Is Murray a drama queen?

Jun 15, 2012

During the commentary of Queen’s on BBC the other day, I noticed an interesting discussion about recent comments from the German Tommy Haas about Andy Murray. Now this was the BBC, so of course the general consensus of the experts at the table was that this was cheap trick from Haas and that he should leave Murray alone. The reaction in other circles has, however, been less favorable.

Now I should say before I start this is that I am fully aware I am not Murray’s biggest fan. Therefore, it would seem a little childish for me to write a blog about whether Murray is a drama queen, when I am probably more inclined to come down on the critic’s side. Although it’s true I don’t really like Murray as a player, and I do think he’s a bit of a whiner, I would never want to character assassinate the man or somehow imply he is a cheat or underhand. I’m mean, but I’m not that mean.

So here is what Tommy Haas said in his press conference that turned all eyes on the Scot: ‘It’s difficult when you play against someone on the court like he is not well or injured. I find no-one does this better than Murray. Sometimes he looks like he can barely move, then comes the trainer and he moves like a cat. I believe everyone knows this. People talk about it in the locker room. Maybe he would like to take some pressure off himself. He tells himself, ‘Maybe I have a niggle or a problem, I’m not feeling too well but I’m going to try it anyway.’ But he is such a talented player that he does not need to’ (quote taken from Germany’s Sport1).

When I first heard people discussing these comments, and had not yet heard them full, I had assumed Haas had launched a tirade of accusations against Murray. The comments however have been rather played up by the media. From what I can see, Haas does not like the fact that Murrays ‘drama queen’ antics can be so distracting. But he doesn’t labour the point. After all, as Murray sympathizers pointed out later on, if you can’t get over the fact your opponent is limping then perhaps you need to work on your concentration.

I think in fact that Haas comments, when read fully, don’t really show up as the antagonistic diatribe that many reported in the news. In fact he seems rather complimentary of Murray; ‘…he is such a talented played he does not need to [do that]’

The comments that everyone really should be looking at are the ones from Virginia Wade, as they paint an even more uncomplimentary picture of Murray. Wade is a woman who has known Andy for many years, and done some coaching with his mother. So I imagine it is her comments that will sting the most: ‘…honestly, you cannot play against someone who is being a drama queen’. She was talking about Murray’s match against Jarkko Nieminen. In the context of this match, Wade did seem to have a point. One minute Murray was dragging himself around the court like a corpse on unsteady ankles, his service games dropping like dead flies. Then the trainer comes out and wham, he takes over completely and wins the match in style.

On the one hand, both Haas and Wade’s comments come very close together, and one can see kernels of truth in both. Murray quite often enters a major tournament with something wrong. A back spasm, an ankle injury, a hand niggle…all of these I am sure many enter tournaments with but many of the players – particularly top ones – keep quiet. Murray on the other hand layers on the details for all and sundry to hear about. And it seems fair that Murray feel the sting over these accusations; after all almost every other player at the top has felt something like this. Not long ago, Djokovic was known as a whiner, who always had something wrong with him for the trainer to come and attend to. Now he’s world number one and he’s as fit as a prize bull. Maybe Murray needs to take the comments on the chin, assess if there is any truth in them, and move on.

On the other hand, poor Murray has got a reputation for being a bit of a target for people’s complaints. He’s too boring, he’s too defensive on court, he’s not good enough. Many have sniped that Virginia Wade played in much easier times than Murray, so how can she talk.

Whatever the truth behind these facts are we will never know. But it will make everyone listen a little more intently when Andy goes into a pre-match press conference to talk about how he feels. Any mention of a niggle or a strain or ache, and questions may start to be raised…

What does everyone else think of the comments of Haas and Wade?

Written by: SophieG

(4) Comments

Tono says:
Jun 15, 2012

I agree with the Haas comments Sophie, Andy’s match against Gasquet at RG was embarrassing too….he was clutching at his back and then smiling, Gasquet was not impressed and barely made eye contact when they shook hands at the net, it’s certainly not something that the Scot needs to be doing right now I feel….he would be better to concentrate on trying to get deeper in tournaments and playing through any niggles that he may have….it’s looking more and more likely that Murray will go down in history as one of the most talented players to never win a Grand Slam….unless Novak, Rafa and Roger all get mono at the same that is! ;)

SophieG says:
Jun 15, 2012

I didn’t see the Gasquet/Murray match but sounds like Haas may be right then Tono, perhaps Andy does have a reputation as having histrionics.

I certainly area with him being the most talented player in the men’s game never to win a Grand Slam. I can’t see him managing it any time soon either!

dv2jus says:
Jun 19, 2012

Sophie, I do most enjoy your writing. I do know Tono and would love to see Tono do a page for all to read, as well as another couple of our group members. Please do join Sophie. A lot of fun prizes we do! At any rate, I humbly think that Murray is inept mentally to handle the grinding stress of the tour. My lifelong coach since very early age pointed this out to me while Murray was just a little lad. And since he has picked him to lose in EVERY tournament in the 1st rd. Not because he is not talented, but it is whether or not he will mentally show up. As a coach myself and thirty year plus player, collegiate, etc…. I would not wish to risk a team effort, draw, fantasy team etc on one who may or may not show up to the fight. I remeber his losses early hardcourt, clay season last year. One could see it in his demeanor that he was about to lose before it started. I think it was Falla that demolished him playing average. And so on. I think Murray has some personal inside issues that a sports psychologist could really hone in on and assist. With the male ego it is very hard to say, Hey I have some issues. It is easier to complain about pain, cramps, etc…. At the end of the day the locker rooms tend to call those “whiners” etc, and the player falls to the index’s of history books for us all to say to our grandchildren…… He almost was great….. All he needs is a little mental guidance to take his game to the next level. Before it is too late. Coach Justin Davis

Don says:
Jun 19, 2012

I would argue that it has actually become the norm for Murray to be limping and grabbing his back or thigh repeatedly during a match, then immediately running like a cheetah for the ball, making it obvious that there’s absolutely nothing physically keeping him from performing at his absolute best. He is, in my opinion, utterly full of it, as they say. You can’t believe any of his antics: it’s gamesmanship, pure and simple, and nothing more. It is difficult if not impossible to respect that as a tactic. It is amazing that Murray doesn’t get MORE grief about it from the other players than he does.

Lendl must be inwardly cringing and shaking his head. Of course, Lendl never cringed outwardly in his entire life. No one could seem more at ease. Add to that the fact that Ivan clearly had as imposing a presence on court as anyone, ever, and one hoped that some of Lendl’s confidence, presence and demeanor would rub off on Andy. That has not happened in the slightest as far as I can see, and it really is shame.

Then again, at the end of the day, I personally simply don’t like Murray all that much, Sophie. He is WAY too negative for my taste. Even Lendl hasn’t been able to talk him out of it. I doubt anyone ever will.

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