Nick
Place


at the Crikey sports desk writes:

You may have felt the Earth
shudder sometime during the night. It was a shift in the natural order of
tennis occurring half a world away. Scottish 19-year-old Andrew
Murray beat world number one Roger Federer in straight sets, 7-5, 6-4, in the second
round of the Ohio lead-up to the US Open.

Ohmygod, ohmygod, ohmygod.
The breathless tennis media reported that it was Federer’s earliest exit from a
tournament in two years, and broke a 55-match winning streak for the Swiss
maestro on the North American continent. It was also his first straight sets
loss in 194 matches.

For his part, Federer wasn’t sorry
to wave goodbye to such weighty numbers. “The streaks? I don’t care about
those now that they’re over,” he said. “It’s going to be a relief for
everybody, and now we can move on.”

Murray is the only man to beat Federer all year,
apart from another precocious talent in French Open champ Rafael Nadal, who has
managed it four times.

At least Murray was confident going into the
match. “I don’t know what to say,” he told reporters. “I didn’t know
how to react at the end because I definitely was not planning on winning the
match.” That’s the spirit. Needless to
say, the British media – who have loaded Murray with pressure from the moment he emerged
as a scrawny prospect a few years ago, just as Tim Henman was on the slide –
went bananas.

The Sun roared that he was a “Hot
Scot” and hailed Andy’s new coach. “British number one Murray has been transformed
since linking up with coach Brad Gilbert a fortnight ago,” the tabloid said.
“The American steered Andre Agassi and Andy Roddick to Grand Slam glory. And Murray is headed in the same direction if he
continues in this sort of form.”

The Guardian agreed he was on
track for a Grand Slam title, although it admitted: “His progress has been
beyond what Murray, Gilbert and the Lawn Tennis Association, who have provided
funding to bring Gilbert on board, could have wished for.”

Surprisingly, Scotland’s Dunoon Observer & Argyllshire
Standard
online edition ignored Murray’s big win, choosing instead to lead with
a tug-of-war action shot from Saturday’s Relay For Life.

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Peter Fray
Peter Fray
Editor-in-chief of Crikey
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