Double Wimbledon champion, double Olympic champion and now world No.1. But what doesn’t Andy Murray like about himself?
*This interview was conducted prior to Murray reaching world No.1 in Paris.
What is the greatest benefit of being famous?
Occasionally you get to skip queues, which can be helpful so you don’t have to hang around too much for certain things. But I’m not a huge fan of fame so there are some drawbacks as well.
What quality do you like most in other people?
What annoys or frustrates you the most?
To be honest, I frustrate myself a lot. Like when I’m on the court I’m frustrated that I get frustrated at myself. I find that a bit irritating.
What do you most like in yourself?
I think I’m pretty honest. I think that’s a good quality.
What do you dislike in yourself?
A lot of things really. I think I’m too hard on myself.
What has been your best moment on a tennis court?
Probably winning the Olympics, I would say. It would be number one for me. It was obviously different (to winning Wimbledon). Wimbledon as a sort of personal goal or achievement would have been bigger, but I think the happiness that I felt, the good emotions that I had, positive emotions, I would have said more after the Olympics because it was more happiness. I got to share it with more people whereas winning Wimbledon, it felt like a huge relief.
Obviously, over time I started to enjoy it more and appreciate the occasion, but at the time I felt so much pressure and so much relief that it wasn’t actually like, ‘This is so amazing, this is so great’. I was just relieved that I’d managed to do it.
What has been your worst moment on a tennis court?
Maybe losing in the Wimbledon final [to Roger Federer in 2012]. It’s a bad memory, but it’s also the start of a period where I started to have a lot of success just after that. But the actual moment on the court when I was very emotional. That continued for me for a few days afterwards.
Knowing what you know now, what advice would you have given yourself when your career started?
Don’t worry about what everyone else is saying. Don’t worry about the press or pressures that people try to put on you and to enjoy it more. I think for me anyway the last little while I’ve been enjoying my tennis more. At the beginning of my career I really enjoyed it, and then there was a period in the middle when everything I found quite stressful. I would have made sure I made more of that time and had more fun when I was on the tour.
What is the best advice you have ever been given?
The best advice is that the people around you are the ones that matter the most, so pleasing them is all that you can do. I think in a way I was often trying to please everyone, and the only people that are really important to me are my friends and my family and my team, and they’re the ones I want to make happy. That was good advice that I got.
What would be your perfect day?
A perfect day would probably be a good tennis session on the court, a nice session in the gym and then have the afternoon off to watch the football, maybe go and watch some basketball live. Often when I’m in Miami I get to do that. I get to practise, go to the gym and then I have the afternoon off to watch some sports on the TV and then maybe go watch some live sport in the evening.
Do you have any superstitions?
No. I don’t really have any superstitions.
What has been your most extravagant purchase?
Aside from a house, I had an Aston Martin car for a while.
Which living person do you most admire?
That’s a hard question. I don’t actually know, to be honest.
What is your greatest fear?
What is your most treasured possession?
Would my dogs be a possession?
If you weren’t a tennis player, what would you like to be?
I would liked to have played basketball or football probably. They’re the two sports that I follow and watch the most now. But another sport because I like playing in front of crowds. It’s obviously a nice adrenalin rush when you get the chance to do that. I would like to have entertained in some way by playing another sport.
Where is the best place you’ve been?
I love Melbourne and Miami. There’s a few places I’d really like to go that I’ve not been to. I haven’t done many exotic holidays or anything so it’s normally the places I go to play tennis, but I love going to Melbourne every year, and then obviously I spend a lot of time in Miami because I just really enjoy it there too.
Where would you most like to go to that you haven’t been to yet?
I’d like to go to Argentina. I’ve flown into them but I’ve never spent any time there. I’d like to go on safari somewhere, and I would also like to go to the jungle.
Who would you most like to have as a dinner guest, alive or deceased?
Probably Ricky Gervais, someone who’s funny. I’m sure he’s got a lot of very interesting stories and I think he’s got a pretty cool outlook on life.
How would you like to be remembered?
I have no idea. As a good person. That would be enough for me.
Barry Wood has reported on the game for over 35 years, attending his first Australian Open at Kooyong before going on to interview almost every top player as well as many others for numerous publications.
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