The Fed was right. Maybe next time, Andy Murray will learn to wait until he’s got a grand slam trophy in his hands before indulging in fits of braggadocio.
Unlike the top three male seeds at the Australian Open, fourth seed Murray won’t be playing in the quarterfinals. He lost to Spaniard Fernando Verdasco in five sets.
Jeez, the guy’s ranked 14th, ten spots below Murray’s current level.
The Scot (whose game I do like) had pretended at the start of the Australian Open that the only players worth his time and energy were the three ranked higher than him – numero uno Rafa Nadal, Roger Federer and Novak Djokovic, current title holder.
The last two had questioned why London bookies had set their hopes on Murray. (The answer: You don’t argue with national sentiments, especially when it's been a seven-decade wait.)
Murray replied with something snotty and sophomoric and circuitous, his cockiness fueled by recent non-grand slam successes, which included victories over all three of his betters.
Nadal (the only guy at the Australian Open who has yet to drop a set) didn’t even bother to respond. He prefers his forehand to do the talking most of the time.
Federer, who survived a five setter with Thomas Berdych, was as acerbic as his gentlemanly demeanor could get. Following that win, the Fed – who didn’t look that winded -- challenged Murray to five sets “any day.”
"He's younger so he's probably not so experienced. In the end it becomes very mental, and I know that this is where my biggest strength always comes into play. That's why I'm always going to favor myself in a fifth set."
Turns out, his quarry was sent scrambling by a more lowly opponent. And I’m waiting to hear what the Joker – him of the slashing wit and the pantomimes – has to say about the departed Scot.