Tim Walker: Game, set and cash... Murray's minted
Tales From The Watercooler
Tim Walker is The Independent’s Los Angeles correspondent, covering entertainment and other concerns from the West Coast of the US. He was previously a features writer and the editor of the paper’s diary column. His first novel, Completion, is being published in January 2014.
Saturday 15 September 2012
If, like me, you're a fairweather tennis fan, there's at least half a chance you watched your first US Open final this week. Perhaps then, you were as surprised as I was: not by Andy Murray's victory, nor by the unfamiliar playing surface, nor by the lateness of the hour at Flushing Meadows – we have lights and a roof at Wimbledon now, too. No, what shocked me was the unabashed presence of cold, hard cash.
First, following the final point, came the sight of Murray wandering about in his socks, searching for the £1,250 Rado watch that he had to wear while lifting the trophy, presumably so as to fulfil the terms of his supposed seven-figure sponsorship deal. Next came commentator Mary Carillo, who told the crowd, and an embarrassed-seeming Novak Djokovic, that as runner-up he'd "finished first in the Emirate airline US Open series bonus challenge," and would have $500,000 of bonus money added to his winnings.
After informing the triumphant Murray that there'd be "bagpipes blowing all over Scotland" in celebration, Carillo introduced Stephen Cannon, the President and CEO of Mercedes Benz, "to hand over your prize money cheque of $1.9m." Can you imagine Sue Barker being so vulgar as to discuss money?
The following day, some British papers led with publicist Max Clifford's plucked-from-the-air assertion that Murray could now earn £100m. The Scot's Olympic victory came without a cash prize, but it certainly won't have harmed his chances of further sponsorship. Tennis players want to win, but they're in it for the money, too.
Frank Lampard was RIGHT not to celebrate Manchester City's equaliser against Chelsea
All Blacks Aaron Cruden misses New Zealand flight after drinking session, has brilliant excuse
WWE Raw results: Dean Ambrose and John Cena hunt down Seth Rollins but The Authority stand firmly in their way
Colombian women's cycling team kit that makes wearer appear naked is branded 'unacceptable' by UCI president
Five reasons why Louis van Gaal is a worse Manchester United manager than David Moyes
- 1 Cyclist in Russia narrowly misses being hit by car and lorry
- 2 'F*ck it, I quit': KTVA reporter Charlo Greene quits live on air in spectacular fashion
- 3 What are your fingerprint words?
- 5 Pink Floyd new album: Band unveil cover art for first record in 20 years
Scotland could still declare independence – even without referendum, says Alex Salmond
Scottish referendum results: Cross-party consensus collapses amid Tory-Labour spat on the 'English question'
Hilary Mantel 'should be investigated by police' over Margaret Thatcher assassination story, says Lord Bell
Plebgate MP Andrew Mitchell called officer a 'little s**t', claim court documents 'exposing ex-Chief Whip's 'record of abusing police'
Archbishop of Canterbury admits doubts about existence of God
Labour Party conference: Ed Balls to set out plan to freeze child benefit to balance books