the Channel Islands (e.g. tennis player Heather Watson)…
Right, back to the main subject.
In the run-up to any major sporting event, the British media goes on and on about the British competitor(s), and build up the expectation to win to impossible levels. And the way the media goes on makes the general public lose interest (although, the media doesn’t seem to realise this!)
Then, when the British competitor(s) don’t reach these levels (which is what happens most of the time), the media turns on them, treating it as a national disaster and condemning the competitor(s) for letting the whole country down (except the whole country couldn’t care less by this stage!)
Tim Henman had to put up with this for his whole competitive tennis career, and Andy Murray has had to put up with it up until now…
Yet, more often than not, they reason the British competitor(s) didn’t do well was because of all the pressure the British media was heaping on their shoulders (but, funnily enough, the media never seems to admit that…)
You should have heard the amount they were going on about Laura Robson when she was progressing through this year’s Ladies tournament. Like, this is a young girl who had never got any media coverage before, and then all of a sudden here was the media heaping all these expectations onto her shoulders. It was obvious to everybody (except the media, of course!) that she was eventually going to buckle under the pressure. And when she did, the media treated it as if it was a major shock!
Kinda makes you think about the young Russian Ladies skaters…
But, if the British competitor(s) manages to win, the media goes on and on about it for weeks on end. And that is no exaggeration! You can understand them going on about it the day after it happens. But when they are still treating it as a major story a week later, you are thinking “There’s plenty of other things happening in the world that are more news-worthy than this…”
But it is not just the length of time the coverage goes on for. It is the depths of silliness that it descends to as the media tries to drag it out for as long as possible.
- Going to the sportsperson’s home town and asking random locals in the street (who have probably never even met the sportsperson) how they feel about their compatriot’s success.
- Going to their old school, and asking the teachers what the sportsperson was like as a child, and how good a pupil they were (“Oh, they were brilliant!” being the sort of response. Like, as if they are going to say “Oh, they were a wee toe-rag!” about the new national hero!)
- Asking random people “Where were you when you heard?” (Like, you could understand people asking this about when JFK got shot, or when Elvis Presley, Marilyn Monroe, Princess Diana, etc. died. But, when Andy Murray won Wimbledon?! Not exactly the same league, is it?)
The problem now for Andy Murray is that the British media is now going to expect him to win every single tournament he enters. And when he doesn’t win the next one, they are going to turn on him quicker than you can say “He’s Scottish”!!!
So, although it was a great achievement for a British player to win the Men’s competition at Wimbledon for the first time since Fred Perry in 1936, it is not as big a deal for the general British public as the British media is making out.
And anyway, there have been British winners at Wimbledon since 1936 in categories other than the Men’s singles. Here are the most recent in each category:
- Andy Murray is not the first member of his family to win a Wimbledon title. His older brother, Jamie, partnered Serbia’s Jelena Janković to the title in the Mixed Doubles in 2007 (although, the last all-British pair to win was in 1987).
- As Pixie Cut has quite rightly pointed out, Dorset’s Virginia Wade won the Ladies Singles in 1977.
- Liverpool’s Jonathan Marray partnered Denmark’s Frederik Nielsen to the title in the Men’s Doubles in 2011 (although, the last all-British pair to win was in 1936).
- Liverpool’s Angela Buxton partnered South Carolina’s Althea Gibson to the title in the Ladies Doubles in 1956. (In 1955, all 4 players in the Ladies Doubles final were British).
- In 1967, Stanley Matthews (the son of the famous footballer of the same name) won in the Boys Singles.
- Laura Robson won the Girls Singles title in 2008 but, as she was born in Australia to an Australian family, I’m not sure whether to count her. If we don’t, the last British winner would be London’s Annabel Croft in 1984.
- Bolton’s George Morgan partnered Croatia’s Mate Pavić to the title in the Boys Doubles in 2011 (the last all-British pair to win was the year before).
- The only time a British player has won in the Girls Doubles was in 1994, when Elizabeth Jelfs partnered South Africa’s Esme DeVilliers.
And then there is the small matter of the media only being interested in certain sports (i.e. Football, Rugby, Cricket, Golf, Tennis), and ignoring all the other sports (e.g. figure skating!), even if there is British success. But that is a whole thread’s worth of discussion in itself, so I am not going any further down that road!
I’m not trying to take away from what Andy has achieved by winning Wimbledon. Winning any competition in any sport is a great personal achievement. I’m just trying to put this win into context.
So, congratulations to Andy for becoming “British”. Just remember not to let all the media hype go to your head. But, most important of all, be well prepared for them to turn on you when you become “Scottish” again!
Sorry to be unclear. I remember Virginia Wade's win. I was referring to the drought of male winners. I can't remember the name of the last female winner before Wade, but it was a long time between whoever-it-was and Wade as well. She was the lone hope from Britain for quite a few years, and when she finally won, it was just as exciting as Murray's this year.
Originally Posted by Pixie Cut
“Our blade takes us in the most amazing places.”
Fascinating post! Thanks for joining the conversation. I have noticed that most of the comments on Andy Murray YouTube videos either reference or argue about the British/Scottish thing. I pray that Murray survives the media bombardment until his career ends. Is it likely that the media hype will be maintained even after he retires? I get the impression from your post that it could last for the rest of his life (heaven forbid). The media is such a fickle thing. When you win, they love you, but when you lose, they rip you apart. I think the U.S. media does this too, though maybe not to the extent of the British media. The media and its relationship with athletes could be the subject of another thread entirely. The U.S. tennis commentators had made a point of reminding us constantly of Murray's situation too. I saw Murray as a huge underdog in the match and was actually very surprised that he won and did so in three sets.
Originally Posted by CaroLiza_fan
I started this thread mainly in the excitement of the moment. I wasn't sure if anyone else on GS, British or otherwise, would post replies to it. After all, we all came here as figure skating fans, first and foremost
EZETTIE LATUASV IVAKMHA
Originally Posted by skatingfan4ever
Sorry that I am only replying now, but I decided to wait a wee while to see what happened in the weeks after Wimbledon.
And I have to say, the hype about Murray’s win did not last anywhere near as long as I was expecting. Mind you, that may be because the media was more interested in the impending arrival of a certain baby…
To be honest, when you asked how long the hype would last, skatingfan4ever, I wasn’t sure. There aren’t really any parallels. As has already been pointed out, there hasn’t been British success in Men’s tennis at Wimbledon for a long time, and it seems Ladies tennis doesn’t matter. So, if we are looking for something to use for comparison, we have to look at other sports.
Although there has been British success in golf in recent years (particularly from my fellow Ulstermen ), the fuss usually dies down after a few weeks. Although neither of them is too high up the media’s list of priorities, tennis is bigger than golf.
I can think of lots of British success in sports that the media aren’t very big on. For example, British riders dominated the World Superbike Championship for most of the 1990’s and early 2000’s, but it didn’t made the news. British cyclists have been enjoying a lot of success in recent years in different disciplines, but it only makes the news during the Olympics and the Tour de France. For goodness sake, snooker and darts have been dominated by British players for nearly all of their history, but the media hardly ever takes interest!
After the England team won the Football World Cup in 1966, the hype HAS lasted for the rest of the players’ lives. It is now 47 years later, and the British media still brings it up regularly. Not quite every time England plays a match (thank goodness!), but still very frequently. Like, when England plays a significant match (especially against Germany!); or when England plays in a major tournament; or when England fails to qualify for a major tournament…
But, there again, football is the national sport in these islands. The media is interested in it the whole year through. With other sports, the British media is only interested when certain events are on:
With Rugby, it’s the 6 Nations.
With Cricket, it’s The Ashes.
With Tennis, it’s Wimbledon.
With Snooker, it’s the World Championships.
With Athletics, it’s the Olympics.
With Cycling, it's the Tour de France.
And when these events are not on, you hardly ever hear about these sports unless something really significant happens.
For example, the British media only really started getting interested in golf when Rory McIlroy started doing well. And although I subscribe to Mark Twain’s views on golf (“a good walk spoiled”), I do find it kinda satisfying that it took somebody from Northern Ireland to make the British media start taking interest in a sport! Mind you, they are only interested when Rory is doing well, which hasn’t been so much since he changed his equipment…
In that respect, it sounds very similar to what I hear the American members of this forum saying about figure skating. The American media were only interested when it was Americans doing well (particularly Michelle Kwan). But, I’m not sure if the British media would get interested in figure skating even if we had somebody at the top of the sport. As I said above, there are other sports that have British competitors either dominating or consistently near the top, and the British media has not got interested.
Anyway, back to the subject. As I said, I am not a fan of tennis – I wouldn’t go out of the way to watch it. But if I was taping something and there was a bit of tennis at the start or the end of the recording, I would watch it for a few minutes. Particularly if it was a Ladies match…
Although there were a lot of shock exits in the early stages of both Men’s and Ladies competitions at this year’s Wimbledon, it was the Ladies competition that was getting more media attention than the Men’s competition.
And, the British media loves the underdog stories too! I’ve already mentioned the way they were going on about Laura Robson during Wimbledon. OK, so a lot of that was because she was representing Britain, but there were lots of other British players that weren’t talked about. So, my feeling is that they were concentrating so much on Laura because she was the underdog in most of her matches BUT, at the same time, she was a good enough player to have a chance of winning. Which generates excitement!
With Murray, on the other hand, he was the favourite in most of his matches. So, in the early stages anyway, there wasn’t as much excitement as there would have been had he been the underdog.
But when Andy Murray got to the later stages, that was when the media’s interest started to shift from the Ladies to the Men. And, after Laura Robson was knocked out, you never heard about the Ladies competition again! In fact, the media were talking so much about Murray in the last few days of the tournament that I didn’t know who had even got into the Ladies final until nosiness got the better of me and I looked it up about a week later!
So, whilst the hype was unbearable for the week or so after Andy won, we have barely heard his name mentioned ever since! The Tour de France and Royal babies took over.
You know, I think the British media might have caught on that going on about things for ages turns the public off. Because the hype about Chris Froome’s success in the Tour and the arrival of Prince George of Cambridge has already died down! And it is only a week later!