Why are so many people so unenthusiastic about Andy Murray? The same ones who used to wave their flags and roar on Home Counties hero Tim Henman and even Canadian-turned-Brit Greg Rusedski just can’t seem to get worked up about our latest top-ranking tennis player.
Murray has comfortably surpassed their achievements. He is ranked number four in the world, has already reached three Grand Slam finals and is slugging it out with two of the best players ever to walk on to a court – Rafael Nadal and Roger Federer.
This year the experts reckon he really does have a realistic chance of winning Wimbledon and ending a 75-year wait for a home-grown men’s singles champion. He is that good, particularly on grass.
And yet there are those who just cannot allow themselves to cheer him on. Why? It can only be because he’s Scottish.
Yes, I know he once made some rather unwise comments about supporting ‘anyone but England’ in the football World Cup.
But that was five years ago when he was still a teenager, unschooled in the ways of dealing with the media and how a throwaway remark can quickly become a newspaper headline.
He explained that it was just a joke, that he supported English sportsmen and women and didn’t actually mind whether England won or lost.
But he hasn’t been allowed to forget it, even though he lives in England, has an English girlfriend and has just swopped an ostentatious Ferrari for a quintessentially English Aston Martin.
There are even incredibly irritating twerps still shouting ‘Come on Tim!’ at matches in SW19 rather than support Murray.
You can bet, though, that if Murray does win Wimbledon this time, then all those who don’t back him because he’s Scottish and unfairly perceived as dour will suddenly be claiming him as a true Brit and hanging out the bunting. Such is the effect of success on the fickle.
Murray is an elite sportsman at the very top of his game – and he’s from Britain. We should be celebrating the fact, not carping about his exact birthplace or deriding him for extravagant shots.