No, I’m not having what she’s having – such a bunch of explosive affirmatives can only mean one thing – that Murray is through! What am I saying – he’s not through – he’s through – in the American sense, that is. He’s done it! He’s finished! He’s won it! Yes – in a five-set thriller finishing at around 2 am our time, Murray beat Djokovic to take his first grand-slam final in the US Open. Brilliant! I didn’t stay up to watch this but I knew he could do it and I’m sure it was that knowledge – knowing that I knew – which saw him through. I like Murray’s dourness – he didn’t have much to say afterwards and, bless him, he knows everyone wants him to gush and to cry, but it’s just not in him and I respect him for that. He’s neither self-promoting nor self-effacing – he just gets on with it and doesn’t waste time talking. And whilst they celebrated his great achievement on the radio, they couldn’t resist following it up with the dire warning that there will be ‘terrible pressure’ on him at Wimbledon. Why ‘terrible pressure’? Why not ‘great hopes’? ‘Terrific excitement’? ‘Enormous joy’?
See what I mean? They just have to find some Bad News in there somewhere.
It’s About Time
It’s certainly about time Murray won a grand slam event, and possibly in honour of the occasion (or possibly not) Mark has made a video about time, whether we see it as linear or splodgy – or something like that. It’s quite interesting:
After the Murray-based jubilation there was of course the usual conversation about getting more young people to play tennis. ‘Well,’ I said, ‘they’ll have to go back in time and reopen all those tennis courts they closed down then.’ To be fair, part of it is because tennis is such a hard game to get good at: until you’ve reached a certain level you just spend all your time chasing balls. It’s the violin of sports – very hard to get a note out of those strings – though Mark claims the violin is much easier than the guitar. ‘What?’ I said. ‘With the guitar all you need are three chords and you can play 90% of all songs ever written!’
I exaggerate but slightly. But Mark still maintains it’s much harder to play a chord on the guitar than it is to play notes on the violin. He’s just weird…
I finish with a few thoughts on the humble trouser. The trouser is always plural, except to a few snobbish couturiers; it’s the area where there is often a lot of commotion (see Viz comic)
– in fact there was a commotion going on in Andy Murray’s at one point during Wimbledon – but one thing we never see nowadays is short trousers. Mark – again weirdly – maintains that shorts are the same as short trousers. This is manifestly untrue: shorts can be anything from Bermudas to cut-down denims, whereas short trousers are a formal trouser cut short and formerly worn by boys. I was thinking this morning that whereas it’s kind of a shame not to have that rite-of-passage for boys when they start wearing long trousers, it was horribly cruel to have to wear short trousers all through a cold winter.
Anyone out there old enough to admit to wearing short trousers? As a boy, I mean – women need not apply.