Andy Murray and Keith Meisner used to travel together on the junior tour, both aiming to perform one day in front of a large crowd at Wimbledon. The former fulfilled that particular dream many years ago. The latter will finally fulfill his on Friday, although perhaps not quite in the way he once expected.
Meisner, an amateur musician under the name ‘The Exile of Elgin’, has been invited by Murray’s mum Judy to the All England Club after he dedicated a song to the world No.2 which has astonishingly received more than 15,000 hits on YouTube in the past five days.
Meisner, who is a part-time PE teacher at Kemnay Academy in Aberdeenshire, produced the song after being inspired during a trip to Flushing Meadows last year. “I went over to the US Open last year and watched some matches,” said Meisner. “I watched Andy play Ivan Dodig which was the first time I had been on Arthur Ashe under the floodlights. It was amazing.
“I had heard a Mark Knopfler song called ‘Song For Sonny Liston’. It’s about a boxer and I thought there are so many songs about boxers and not many about tennis players.
“I just thought I would capture Andy’s whole career in the song. From Barcelona to maybe getting a hard time to losing the Wimbledon final and then winning the Olympics and US Open, I tried to put his whole career into a song really.”
Meisner posted the song on his Twitter feed last Saturday which was noticed by Judy. Hours later his phone was going off the hook after Murray tweeted a link to the song with the message: “A friend of mine from Elgin, Scotland who I grew up playing tennis with came up with this song.”
Meisner, 26, said: “It was totally unexpected. All of a sudden I saw his tweet when it flashed up on my phone. For the next two hours my phone was constantly going off. The reaction was positive from the fans. It was really good of Andy.”
He has now been inundated with press requests and is expected to be a man in demand when he visits Wimbledon, where he will watch his friend Murray take on Tommy Robredo in the third round on Centre Court.
After giving the Futures circuit a go but with little success, Meisner stopped playing in 2005, just months after Murray rose to prominence at Wimbledon by reaching the third round at the age of 18.
“I got very close to playing junior Wimbledon but my ranking meant I just missed out,” said Meisner. “I knew that I wasn’t at the level where I would be playing senior events at Wimbledon one day. It’s a nice touch to be asked down to play the guitar and use more of my musical talent. I’m just really excited about it”
Meisner has known Murray since he was eight years old, occasionally staying at his house in Dunblane when he trained in nearby Stirling, and played him through all the age groups in Scotland, although the best he managed against Murray was taking him to three sets once at an under-14 tournament.
“You could tell that Andy was going to be good,” said Meisner. “In every age group he was already the best in the country. He didn’t miss as much, he just worked things out, he had way more variety and he was just more natural than anyone else.”
Listen to Meisner's musical creation...
20:24...But boy, it was a barrow-load of fun. I hope you enjoyed it even half as much as we did. Thank you for all your messages throughout, you've been the glue holding us together as the edges frayed amid the madness. Now if you'll excuse me, it's time for us Brits to raise a toast to Andy Murray and Fred Perry. British sporting legends both.
20:19It was the wackiest of Wimbledons with the most unlikely of headline-makers: Sergiy Stakhovsky, Steve Darcis, Michelle Larcher de Brito, Kimiko-Date Krumm, Jerzy Janowicz, Sabine Lisicki, Marion Bartoli...View all