Murray advised to smile for the sake of fans (Wimbledon diary)

June 22nd, 2009 - 5:49 pm ICT by IANS  

Rafael Nadal London, June 22 (DPA) Andy Murray must drop his dour Scot facade if he’s to win fans at Wimbledon.
That’s the word from British television commentator and former junior champion Anabel Croft, who says the third seed could do with an occasional smile.

Even when Murray won his first grass title at Queen’s Club at the weekend, the celebration of joy was understated at best.

“I think he’s still got a long way to go in that department to try to get the public 100 percent behind him, to adore him,” Croft told London’s Daily Mail.

“At the Queen’s final the audience was still very mixed. A lot of them would have been quite happy if (American James) Blake had won.”

And Croft added that Team Murray needs to do some work on the player’s public persona in general.

“When he went for a walk around the court with the trophy, people were leaving,” she said.

“He maybe needs to be himself and smile more. I think he’s learned a lot in the last year. It’s about growing up and being confident and just being a bit chirpier.”

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Likely Murray victory gives bookies sleepless nights

London bookmakers are among the few in Britain who are not excited by Andy Murray’s Wimbledon prospects as they stand to lose several million pounds if he lifts the title in a fortnight.

The world number three Scot has been backed by up to $4.8 million at one firm alone, with bookies almost choking on their strawberries as support grows.

For Ladbrokes of London, a Murray title win would be the worst possible financial scenario.

“Murray has been giving us sleepless nights for months - a victory for him is difficult to bear,” said a spokesman. “If he wins in a fortnight’s time we might as well give up the game and go strawberry picking.”

The last Briton to win Wimbledon was Fred Perry in 1936. With the withdrawal of injured title holders Rafael Nadal, Murray’s chances have been thrust even more to the fore, with some already dreaming of a Roger Federer-Murray final.

Murray and 8/11 favourite Federer are the best backed competitors at SW19, and stand 11/10 to meet in the final.

“Some of the serious punters have had large gets on Federer since Nadal pulled out,” added the spokesman.

“But all the patriotic tenners and twenties are on Murray. He will be the worst result in tennis betting history.”

Murray holds 1/100 odds to dispatch American Robert Kendrick in his opening match and 1/6 not to drop a set.

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