After yesterday’s “Murraycle” comeback at Wimbledon against Fernando Verdasco, Andy Murray remains the last Brit standing to take the top tennis prize. While he’s a fierce opponent on the courts, he admits to not being in the same league as his rivals when it comes to one thing: conversing in different languages.
Although he lived in Spain for two years, Murray never picked up the language. Speaking to the Daily Record he said, “It’s something I regret not doing when I was actually over in Spain. I wish I had learned the language. I can understand a fair amount, I’m just not comfortable speaking it.
“I haven’t done it for a while. I bought the Rosetta Stone stuff a few years ago and was doing it religiously for a couple of months.
“It wasn’t like I stopped. I was probably two-thirds of the way through it and then someone stole my backpack at an airport.
“And that was all the discs and stuff gone and I never got back into it. A lot of the guys on tour speak several languages. It’s amazing.
“I think with a language like Spanish, once you pick it up, Italian is a little bit similar and people learn quickly.
“Novak and Roger speak a lot of languages and they have picked it up through travelling. I don’t think they study that much, it just almost becomes natural.”
Murray’s opponents are indeed multi-lingual, with Novak Djokovic speaking five languages, and Roger Federer fluent in four. Federer has been known to give his post-match press conferences in English, French, or Swiss German. Djokovic is a self-described ‘language lover’ who speaks Serbian, English, German, Italian, and French. As Djokovic told Tennis X in 2008, “I think more languages, you know, more is your worth and more people respect you.”
On the women’s tour, Serena Williams purchased an apartment in Paris last year and is working on her French. Also, when she won the Italian Open in Rome this year, Serena went that extra mile off the court by giving her victory speech in Italian.
As we get closer to Sunday’s Gentlemen’s Singles final, it looks like Andy Murray will have to let his racket do all the talking.