Andy Murray and Desperate Love

“If I stop playing, I don’t know what I’m going to do…” – Andy Murray via his Resurfacing documentary.


It’s a desperate sort of love that Andy Murray has for tennis, the sort that you’re kind of lost if you’ve had and then you don’t. It goes back to the start for him, engrained deeply in his adolescence, far beneath a darkness he couldn’t yet comprehend. And so tennis held Murray’s hand and walked him through confusion, maturing alongside him into something that allowed him space to breath beneath the world heaviness. A sport of historical pristine met a messy young man and it all made sense.

That’s what I reckon defines this guy, this animalistic keenness to just keep it going even if it’s almost breathless, even if it’s lifeless and just about dead, he just begs it back to life and asks it for just one more time, one more step out on the line. Sometimes it drifts away anyway, graveyards itself beneath a mound of dirt and devastation. But pushing his arms up through the earth of this world to pull himself free is what Murray is. The undertaker, the broken metal man of myth that limps himself out there on the hunt still. Judged for it by others matters to him not, for nobody judges him harder than he himself, standardising his work today to a 25 year old peak version of himself and holding his 35 year old self to the impossibility of that. Desperation at its core is desiring something that is outwith your reach and still reaching for it regardless. It borders on delusion and flirts with madness. It does when it shouldn’t. Can when it can’t. Is when it isn’t.

“But why does he keep going with it?”

Because tennis has been there for him and then it just won’t be. It’s a fear of the unknown but it goes both ways because tennis isn’t ready yet either, handcuffing them together through weeks like the last, still there, still going, just about breathing, still trophy lifting. Desperation is the longest period between Challenger tour level titles ever, afterall…

Nothing will be able to fill the hole tennis will leave. Those gaps in our lives where love once was scream at us and we have to listen. It hurts but we owe them because they helped when nothing else would. Murray, a master adaption artist on court, will be fine when it’s his time to step off it, he really will be. But he’s right to be scared of whatever is next because it won’t be this. It’ll so very much not be this.

People always say everything must end eventually. Sure but why are we in such a rush to get there? As though it’s some sort of a race to the finish so we can, what, turn around and say “well, that’ll be that then…”?! Fuck that, keep it going until your damn arms fall off and your legs crack, Andy Murray. Keep yourself desperate a little bitty longer.


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