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Andy Murray column

Murray aspires to best tennis ever

By Andy Murray
World number four and British number one

I've trained really hard, I've been playing well in practice and I'm hoping that I can play my best tennis at Wimbledon, but if I don't I need to be ready to fight.

Finding my way through matches when I wasn't playing my best was something I did well last year. I think I can win the tournament but I'm going to have to play really well, better than I have been the last few months, and it's down to me to do that.

When I arrived at Wimbledon last Sunday for the first time in a year there was absolutely nobody here and they were setting up, you couldn't practice on any of the match courts and the nets were down, but it still felt great to be back.

I have really good memories from playing here since I was a kid, and even before that when I was really young and came to watch with my mum. I actually didn't watch many matches, I was more interested in getting autographs from the players.

Having a close team around me makes sure I keep my feet on the ground

We never got to watch any other tournaments on the TV when we were growing up, we only had five channels and Wimbledon was the only tournament on, so when I came here for the first time I absolutely loved it.

The first year I played in the juniors I was 14 or 15 and I lost in the first round for the first two years, I never did well here as a junior, but the record as a senior has been a bit better.

It's a lot nicer for me now that I actually live nearby. When I played here the first couple of years I was in hotels, and the year when I'd just started working with Mark Petchey as my coach at Queen's I actually stayed at his house.

I've had my own place for a year now and it's pretty much how I want it - I just need to find a few variations on pasta and sauce.

Andy Murray looks relaxed during practice at Wimbledon
Murray has been practising at Wimbledon this weekend

When I first moved into the apartment I had beforehand in Wandsworth, I liked cooking for myself because it was different. I'd spent so much time in hotels and other people's houses that I'd never really had any space of my own, so I liked cooking, doing the washing up, the laundry - I actually really enjoyed being independent and doing stuff on my own.

Having a close team around me makes sure I keep my feet on the ground. Not only do I work with the guys professionally but they're also good friends. I've known all of them for a long time, and having them around is good if you're acting up or not behaving as you should. I just wouldn't do it because they're my friends.

They've helped a lot since the French Open as I wanted to work really hard in the week before Wimbledon and train as well as possible to make sure that I'm feeling confident going in here.

Losing to Roger Federer in the Australian Open at the start of the year was difficult because I thought I was going to win, so that makes it tough, but also I'd put so much into it.

I'd prepared as best I could and worked really hard in Miami before I went over to Australia. From December through to the end of January I'd spent three days in this country and a lot of time away from my friends and family.

Winning my first Grand Slam title in my own country would be incredible

It was a tough one, but at the same time when you've given everything to it and put in everything you can, it sits with you a bit better. But it was difficult to recover because it's not just the tournament, it's the whole build-up, and then the two weeks is obviously mentally and physically demanding.

I didn't feel like going to the gym that much afterwards, and getting myself fitter and stronger is something that has helped me and made me feel really confident over the last few years. When I wasn't going to the gym I had a few more doubts going onto the match court and I lost a bit of confidence that way.

The home support at Wimbledon will be a huge help. There is obviously pressure going into Wimbledon but once you're on the court and you calm down after the first few games of the first match, it does make a big difference.

I love playing in New York but it's totally different. When I'm playing here everybody is supporting me and wants me to win. In New York I might get good support, but it's not quite the same.

The crowd here have supported Tim over the last 10 or 15 years and it does make a huge difference to how you play.

Everybody says home advantage is huge in sports like football and basketball and I don't think it's any different in tennis, so I'm hoping it's going to help me out because winning my first Grand Slam title in my own country would be incredible.


Andy Murray was talking to Piers Newbery and will be contributing regular columns to BBC Scotland throughout Wimbledon 2010, which begins on Monday.




see also
Tennis on the BBC
26 Oct 11 |  Tennis
Murray aspires to best tennis ever
20 Jun 10 |  Scotland
Gulbis joins Wimbledon absentees
20 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray to face Hajek at Wimbledon
18 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Henman on Murray
17 Jun 10 |  Tennis
Murray beats Youzhny in warm-up
17 Jun 10 |  Tennis


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