Andy Murray and Stephen Hendry are Scottish sporting icons. Always will be.
Murray broke all expectations by rising to the very top in a sport which we had no history of producing greatness in, while Hendry is arguably the most ruthless winning machine we’ve ever had.
To see them both battling away in the lower reaches of their respective sports this week isn’t something any of us would have predicted a few years ago.
Hendry was happily retired and Murray was winning big titles for fun.
With injuries forcing Andy to start at the bottom again and Stephen rediscovering a desire to compete, there was one of them fighting away to get through a first round of a low level tournament before being knocked out in the next one, and the other losing 4-1 on his return after nearly a decade in the Gibraltar Open.
If you’re asking me which one I think has the better shot at getting back to – or near to – the top, I’d say Hendry.
The physical demands in tennis are so intense that, at Murray’s age, it’s an incredibly difficult task to climb the mountain again.
He scaled it the first time through supreme talent and punishing his body to its limit in practice and in the gym. The talent will never leave him but it’s unrealistic to think he can marry that with the second part of the equation.
In snooker, on the other hand, there aren’t the same obstacles which stop you putting in the hours.
And the mental side of things, which Hendry was struggling with, can be fixed.
As strange as it may sound given the amount of time he’s been away and his age, I’d put his chances of contending for big titles higher than Sir Andy’s.
Congratulations to Kerri Einarson and her team for winning back to back Canadian national titles.
It’s the second year in a row they’ve beaten Team Homan in the final.
It was another tight one, which went to the last end, but Kerri and the girls deserved their triumph.
We were all gutted about not getting to compete in last year’s World Championships but it must have been especially hard for them because it’s so hard to win Canada’s biggest domestic tournament, which gets you into it.
It would have been their first Worlds.
The fact that they’ve done it again is another reason to keep our fingers crossed that the WCF can find a way to stage this year’s championships.
For Shannon Birchard, Kerri’s second, it would be even more heart-breaking.
She won their nationals in 2018 with Jennifer Jones but didn’t compete at the Worlds that year because Kaitlyn Lawes came back into the team after being away playing in a mixed doubles event. Then she missed out last year with Kerri.
Big praise needs to go to Rachel Homan as well. She is eight months pregnant!
The next big qualifier in Canada is for the Olympics in November and if Rachel can get back playing to her best in time after giving birth, that would be another great story for the sport.
Like all other St Johnstone fans I was celebrating the cup win on Sunday afternoon.
What an achievement.
It was a great example of a coach getting his tactics right and his team carrying those tactics out to the letter.
If you can do that under the highest pressure then you deserve the trophy.
The contrast between the scenes at Celtic Park in 2014 and a near empty Hampden Park are obvious but the more I think about it, the more special and unique this one will feel as the years go by.
The supporters got behind their team in ways they’ve never had to in the past and hopefully will never have to again.