WIMBLEDON, England — After coming back from an two-set deficit to beat Fernando Verdasco 4-6, 3-6, 6-1, 6-4, 7-5 in the quarterfinals on Wednesday, Andy Murray breathed a sigh of relief and walked off Centre Court for his immediate post-match remarks. However, the typically snoozy back-and-forth took an unusually tense turn thanks to BBC reporter Garry Richardson’s odd line of questioning. After asking for Murray’s thoughts on the match, Richardson tried to get a little cute with a reference to former Manchester United manager Sir Alex Ferguson’s penchant for yelling at his players after, or during, subpar performances.
“Sir Alex Ferguson was in the Royal Box today watching you,” Richardson began, “he’s been known to go into the dressing room after matches and give his players a bit of ‘hairdryer’ treatment. I wonder if your coach, will [Ivan] Lendl say somethings to you, Andy, to gee you up? Or do you not need that? Do you know it all yourself?”
In response, Murray seemed to blanch at the implication that he should be dressed down after the match for being taken to five sets.
“I don’t know it all, far from it,” Murray said. “But I don’t see how why I should get told off after that. I fought as hard as I could, tried incredibly hard, chased every single ball down from the first point to last and I came through an incredibly tough match. It could have gone the other way and I found a way to get through. That’s all you need.”
Richardson tried to recover, but Murray seemed, understandably, annoyed. ”It is such a fantastic achievement to make yet another Wimbledon semifinal,” Richardson said. “Brilliant for you. Such character.”
“Yes, yes it is,” Murray said with a bit of edge in his voice. “It’s very difficult to do that.”
I’ll leave it to the British press to weigh in on the quality of Richardson’s effort:
Stuart Fraser (@stu_fraser) July 03, 2013
Gary Richardson really needs to pull his head in, asking Murray if he will get the hairdryer treatment from Lendl after winning in 5 sets—
kevin mitchell (@kevinmitchell50) July 03, 2013
Next time Garry, just ask him what's it like to have Fergie cheering you on.—
Steve Brenner (@SunSteveBrenner) July 03, 2013
To Murray’s credit, he later tweeted there were no hard feelings.
Don't be too hard on garry richardson he had a bad day and he apologised afterwards—
Andy Murray (@andy_murray) July 03, 2013