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Andy Murray

Britain's greatest goes for glory

  • Location: Paris, France

Since his first appearance at Wimbledon in 2005, Andy Murray has given us so much. A few emotional defeats, countless hard-fought, rollercoaster-ride wins, and two thrilling title triumphs, the first of which ending a 77-year wait for a British champion. He’s already far and away the best British player of the modern era, but if you’ve followed his career over the last decade – in fact, if you’ve ever seen him play a single point – you’ll know he’s not ready to down tools just yet. At 30 years old, the Dunblane man is more determined than ever, and with this year’s tournament offering the opportunity to equal Fred Perry’s three Wimbledon wins, don’t be surprised to see him climbing into the players’ box one more time on July 16th.

Between the singles and doubles game, you and Jamie have built quite a legacy at Wimbledon. How does that feel?

It’s pretty special. When you start out as a tennis player, winning Wimbledon is what you dream of, so it’s great that Jamie and I have both been able to do that. I don’t know if we would claim to have built a legacy at Wimbledon yet though – there are so many great players who have played amazing matches at Wimbledon – but I think the British public had waited for so long to have a champion there that they were very grateful that we were able to do what we did.

WINNING WIMBLEDON IS
WHAT YOU DREAM OF.

Andy Murray - World No.1

Do you feel any added pressure going into this year’s tournament as defending champion and world No.1?

The pressure at Wimbledon is always pretty intense anyway. I’ve been playing there for the past 10 or 12 years and there is always so much hope and expectation put on the British players, and I don’t think that will be any different this year. I also put a lot of pressure on myself but I try not to think too much about it and just get on with winning each match as it comes.

How do you adapt your training for grass court tennis?

Moving onto the grass from the clay is always pretty tough, especially as the French Open and Queen’s are so close together. Often when I move onto a new surface, I watch some videos of matches where I feel I have played well in that tournament or on that surface – it helps to remember the things you were doing well and the things giving you success. Obviously moving well on the grass is really important so we will do some drills that improve my speed around the court. And I’ll also concentrate on some drills at the net – if you can get up to the net and play aggressively it can be really effective on this surface.

You’re well known for your stamina within single points, lots of stop-start sprints in a short period of time. How much of that ability to keep going is natural talent and how much is down to your conditioning work?

I think it’s a bit of both. You’ve got to put in the hours in the gym and on the court to raise your fitness levels, but the mental strength to keep pushing yourself is also a really important factor and I guess I’m lucky to have that drive as well.

You openly wear your heart on your sleeve whilst on court. Would you say that you are your harshest critic?

That’s a hard question. I do put a lot of pressure on myself and I do get frustrated on court, as you will have probably seen. It’s tough when you’re out there and you’re the only one that can dictate which way a match will go. At the end of the day, you have got to just keep striving to be the best you can.

This year’s high performance range of Under Armour apparel looks great. How does it feel to play in?

The Threadborne technology that the fabric of my shirt is made from has made a real difference. It’s really light, quick-drying and doesn’t cling, which is great, because you don’t want to be distracted by your kit in key moments during a match. Given how long some of my matches can be, this really helps me concentrate on my performance.

You’re now 30, and though we know you don’t pay too much attention to birthdays, it is a bit of a milestone and an opportunity to reflect. If you compare the Andy Murray of today to the teenager who walked out at Wimbledon in 2005, what would you say is the most noticeable difference?

Apart from a bit less hair (!) I would say that I understand myself a lot more now than I did then. I know what I need to do to play at my best and how hard I need to work, and when I can take my foot off the gas a bit. I am also able to get more perspective on tennis than I did then – probably a result of having a family now.

When you see Federer playing so well at 35, you must be thinking you’ve got a good few years left in you yet?

I hope so. I would like to carry on playing as long as I can. I would definitely like the opportunity to defend my Olympic gold in Tokyo and that’s a few years away yet. These days it is possible for players to carry on for much longer, as we look after our bodies much better – my physio travels with me all the time and is with me whenever I’m training or playing. I also have a nutritionist. All of these things help to prolong your career in tennis.

Finally, if you could choose any celeb to cheer you on from the Royal Box, who would it be?

I’ve always been a huge fan of Muhammad Ali so it would have been great to have him in the Royal Box cheering me on.

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