With Wimbledon coming up, the strawberries being picked and the grass being trimmed, the question remains... why Love? Why not 'Nought' or 'Zero' or good old fashioned 'Nil'? There are a lot of theories about what Love means, ranging from French eggs (don't ask...) to an old English expression which is 'to play for love', meaning to play for nothing or to play without betting any money on the game.
Needless to say, expectations are high of another successful run here at Flushing Meadows next month. Rugby followers may have noticed that two days before Andy Murray's achievement the British and Irish Lions won their first Test series victory since 1997, in Australia. So after a long drought we Brits are beginning to enjoy the taste of victory.
Whenever Andy Murray wins, he is characterised by the London media, as a battling Brit, but whenever he loses, he is portrayed as a sour, aloof, remote, grumpy, ill-tempered Scot. But for all the media criticism of his personality, is it possible that his legendary reserve has in fact been a key strength, carrying him to victory?
In recent years it's become a feature of the British summer season. Whether or not tennis is your game, for two weeks in June/July a nation dares to hope. We've been getting closer--first, with Come on Tim! Henman and now Andy Murray. Today the collective sentiment is more expectation than flight of fantasy, though the reality remains elusive. It hasn't always been so.
I have no personal animus against Andy Murray, and I dare say it is irritating not to win a tennis match, but precisely when did we turn into a nation of snivelling losers? At what point in the history of the last hundred years did the stiff upper lip start to quiver; Did it stop being shameful for a grown man to burst into tears just because he came second in a game? Did it become possible for a serial runner-up to become 'champion of our hearts' not with a bang, but a whimper?