When it comes to politics and nationalism it seems that Andy Murray never has a comfortable year. No matter what he does, the 27-year-old always drops his foot in it. The past 12 months, however, have completely topped any previous talking points.
Everybody knows what transpired in September of last year. The whole Great British public were gripped by the events of the Scottish referendum, it was a pretty big deal, ‘will they leave, won’t they leave’?
The whole situation was pretty out-there in the days leading up to the monumental vote, but when Murray left it until the 11th hour to finally give his opinion on matters, the focus hit fever pitch levels.
Maybe he regrets it, maybe he doesn’t – Murray whipped-up a Tsunami-type ripple when he clearly outlined his support of Scotland leaving Great Britain…on Twitter.
He wasn’t even eligible to vote due to his new-found English residency, but the former world no.3’s support of such a drastic move was seen as putting a big middle finger up to a lot of fans who had cheered him on in the past.
By that I of course mean his fans from south of Hadrian’s Wall. The majority of the crowd who so fiercely supported the Scot during past Wimbledon events were adjudged to have been shunned by their hero. His already bruised reputation for such matters, as bought on by previous anti-English football-related comments, was slammed even further into the ground.
I think we’ve moved on from the saga, but now there is the very awkward situation of witnessing Murray’s return to Davis Cup action for ‘Team GB’ – that very team for whom he was so keen on deserting.
The way I see it is that the Briton is perfectly entitled to his views, no matter how controversial or somewhat ungrateful they may appear to some, he cannot help thinking what he thinks after all. However, what I cannot understand is his willingness to play in the Davis Cup.
He strikes you as the sort of guy who is uncomfortable with a mass of public attention, but his participation in this tournament is only going to thrust the spotlight back in his direction in an unhelpful way.
Perhaps it is because the tie against the USA – a team with their own issues – is being played in Glasgow for the first time. His entry has coincided with record ticket sales for a tennis event in Scotland. Perhaps this really is the last hurrah for Murray.
Despite the Brits doing well in 2014 and getting to their first-ever quarter-final, there will never be enough quality to win it outright – Murray carries the team on his back and it comes as a burden.
You can see why somebody like Roger Federer would stick with it. The team event was the only jewel that wasn’t in his crown, but he, together with the more than able support of Stan Wawrinka, managed to bring it home for Switzerland. Now, unsurprisingly, the 34-year-old is set to give the latest round a miss – funny that.
It is just very difficult to see the benefits in Murray continuing past this match with USA, it’s a bit of a lose-lose situation.
His time would be much better served in training and away from anymore uncomfortable news stories.