Helen Bach: Can Andy Murray be the new McEnroe?

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Well done Andy Murray! A proud day for British sport and a proud day for Scotland.

What a match. Not good for those of a nervous disposition – Murray’s matches need those warnings like you get at theme parks “Do not partake if you suffer from the following...” – you know the ones I mean.

Andy Murray with the Wimbledon trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic. Photo: PA

Andy Murray with the Wimbledon trophy after defeating Novak Djokovic. Photo: PA

It was a lovely game of tennis, the competitors were evenly matched.

It was good to see some long rallies – if poor old Dan Maskell was still alive (and commentating) he’d have given us a running total of the number of shots in each.

In fact, yesterday’s game reminded me of what I consider to be the ‘golden age’ of men’s tennis at Wimbledon – McEnroe and Borg.

Fire and ice, battling it out, using wooden rackets and wearing naff nylon headbands.

Yes, I’ll come clean, I was a huge fan of McEnroe (yes, I am old enough to remember him playing, but it’s nice of you to suggest otherwise!).

Not his on-court behavioural antics – I didn’t like to see him lose his temper and swear at the referee – but his sheer class playing.

I wonder, though, if you could have had one without the other?

There have been many good players since, but none, in my opinion, can hold a torch to John Patrick McEnroe.

He was exciting to watch – yes, undoubtedly Bjorn Borg was good, but he hadn’t got the same spirit, the dogged determination, the character, grit and New York wit that Mr McEnroe brought with him to SW19.

Forgive me for saying it, but now, with huge sponsorship deals, sport seems a little homogenized.

Like politics, some of today’s sportsmen are a bit ‘vanilla’, beige and forgettable.

There are, of course, notable exceptions.

In the world of politics Boris Johnson – whether you agree with his views or not – is at least a character.

And Andy Murray, when the decision was taken to close the roof on centre court on Friday, showed spirit too in arguing with the decision.

Not quite McEnroe-esque in his displeasure, who would surely have yelled at the top of his voice ‘YOU CANNOT BE SERIOUS?!’, but with a little work he might get there...

Read more from Helen here.