The Tennis Space Miscellany: Andy Murray’s border terriers.
Gone are the times when it was the leading female tennis players who were obsessed by their dogs; now it is the men who talk so lovingly of their canine friends.
Novak Djokovic is so fond of his white poodle, Pierre, that he props him up on cushions at restaurants and feeds him noodles. Djokovic was said to have been “distressed” last summer when Pierre, who has his own Twitter account, was barred from the grounds at Wimbledon. And, just the other day, there was confirmation of what Andy Murray’s border terriers, Maggie May and Rusty, mean to him. “When I got back from the Australian Open, I was just so pumped to be home with the dogs,” Murray said. “I get up every morning at 7am to take them for a walk.”
We present The Tennis Space miscellany to Murray’s dogs, who could play some small part in helping their master to win a grand slam, by keeping him relaxed and grounded between tournaments.
There has been a little gentle Twitter flirtation between Maggie May and Pierre. During last season’s Barclays ATP World Tour Finals, Maggie May tweeted: “I hear Pierre Djokovic is in town. Anyone else thinking canine World Tour Finals on Wimbledon Common this week? That’s an official throw-down.”
But Maggie May knows not to challenge Ivan Lendl’s dogs. “My sources tell me Ivan Lendl has five German Shepherds. We won’t be messing then.”
Maggie May was not too pleased when Rusty arrived on the scene last year. “Intruder alert. I’m trying to figure out when he’s leaving.” Since then, she has blamed Rusty for everything that has gone wrong in the Murray home. “A certain car has failed its MOT because a certain dog (it WASN’T me) has chewed through a seatbelt. Does anyone want him?” Then: “He chewed the seatbelt so now I’m chewing his face.” “Rusty’s menu today consists of the new fertiliser laid down by the gardener. Bad breath and unusual growth patterns guaranteed.” Maggie May has also not been slow to tell her Twitter followers about Rusty’s “flatulence problem” and his other embarrassing moments. “It’s a bad day for Rusty, folks. After a trip to the vet he’s a little lighter between the legs. Catch my drift?” “Rusty apologises for indecently assaulting the male spaniel we met on our walk today. Says it’s nothing personal and blames hormones. He hasn’t tried it on with me yet, though, and I’m not sure whether to be offended or relieved, if I’m honest.”
Maggie May is pleased to tell others that “pound for pound, a terrier is more aggressive than a wolf”. “I’ve spotted a bunny, albeit of the Playboy variety and attached to someone’s number plate.” When some visitors come to the door, she and Rusty are allowed to jump up: “7am drug-testers are the only people we don’t get told off for jumping on when they walk through the door.” That probably makes up for all the photographs of her wearing novelty outfits: “Realised most of my pictures involve novelty clothing. Must stop. Tomorrow I will post pic of bum-sniffing/rolling in s— to prove I am still canine.”
There will not be any puppies in the Murray home. “Watching One Born Every Minute makes me thankful I am spayed and canine, and therefore unable to deliver an 8lb human baby.”
Maggie May likes a period drama. “There’s a border terrier in the first scene of Birdsong. Taking over the world, one period drama at a time.”
She has this message for her master: “As long as you bring home bacon (lots of it, and crispy), we’re happy.”