How ironic that after years of almost imperceptible progress in his role at the Lawn Tennis Association, Roger Draper should finally come under fire for his vast salary at the end of the most successful season in British tennis in nearly a century.
Andy Murray won Britain’s first Olympic gold in the men’s singles since Major Josiah Ritchie in 1908, he and Laura Robson took silver - a first mixed doubles medal since Maxwell Woosnam and Kitty Godfree combined in Antwerp in 1920.
Murray also delivered a first Grand Slam title since 1936 and while Robson became the first British woman to reach a WTA final in 22 years, a few weeks later Heather Watson went one better and became this country’s first tour champion since Sara Gomer in 1988. A chief executive’s life was so much simpler then.
But then they probably didn’t earn anything like the £640,000 trousered by Draper, a figure that sent Baroness Angela Billingham into a hysterical soundbite frenzy in which she slammed the LTA as ‘useless’.
But then you can see where she’s coming from, few people have it as hard as the All-Party Tennis Group, a body which on www.parliament.uk has the following crusading purpose: “For MPs and Peers to be able to play tennis matches together and compete with various outside tennis teams.” No, really.
Anyway, let’s not let that little storm in a pre-Christmas mince-pie foil spoil what was been a truly outstanding 2012, a year in which Murray has fulfilled his destiny and Robson and Watson have taken major strides to showing they can fulfil their potential.
A year in which Ivan Lendl, an unsmiling ghost of Wimbledons past, became the most-loved coach in British tennis and one that not only brought his charge the US Open title but also a maiden appearance in an All England Club final. The first by a Brit since 1938 when Bunny...well, you get the picture.
Nevertheless, majestic and cathartic though it was, there was something rather deflating about Murray’s reaction to defeating Novak Djokovic over five incontinence-inducing sets in the wee small hours of September 11
Those who hoped for an instant personality transformation following the realisation that his critics could no longer torture him, or maybe even a teeny-weeny smile in his moment of triumph, were left disappointed by his insistence that he must wear his branded watch and the expression and hands-to-mouth gesture of a man shattered by the realisation he had forgotten to turn the oven off before going out for the night-shift.
Ah well, us tennis fans can’t have it all. A Grand Slam title, a Wimbledon final, Olympic gold and silver medals, a WTA Tour title, a woman in the last 16 of the US Open, a World Group Fed Cup play-off and the most promising crop of youngsters for a generation will have to suffice. If we want more we’ll really have to pay top dollar for a chief executive.