© Ella Ling

Andy Murray celebration

Annabel Croft: Murray and Federer don't like each other


Annabel Croft has told The Tennis Space that Roger Federer would “relish the chance” to defeat Andy Murray in Sunday’s Wimbledon final as “they don’t like each other”. Croft, a former British No 1, said that there was tension between Murray and Federer because of their different characters. Croft also spoke of the fun and charisma that Murray’s semi-final opponent, Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, brings to the Wimbledon Championships: “Jo is a rockstar, a superstar. He’s fun, he’s a caveman with a club, he absolutely belts the ball.”

Croft on a possible Federer-Murray final: “I think that, if Murray were to reach the final, he would rather play Novak Djokovic. Roger Federer plays Murray very well and they don’t like each other, I don’t think. I think there’s some tension between them, and I’ve seen that in previous matches that they’ve played. I think Federer would relish the chance to beat Murray in a Wimbledon final. There’s tension between them because of their different characters.”

Croft on the energy and excitement that Tsonga brings to Wimbledon: “Jo has been so popular during this tournament. He’s been the rockstar, superstar, surrounded by people and kids asking for autographs. He’s a much-loved guy. He’s brought an energy and an excitement to Wimbledon. He’s brought such presence and charisma to Wimbledon. He has a huge fanbase, a huge following, and his tennis is so exciting. In my mind, he’s the most exciting guy in terms of how he wins his points, with the dives, the rolls and the Becker stuff that goes on. He has a real philosophical take on life on the tour – he says there are people who are out there suffering and that he could be in a much worse place, doing much worse things than playing tennis. He absolutely loves his job and loves what he’s doing, so he will be excited to be out there. He will give it his best shot. and I think he will have some support. Obviously Murray will have most of the support, but Tsonga will have some just because of the way he plays his tennis.”

Croft on how Tsonga could hurt Murray: “Murray could be nervous and Tsonga could play a blinder from the start and be totally unplayable. Tsonga is fun, he’s a caveman with a club. He absolutely belts the ball. Last time they played at Wimbledon, Tsonga said he had a chance to go two sets up, and he said that this time he will be much better prepared. He said he was tired last time, but now he’s much fitter.

Croft on her concerns about Tsonga’s fitness: “Jo came to our studio and I asked to look at his finger, which he hurt at Queen’s, and the finger is twice the size that it should be. It’s very swollen, and it’s not 100 per cent. I asked him whether it was hurting him on certain shots and he was cagey about it. I don’t think he’s coming into the match at 100 per cent fitness.”

Croft on how Murray can frustrate Tsonga:  “Murray has the game which makes Tsonga’s game difficult to execute. I think Murray will have too much. Andy is definitely the favourite when you look as their head-to-head record. Andy also seems to have that little bit extra against guys like Tsonga. I think Tsonga has the game to trouble Andy, but I don’t think he’s consistent enough to do it over the best of five sets.”

Annabel Croft and Mats Wilander are presenting Live @ Wimbledon this fortnight. http://www.wimbledon.com/en_GB/interactive/index.html

  • Mike

    Very intelligent from A. Croft to transform a tennis article into a gutter press article by” describing ” the relationship between Roger and Andy. I don’t know where’s the point. Andy is a very difficilt opponent for Roger, he beat him twice in the finale and that doesn’t mean he’ll beat him again if they get to meet at Wimbledon, but most of all, if Roger beats him, it’s certainly not because he doesn’t like Andy. “I’ve seen that in previous matches” … pleaaase, why would you mix up private and professional life ? Honestly, i think Andy doesn’t care and Roger has no problem with Andy, they wouldn’t be friends,  but there’s no way we can use the word “like” or “not like” to describe their relationship. It’s strange there’s a tension between them since they’re supposed to beat eachother … aha.
    Anyway, i think A. Croft’s comments are usually pretty relevant, but i don’t think it’s very hard to see why this one isn’t.

  • Badgerlegs

    “Roger Federer plays Murray very well” – not that well , Murray has an 8-7 lead over Federer head to head. Good job AC retired so young she was about as good a player as she is a journalist, note how little time she’s spent working for the BBC over the years.

  • Anonymous

    Typical of Annabel ‘never won anything’ Croft. The woman doesn’t have a clue. Maybe there isn’t much love lost between Murray and Federer, but so what. Murray and Djokovic and Murray and Nadal apparently get on really well, but it is nothing to do with how they are on the court. Croft, on the other hand, clearly dislikes Murray. Green eyed monster methinks.

    If Annabel Croft had said something about Federer might try to show Murray up in the final she might have a point. To my mind that is how Federer approached the match. Not that it worked. Murray fought, which I think got up Federer’s nose (well, it would) and brought out the best in Federer. It makes me wonder what would have happened if Murray could have just clinched that second set. Still, we’ll never know now.

  • Pulmeec

    This woman talks absolute rubbish, After Murray won the Olympics, she said that Murray was definitely more talented than Djokovich, maybe more than Federer and that Nadal had lost ground.
    How come then that those 3 have won 33 grand slams and been runner up 15 times.
    Murray has been runner up 4 times, 3 times of which he did not even get a set.
    I think Murray is brilliant, but he can no be the most talented player out of those 4.