Murray places all his eggs in Wimbledon basket

Andy Murray has today declared his intention to place all his hopes on producing his very best sporting clichés at Wimbledon this year.

The Scot, who is preparing for next week’s championships, said that it was by far his favourite tournament and that he hopes to have the mental confidence to believe he can really win. “The atmosphere at Wimbledon is always incredible and the fans are really passionate about tennis.”

“The physical side of my game has made a huge difference to the mental side, and vice-versa. I feel I’m in a good space at the moment, both mentally and physically.” Murray said at a recent pre-Wimbledon press conference.

“I wasn’t in a good place when I was younger – I went into matches with doubts, not knowing for sure whether I had a solid foundation on which to base both my mental and physical game. When you spend a lot of time meditating, using oxygen chambers and doing motivational exercises it makes playing tennis feel a lot easier.

“Now I go in with a clear head and I keep all the excuses and clichés in the back of my mind for when I lose. I’ve been to see a sports psychologist and I’ve been working really hard off the court on how to compartmentalize certain aspects of my game, both physically and mentally.”

He added: “Since Wimbledon last year when my game kicked on a lot I started to develop a much stronger platform from which to develop my game. I used to put a lot of pressure on myself and I often struggled under that pressure, but now I have learnt how to maintain my focus under my own pressure. Plus I’m taking on plenty of fluids.”

No British player has ever won anything since players used wooden rackets and wore Brylcreem in their hair, and with Tim Henman and Greg Rusedski retired, Murray must now learn to cope with disappointing the nation by himself.

“A lot of ex-players — I don’t mean Tim and Greg — use national expectation as an excuse as to why a Briton hasn’t won Wimbledon for so long and I tend to agree.” he said.

“If I ever need advice, Tim will always be there for me. We chat a few times a month and always keep in touch. But when it comes down to dealing with pressure and expectation in big tournaments, I tend not to bother asking him as he’s not exactly got the best record in that department, has he?”

“Obviously it’s easy to get caught up in all of the hype and everything that goes on. But I will prepare the same as I do for all the big tournaments. I’ll probably go for a bit of a jog on the morning of the game and then play a bit of touch rugby with a few members of my coaching team outside the courts before the caretaker comes along to open up. Maintaining big match focus is difficult, obviously, but you get to learn about different facets of your game each time you lose.”

When asked if he felt could win the tournament this year, he said: “I think I can win it, but I’m just going to focus on one ball at a time and making sure I take on plenty of Gatorade between each game.”

[16/06/2009]

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