Murray Ready To Embark On Historic Title Defence
Wimbledon, Great Britain
by ATP Staff|
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Following years of hype, hope and expectation, Andy Murray returns to the hallowed grounds of Wimbledon with his most sought-after trophy in hand. But the Scot is not content with just one.
As Murray walks through the gates of the All England Club for the first time as champion, much has changed in a year. With new coach Amelie Mauresmo in his corner and a rejuvenated physical core following a back operation last October, the third seed is not holding back in his quest to retain his title.
“I'm here to try and win the tournament,” said Murray. “That's it. I believe if I play my best tennis, I'll give myself a chance of doing well here and putting myself in a position to win the tournament.”
The Dunblane native became the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936, ending a 77-year drought. That was Murray’s last tour-level title, and the Scot would love nothing more than to end his personal dry spell with another successful fortnight. The pressure is still there, but he says he feels better equipped to manage it now.
“I feel nervous, which is good,” Murray added. “I like that. I don't feel that different to last year.
"I think if you win a tournament like this, I feel like you get the benefits, you feel the benefits later in the tournament because you know what it takes and you know how to handle the latter stages of a tournament like this.
“Last year the final was definitely the most pressure I'd felt in all the years I'd played here. I managed to come through it. I think that comes with age and experience.”
Murray will have the benefit of 2006 Wimbledon champion Amelie Mauresmo in his box and after a couple weeks of preparation with the former WTA No. 1, he says he is hopeful she can help take his game to new heights.
“I think she was someone who struggled with nerves and conquered them later in her career, which, when you start to coach someone, I think you can help more than someone that hasn't had those issues before,” Murray said about Mauresmo. “She understands the psychological part of the game maybe more than some because of that.
“In terms of what she's like, her game style, she had quite a creative game style. She used a lot of spins, slices, she came to the net, good variety in her game. That's something that I've always tried to use during my career. So I think she can help with that. And then in terms of what she's like as a person, she's a very, very nice person. She's very easy to speak to. She's very easy to communicate with. She listens well. She's firm, as well. So there are the reasons why I wanted to give it a shot, and hopefully it will work out well.
“I trained hard the last 10 days or so. Preparation’s gone well. So it's now down to me to try and perform on the court. That's what I need to do."
Murray opens his title defence against David Goffin on Monday, with a potential third-round battle with Saturday’s Topshelf Open champion Roberto Bautista-Agut on the horizon. A rematch of last year’s final with Novak Djokovic looms large in the semis.
“You can't start off slowly in these tournaments. You need to try and be on it from the first match. I'll be ready for tomorrow.”
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