HENMAN humbled. Make way for Murray mania.
Scotland’s Andy Murray, 19, plays Frenchman Julien Benneteau today for a place in the third round. Glum Tim Henman fans in the queue were smiling again this morning and extolling the virtues of porridge.
With the Fed Express rolling on – Roger Federer’s crushing win over Henman was his 43rd consecutive victory on grass – Wimbledon desperately needs the Scottish teenager to progress.
It’s no accident that he’s third and last on Centre Court this afternoon. If the timings are kind, Murray’s match should fall just right for primetime early evening BBC TV coverage.
With Rooney and co dominating the sports pages, SW19 is in search of a good story. Some say Henman Hill will never become Murray Mount. But the lad who walks out on to court with his iPod is the future.
We’ll get to know today’s choice of download after his match. On Tuesday he was listening to the LL Cool J and Jennifer Lopez track Control Myself. A good game plan for the fiery Scot.
Andy has had to cope with a spot of nastiness about the Dunblane shootings on his just launched website. He was a pupil at the school at the time. It was all in response to his comment that he’d support anyone playing England in the World Cup.
Young Mr Murray moved quickly to say he was not anti-English, including mentioning the fact that Manchester’s Ricky Hatton is one of his favourite boxers. Then it was back to the important stuff, like why so many journalists are interested in the fact that he hasn’t cut his hair since January.
Hair is no longer much of a problem for Andre Agassi, who faces Andreas Seppi, the Italian who beat Murray at Nottingham last week. Dozens of cameras are poised to record the former champion’s final wave to the crowds in what is his goodbye to Wimbledon.
He should win today over on Court No 1, even nursing a bad back. There are no certainties in tennis, but Agassi deserves to save his farewell for Centre Court, which is where he will surely be placed if he gets through to face a scheduled clash with Spanish No 2 seed Rafael Nadal.
At 36, the crowd favourite from Nevada knows these are days to cherish, taking extra notice of the crowd and surroundings as he walks out for what will soon be the last time.
“He was one of my idols growing up,” says Murray. “There’s going to be a loss for the game when he stops.”
It will be the end of an era. But that future beckons.