x Abu Dhabi, UAEWednesday 26 July 2017

Serve up a cross connection

Andy Murray visited David Haye's gym in Miami recently, and said they are in regular text contact, with the boxer offering helpful tips for success. Man, I would love to intercept those SMS messages ...

Tennis world No 4 Andy Murray, left, and boxer David Haye have struck up a friendship. Pictures by Julian Finney, Alex Livesey / Getty Images
Tennis world No 4 Andy Murray, left, and boxer David Haye have struck up a friendship. Pictures by Julian Finney, Alex Livesey / Getty Images

The worlds of boxing and tennis rarely combine, although Serena Williams looked ready to cross codes with that line judge in the 2009 US Open.

A friendlier boxing-tennis alliance, however, has cropped up between the outlandish WBA heavyweight champion David Haye and the slightly more buttoned-up tennis star Andy Murray.

Murray visited Haye's gym in Miami recently, and said they are in regular text contact, with the boxer offering helpful tips for success. Man, I would love to intercept those SMS messages …

DH: Yo, Murray Mint! How's it hanging?

AM: Murray Mint?

DH: I told you, you need a nickname, boxing style. Murray Mint makes you sound fresh and cool. Lol.

AM: But I'm not fresh or cool. I'm angry. Mum says I haven't stopped scowling since the midwife slapped my bottom. Lol. Well, I say Lol, but I'm not actually laughing out loud. I'm not even smiling, tbh.

DH: You're looking for something more fiery? How about Andy "Hotter than Curry" Murray?

AM: Och, David I don't really like curry. It gives me indigestion, which makes me even angrier. I prefer mum's neeps and tatties.

DH: Didn't he win the Indian Open? Lol.

AM: Eh?

DH: It was a joke, Mint. Neepsand Tatties sounds like an Indian name, Lol.

AM; Oh, right. Lol, I guess.

DH: Listen, Mint, this is your problem. You need to loosen up. Enjoy yourself. We're living the dream. We get paid to play sport! Just imagine where you'd be without tennis - probably stuck in Scotland, digging peat on some desolate moor, with no one around for miles.

AM: Would there be a downside?

DH: Oh, Mint. You know we are supposed to be entertainers, right?

AM: Supposed to be what?

DH: Entertainers.

AM: David, are you using some weird American predictive text?

You mean we are supposed to be "into trainers"?

DH: No, Mint. Entertainment. Giving it the old razzle-dazzle!

AM: I'm Scottish, David. I prefer to give it the old gristle-drizzle.

DH: See, there you go!

AM: What?

DH: You told a joke!

AM: No, I didn't.

DH: Oh, right. If you do tell a joke, could you put a little smiley face afterwards? Just so I know.

AM: I won't be telling any jokes.

DH: Well, we could always work on your appearance. Looking good is part of the game. Did I tell you I did some work for Abercrombie & Fitch before I got into boxing?

AM: No! Aren't they that peat-digging firm outside Inverness?

DH: No, Mint. They're a top fashion house. I was a model. I could give you some tips on looking good. Maybe help you out with your teeth.

AM: I don't like dentists.

DH: Who mentioned dentists? I just meant you could try smiling. I could help you out with your pre-match hype, too. Get you chucking a few threats and insults around in press conferences.

AM: But I do that already!

DH: Yeah, but you're supposed to aim them at your opponents, not the journalists. It is all about the drama, Mint. Why don't you pick yourself an enemy to have a feud with, like I did with Audley Harrison. Is there anyone out there who used to be your friend but you dumped like a hot potato when they were no good to you any more?

AM: Just my ex-coaches, I guess.

DH: Right, well, that's good. How many are there?

AM: How many this month or altogether in my career?

DH: This could be easier than I thought, Mint. Lol.

AM: Please stop calling me Mint.

DH: No Lol.

 

sports@thenational.ae