Tournament officials angry at Andy Murray is turning into a trend for the Scot. Last week it was Marseille that wasn’t pleased with Murray’s pulling out of that event for basically not feeling up to it. Now Murray has earned the wrath of the Barclays Dubai event after admitting during his press conference after his second round loss to Janko Tipsarevic that he was trying “some things out” and that, quote, “If it had been a slam, my tactics and game style would have been a bit different.”
When pressed Murray got defensive and later added, “I am not using it as a practice session – I said at the beginning that when I am getting ready for big events you need to try something out.” By bigger events did he mean Indian Wells and Miami next week? Or Slams?
Either way, Barclays consultant, John Beddington, wasn’t buying Murray’s response. “It’s disappointing that it could be construed in a way which indicates he wasn’t taking the event quite as seriously as he does. Possibly a more experienced player would think this but wouldn’t say it for fear it would hurt the event.”
When asked about Murray’s comments, Novak Djokovic offered up this non-committal gem, “It’s just the tournament and people who come to watch you.”
Murray has a history of putting his foot in his mouth but despite having some PR help from a former Sun editor not much has changed. One could say Dubai officials overreacted to his comments, but after paying Murray a huge appearance fee just to show up, it’s understandable.
Though I don’t think it was wrong for Murray to try out new things in his match, he needs to learn some tact and not blurt the first thing that comes to mind. Sure one can say he’s 22 and still young enough to make mistakes. But sometimes I wonder if Murray truly comprehends that everything he says and does will be overanalyzed by the media and the sport at large. It’s like he doesn’t quite view himself as a “star” or that he hasn’t figured out how best to deal with it.
Murray is not Andy Roddick who can turn an insult into a sly compliment or even Djokovic who can use his charm to massage a sticky situation. Maybe Murray should just stick to the age-old truism of “if you can’t say something nice, don’t say anything at all.”