Sometimes when Andy Murray talks after a match, you think he just might fall asleep in the middle of an answer. But you aren’t sure if he ever really did it because, well, you were nodding off yourself. So you just wish he would open up a little, say something. Anything.
“I’m not one of those sportsmen who practices a strict policy of sexual abstinence before playing,’’ he said.
“I remember a world heavyweight whose trainer banned him from sex six weeks before a fight to save energy. We play every week so, with a boxer’s mentality, we’d always be saying `No.’ ’’
Murray said this stuff the other day, setting off some highly entertaining headlines in the British tabloids, and any other place that saw it.
“Big match love ban? That’s not how I play it, says Andy.’’ That was in the Daily Mail.
“Game, Sex, Match for Andy Murray,’’ it said in the Sun.
Yahoo wrote: “No sex ban for Randy Andy Murray.’’
Too. Much. Information. I know I’ve wanted Murray to say something interesting, but, he must be nuts to have said this stuff.
Maybe something is a little off with Murray. He spent a decent part of the spring totally disinterested in tennis – where was his girlfriend? _ and crushed by players far beneath him. He arrived in Madrid this week with hair so wild, big and bushy that he can’t cut it. If he did, where would the mother bird and her babies go to live?
And now, he’s talking freely about sex with Spain’s El Mundo newspaper, leading to a publication called Mid Day writing this headline: “Sex before matches makes Andy Murray sizzle on court.’’
Then, Italy’s Francesca Schiavone reportedly told Metro website in England that “For a woman, sex before a match is not only allowed, it is fantastic. It raises your hormone levels and brings advantages to all of your points.’’
I can’t even believe this is a real issue. So I asked Marat Safin who said that, no, he would never have sex before. . .
Just kidding. I didn’t ask. I didn’t have to.
And I wouldn’t want to. If I did, I’m guessing he would have answered with something like this: “With just one woman?’’
I know that at the Olympics, athletes are provided condoms. After reading what Jerry West said about Magic Johnson, I wouldn’t be surprised if someone said Johnson had sex DURING big games. If it means anything, the TV show MANswers says that sex before The Big Game is OK.
And Ian Shrier, a sports medicine specialist at McGill University in Montreal, wrote an editorial in the Clinical Journal of Sports Medicine entitled “Does Sex the Night Before Competition Decrease Performance?’’
“First, it could make you tired and weak the next day,’’ Shrier told National Geographic News. “This has been disproved. The second way is that it could affect your psychological state of mind. This has not been tested.’’
I’m not sure how he conducted his study, but am just thankful he’s not at a U.S. university, where tax dollars would have funded it.
Look, I thought this was just a boxing thing, where fighters were told that sex weakens legs. It always seemed like an old wives tale made up by, well, probably old wives who were kicked out of a boxer’s camp weeks before a title fight.
There is no way that any American athlete follows this advice.
To me, the most amazing thing about this discussion is that Murray started it. But you do wonder if this is why he has never won a major.
I did find a story in the Daily Mail in June, when Murray and his longtime girlfriend, Kim Sears, re-united after six months apart.
“I work better in a relationship,’’ Murray said. The article pointed out that in the time they were apart, Murray dropped in the ranking from No. 2 to No. 5. Murray also noted that when he met Sears, “I was playing qualifiers.’’
Let’s go over that: With Sears around, he went from qualifiers to No. 2. With her gone for six months, he dropped to No. 5. But in the one major while they were apart, he did beat Nadal at the Australian Open, and reached the final. He lost there to Roger Federer, but it was the best major final he has played.
The newspaper also said that Sears and Murray like to play Scrabble and Backgammon – maybe it’s the Scrabble that leads him to victories? — and that she sets Murray’s mind at ease. She “tamed her man of his tendency to furies about things as unimportant as a misshapen banana.’’
I’ve got nothing to say about that.