Connolly the court jester backs fellow Scot for glory

One of the spectators in Andy Murray's courtside box during his win over Jürgen Melzer had a funny turn here last night. Billy Connolly, who is on a tour of Australia, performed at Melbourne's State Theatre after spending the afternoon watching Murray, having accepted his fellow Scot's invitation to join his entourage in Rod Laver Arena.

The comedian, who met Murray for the first time after the match, said: "That was great. I will be back for the final when he gets there – though that depends where I am. I have got work to do. I'm here until Saturday night, but I suppose I might be able to squeeze it in on Sunday.

"I've become a big tennis fan in recent years. In the last 10 or 15 years I was more of a football guy. But it's not just Andy, it's Federer and everybody. But Andy being Scottish has taken the trick for me. I've been to Wimbledon a few times and I always really enjoy that. And this is the third time I've been here."

He added: "I'd love to see Andy in the final – I don't care who else. My dream game was Andy against Lleyton Hewitt, because I think he is amazing. Hewitt is deeply underrated. I just love him and I love his courageous soul. I just love what he stands for."

Murray said he had never seen Connolly perform live – he is hoping to make amends tonight – but used to listen to him on cassettes on his way to tournaments in England from his home in Scotland. "We used to listen to him all the time, from when I was 10 or 11 up until I was 15 or 16," Murray said, adding with a smile: "That's probably why my language is so bad on court."

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