© Ella Ling

Andy Murray - Union flag

Could Scottish independence hurt Andy Murray?


Has Alex Salmond, Scotland’s first minister, and The Man Who Wants To Break Up Britain, considered the effect that Scottish independence could have on Andy Murray?

If Scotland were to gain independence, resulting in the the break-up of Britain, the separation could be of no little significance to Murray, as well as for British tennis as a whole. While Scottish independence would resolve the West Lothian question (Scottish Members of Parliament can vote on matters that only apply to England, but not vice versa), it could change things for Murray. Could this result in a small but significant shift in the tennis public’s perception of and support for the world number four? By the tennis public, we mean the Middle Englanders, those who sit on Centre Court or Henman Hill with a Pimm’s, a Daily Mail and a great sense of hope.

The very old joke about Murray, usually told by non-Brits, is that he’s British when he wins, Scottish when he loses. If Edinburgh and London were to go through a messy divorce, Murray would be forever Scottish, in victory and defeat.

Should Murray win the Australian Open on Sunday in Melbourne, he would become Britain’s first male grand slam singles champion for 76 years – north of Hadrian’s Wall, there will be some who will feel that Scotland is ‘subsidising’ England in two ways: with North Sea oil and with a world-class tennis player. And any political change is unlikely to come in time for the other three slams this season. Yet the following scenario is now a very real possibility: Salmond gets what he wants, and Murray wins his first slam in a couple of years, and wins it for Scotland only, not for Britain. With Salmond’s intervention, Britain’s hopes of a first male grand slam champion since the 1930s could be lost for another generation.

Doubtless, the creation of an independent Scotland would only encourage the little keyboard gangsters, the witless of the web who loathe Murray for the ‘crime’ of having once made a joke, when he was a teenager, about supporting the English football team’s opponents at the 2006 World Cup. Even when Murray competes at the All England Club, they do not see someone in Wimbledon whites, but a player enrobed in tartan. I’m sure you’re trying already, but do your best to ignore them. Somehow they still believe that Murray ‘hates England’, even when he lives in Surrey, has an English girlfriend and has many English friends.

But it is worth imagining whether a split between Scotland and England would change how the sensible majority see Murray. Could the English on Centre Court or on the Hill care quite so much about a player who was no longer British? That is debatable. Murray is politically aware. He has met a couple of Prime Ministers, in Brown and Cameron (he and Cameron almost broke a Downing Street chandelier with a game of indoor tennis in a reception room). He also made an informed choice in last year’s General Election. So he will be following Salmond’s drive for independence. Forget the Little Englanders, those who have made up their mind to despise Murray into retirement. But Scottish independence could alter Murray’s relationship with the Middle Englanders.

Are Americans the worst behaved tennis nation? That was one of the conclusions that could have been drawn from analysis by The Tennis Space into the worst offenders on the men’s and women’s tours? Three of the top 10 men were representing the United States, and in truth that number should be four, given that Alex Bogomolov Junior only switched nationalities from American to Russian at the end of last season and all the offences were committed when he was playing for the Stars and Stripes. The top two on the women’s list were Americans, with Serena Williams first and Bethanie Mattek-Sands second. Answers on a postcard (or an email to mark@thetennisspace.com) as to why you think Americans are over-represented in the list of bad boys and bad girls.

  • Andyweston1



    You should really be asking whether independance would have an effect on the mechanics of the Davis Cup, would there no longer be a Team GB? Would players just be participating as seperate Home Nations? If so where in the ladder would each country start off?


    You ask what the effect independance would have on Andy Murray as a professional tennis player? Outside the implications of the Davis Cup, none whatsoever! You either support Murray the tennis player or you don’t. Support for tennis players knows no national boundaries. He has fans worldwide. Probably more fans worldwide than he does in the UK.


    Even if the perception of Middle England changed, you say it would be significant? Why would that be? Possible because he would have less support at Wimbledon? I feel that would not actually be the case but if it was Murray would not give a jot. Besides ‘Middle England’ are educated enough to support Murray for what he is, a very fine tennis player.


    And regarding the ‘Scottish when he loses, British when he wins’ thing and the ignorant people who harp on about his untrue ‘anti English’ stance, does anyone really care what these people think? No.


    Thanks Andy, 


    • Simon Cambers

      Very good point about Davis Cup – that’s something worth investigating!

  • Johnpetermcnulty

    Given that an independent Scotland would not automatically be a part of the EU, there are bigger things for us Scots living in England, including Andy Murray, to worry about.

    This is a completely pointless article…

    • shaunthebrummie

      yes like being deported as undesirables…yessss..result

  • Mark Smith

    How would it hurt Andy Murray? Why would it affect him. Deary me we’re about to get border control and all that nonsense. This article is half arsed. What’s the point of this?

  • shaunthebrummie

    why doesn’t the twat go and live in dunblane…enough undesirables down here as is.