With Andy Murray getting some rather silly press over the fact that his longterm girlfriend Kim Sears dumped Murray due to his apparent seven hour a day Playstation addiction, I thought I would weigh in on my thoughts on Murray and the recent hype he’s received.
When Murray hit No. 2 in the world for a brief time this summer, the consensus was that Murray would threaten Roger Federer for the top spot. Murray has a 6-4 record against Federer and despite his recent up and downs, many still feel Murray has the game to win multiple Slams and become No. 1.
However, excluding the UK, I’m not sure many casual tennis fans in the rest of the world have embraced Murray or frankly still know who he is. Other top players have a style and personality that fans can grab onto and root for. Federer is the “GOAT”, suave, sophisticated, etc. Rafael Nadal, is hungry for every point, a true fighter, and probably the game’s biggest sex symbol. Novak Djokovic, emerged as “the joker” though he has toned that down recently, and is also considered a heartthrob, while Andy Roddick, the lone American, is admired for his hang-tough, never say die style.
Murray, though a great player, is not someone I think general fans can grasp onto so easily. He’s not a sex symbol. He’s polite but not exactly warm. His interviews tend to be rather dull. And not being an American doesn’t help with the TV audience in the States.
Murray recently signed a multi-million deal with Adidas, but again, I wonder how much of influence Murray will be in selling gear. Adidas is placing a huge bet that all the Murray hype will translate into big wins and big sales. It’s possible Murray could catch fire next year and finally win a Slam, but even if he does, he may have to win a lot, and quickly, to establish himself as true world sports superstar.
In any event, even if the Playstation rumors are true, Murray should figure out a way to dispel that and quickly. If nothing else, it sends the wrong message to the rest of the tour. And besides can beating Federer on Playstation be just as satisfying as beating him in real life?