Scottish tennis playing misery-guts, Andy Murray, is said to be overjoyed at hearing the news that from today and following his status having been upgraded by his Mum’s nationality rating agency, Judy’s, the tabloid press and BBC Sports presenters are to no longer to call him a "Dour Scot". Instead they will refer to him as "British Number One" until the Wimbledon Championships are over at least.
Speaking to Sue Barker earlier today Murray said, "Wow, this is a great accolade to have been given and I only hope that I don't let Britain down again by playing like a Scot and crashing out of the tournament, particularly in this the Queen’s Diamond Jubilee year."
Pressure is mounting on Murray to produce a performance that will allow him to retain his new elevated status, and in some quarters the upgrade has already been seen as technically making him an honorary Englishman; albeit only for the purposes of allowing press and media to be smug about it should he achieve any degree of real success this year. But Murray is walking a very thin tightrope because if he fails to live up to the hype and puts in a poor performance at the SW19 tournament, then media agencies are sure to clamour for his immediate downgrading back to Dour Scot once more.
And perhaps before we get too carried away we might do well to remember the salutary tale of one Greg Rusedski. This Rusedski character, it may be recalled, managed to briefly inveigle his way into this nation's hearts when he too was awarded the coveted British Number One title. However he went on to throw it back in our faces selling us one pup after another year after year by repeatedly crashing out the tournament with his reputation in tatters. Then following a News of the World undercover sting he was finally unmasked as being nothing more than a Canadian chancer. He now ekes out a meagre living as a pundit and sad old overseas has-been.
John McEnroe, himself a fair tennis player but of course one who never quite had what it took to rise to the dizzy heights of British Number One has a word of advice for Murray. "All I'd say to Andy is perhaps to suggest he considers remaining a Scot and refuses British Number One status. I see it as little more than a poison chalice. Back in the day I was approached by The British Lawn Tennis Association who tried to turn me asking if I'd consider becoming a British citizen in return for the number one title. But naturally I told the guy who was sounding me out, You cannot be serious!"