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Andy Murray's first steps in tennis
Scottish sensation Andy Murray continues to march up the world rankings after a successful season in 2006.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray graduated from the clay courts of Barcelona

He grabbed the 2005 Wimbledon headlines beating Radek Stepanek and George Bastl, only to lose narrowly to David Nalbandian.

With Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski approaching the twilight of their careers British tennis is crying out for a new champion.

The Academy met the player who lit up the Centre Court on his Wimbledon debut.

Andy Murray
Andy Murray
2004 US Open boys champion

I've been playing tennis since I was three. My mum Judy is the current Scottish National Tennis Coach and a former professional player.

She took me round to the local courts and I just started playing. I'm not sure if I took to it straight away. I can't really remember but my mum said I wasn't very good.

But hopefully starting so early is beginning to pay off now.

I wasn't forced to play tennis - I was given the choice. When I was nine or ten I wasn't really enjoying playing tennis and I wanted to stop playing.

I took a break for a couple of months but then I wanted to start playing again. I quit football when I was 12 to start taking tennis more seriously.

Picture Ken Passley
A young Andy Murray took tennis seriously from the age of 12

It was an easy choice - tennis had already been a huge part of my life for nine years!

Winning ways

I'm not really too sure what I love about tennis - I just enjoy winning. Winning is the most amazing thing. I hate losing so I try so hard in all my matches just to win.

Also what I love about tennis is that it's only me that's on the court.

I played football and I enjoyed that but I'm not so good when I'm part of a team. I'm better when I'm by myself.

I'm not really too sure why Scotland are producing a few good young tennis players.

We've all got good fighting spirit and we all work really hard on the court.

There's no jealousy between any of the players - we all want each other to do really well. One of my best friends in tennis is one of my Scottish rivals David Brewer!

Busy schedule

Andy Murray facts
Andy Murray
Born: 15 May 1987, Dunblane, Scotland
Height: 6ft 1in
Weight: 10st 10
Career highlights:
Oct 2005: Thailand Open runner-up, maiden ATP Tour final;
2005: Becomes Britain's youngest Davis Cup player; Reaches 2nd round of Wimbledon and US Open;
2004: Wins US Open boys title;
2003: Canadian Open junior singles champion. Winner, ITF $10,000 Futures Tournament (Glasgow)

Before I turned full-time professional I used to get up at 8am and start practising until noon.

Then I did fitness work from 12 until 1. I had school lessons from 4 until 6pm and then I would go back to school from 6 to 7pm.

So I had no time during the day to do anything else. I was knackered by the end of the week.

I'd stick to that training schedule from Monday to Friday. On Saturday I practiced in the morning and I have Sunday off.

I don't have much of a social life but hopefully if I do well that's one of the sacrifices I have to make.

Viva Espana

I was based in Barcelona where I trained to become a professional.

I think practising in Spain helped me a lot because I got to play with senior players all the time. You get used to how hard they're hitting the ball.

And it helped me to know where I should be hitting the ball when I'm playing matches. That's one of the reasons why I think I can make it.

Also you have to be able to play well on clay to get anywhere in tennis.

The only problem is that there's no clay courts in the UK so I had to go to Spain.

The mental side to my game has improved by being in Spain as well.

On clay you can't afford to miss any balls so I think my mental toughness is much better.



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SEE ALSO
Murray's tactics
16 Jan 06 |  Skills


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