Andy Murray may now be ranked second in the world after overcoming David Ferrer at the Miami Masters, but the Scotsman is certainly not a world leader when it comes to tanning.
Like many a pale, UV-starved Brit abroad, Murray has fallen prey to what is traditionally known as the “farmers’ tan” but may now need to be updated to the “Scotch-tennis-player tan”, so much has the sportsman made it his own.
Taking a dip in the sea off Miami wearing only a smile and some board shorts, he revealed the effects of several days slogging it out in the Floridian sun: a luminescently white chest complemented by Towie-tan forearms, neck and face.
Embarrassing, certainly. But with the $719,000 (£470,000) prize money he has just trousered, he can afford a few bottles of St Tropez to level things out. And he is by no means alone in having a job-specific tan.
The “white-van man tan” has long been the summer curse of the manual professional. When the heat goes up and the car window goes down, the temptation to sling an arm into the wind is one we all share. But if you are up and down the M6 everyday, chances are you’ll end up with one arm the colour of a nut roast, while the other is as white as milk.
The professional cyclist similarly labours with a pale torso as well as the “three-quarter leg tan”, thanks to those lycras (see Bradley Wiggins). Ski instructors can always be identified in bars by their season-long “panda eyes”. And golfers in sunny climes must also accept their be-gloved hand is likely to have a ghostly pallor by season’s end.
Maybe the most obscure of these “professional tans” is the so-called “Franciscan tan” – the criss-crossed foot that is the result of the friars of St Francis wearing sandals throughout the summer. Undoubtedly, these men of God have the moral resources to bear the embarrassment with equanimity; whether the cantankerous tennis player does remains to be seen.…