Andy Murray

One thing I’ve noticed is that if you mention Andy Murray to an Irish person, who takes any interest in tennis (or even if not at all), their brow immediately furrows and a stern look comes in their eyes.

There is something about Andy Murray that really messes with the Irish psyche.

For a while English people were in two minds about him – but that was because when asked who he wanted to win the World Cup at football he replied “anyone but England”.

It was said with a smile on his face and was a bit of banter with the English journalists – but it was still taken badly by the English hordes.

England Backs Murray

However, that is all over now and they support him at Wimbledon and were delighted when he won the Olympics and then Wimbledon.

He hasn’t played at Wimbledon since he revealed he was going to vote for Scottish Independence – but I don’t think that will make much difference.

He will be cheered more than anyone else in front of the English crowd at Wimbledon this year.

Irish and Andy Murray

However, with the Irish it is very different.

I’ve spoken to countless Irish people about Murray – and they all agree.

They don’t like him and they don’t like him vehemently.

“That Murray” they call him.

Like with Murray and the English football team, Irish people always want Murray to lose no matter whom he plays.

Irish Psyche

So what is it about him that they dislike?

“He never smiles” they say.

“He’s a bit dour ( a word, like ‘canny’, that’s only ever used about Scottish people)” they say.

However, being a bit dour and not smiling much is hardly reason for the vehemence that Irish people show when Murray’s name is mentioned.

You could describe Roy Keane or Bob Geldof in the same way and that hasn’t put people off them here.

Come on Andee

Is Murray unpopular in other countries as well? Do their populations hate Andy Murray for being a bit dour and not smiling a lot?

Not from the evidence that I’ve seen!

Recently, at the French Open, there were more French people supporting him than world number one, Novak Djokovic, in their recent semi-final of the French Open.

“Andee” they would shout to encourage him.

Good Following

Indeed Andy has a good following wherever he plays.

I don’t think hat he has ever played a tournament in Ireland.

That would be something to see.

He might need some security.

One feels that even if he started to smile a lot and joked around it would not change much.

There must be something deep down in the Irish psyche that makes Andy Murray rub them up the wrong way.

Andy Murray for Wimbledon

So, will Andy Murray win Wimbledon this year?

Yes he will!

You heard it here first. I am very confident.

You should make your way to the bookies in the square.

You can get odds of around 10/3 against him winning the tournament.

Djokovic is favourite at 7/5.

Prefers Grass

“Djokovic always beats him” I can hear you say.

Yes, but not on grass at Wimbledon.

Murray has played him twice at Wimbledon, in the semis of the Olympics and in the Wimbledon Final.

Murray won both matches in straight sets. Murray has won all six sets that they have played at Wimbledon.

Indeed Murray has won two of the last three tournaments he has played at Wimbledon, winning the Olympics and then Wimbledon itself in 2013 before going out in the Quarter Finals last year when he was recovering from inury.

Record of Success

The previous time to those three tournaments he played at Wimbledon he lost in the Final to Federer in 2012.

So he’s been 2nd, 1st, 1st joint 5th in his last four visits there.

No one else has a record as good as that.

Horses for courses as they would say at the bookies.

Could you bear to put money on him, though, and then have to follow him through the tournament?

Let’s all put some money on him and then all have a big party when Wimbledon is over and he’s lifted the trophy.

“Here’s to Andy Murray” I can hear you all say…..