U.S. Open golf champion Rory McIlroy of Northern Ireland will be in Hamburg to see Klitschko vs Haye on Saturday. (Photo by Peter Macdiarmid/Getty Images)
They might not seem a likely trio, but UK star athletes David Haye, Rory McIlroy and Andy Murray have intersected this month, and if all are successful, what a story it will be.
McIlroy became the youngest U.S. Open golf champion in 83 years when the 22-year-old won at the Congressional Country Club in Bethesda, Md., just under two weeks ago. Haye, of course, is fighting world heavyweight champion Wladimir Klitschko on Saturday in Germany. And Murray is currently gearing up for the semifinals of Wimbledon after a straight sets win today over Feliciano Lopez.
As McIlroy takes a break from golf, he'll be in Hamburg on Saturday to see Haye fight Klitschko, rooting on the 30-year-old British star in his underdog role against the dominant champion. Yesterday, McIlroy was at Wimbledon to see Murray practice. And Murray and Haye have a friendship that Murray discussed with The Guardian:
Murray says he has learnt much about life and sport from his friendship with Haye, on the face of it an unlikely one between a belligerent and theatrical product of south London and an introverted, sometimes angst-burdened Scot from the small town of Dunblane. Perhaps the most valuable advice Haye has given him is to ignore the notion of fate. They have not, for instance, exchanged good luck messages.
"'Good luck' isn't something you send a boxer," Murray says. "They don't believe in it. He said there was something on Twitter about him wishing me good luck. He sent me a message saying, 'There's no luck in sport.' But I'll send him a message a bit closer to the fight. 'I hope you smash him,' is something more like what boxers say."
The article also says that if Murray reaches Sunday's Wimbledon final, Haye will jet back from Hamburg to see his match. Murray will face Rafael Nadal in the semifinals on Friday, after Nadal beat Mardy Fish (great name) in four sets today.
Maybe not the Three Musketeers, but the connection is there, and triumph for all would put the eyes of the sporting world on the United Kingdom in a major way. We've already seen what the major win has done for McIlroy, who is now world-known and one of the hottest names in all of sports right now. But if Murray and Haye both win this weekend, the eyes of the sporting world will be on the UK, and the trio will be in superstar demand. The odds are against Haye and Murray, but so were they against McIlroy. This weekend is huge for UK sports.