Wimbledon for Andy Murray is Groundhog Day. Every year he finds himself repeating the same answer again and again to the same question: could this be your year?
How does he deal with that?
“I deal with it as best I can, knowing that I’ve played some of my best tennis at Wimbledon over the course of my career,” he says. “It’s the build-up that’s difficult. People follow me everywhere and there are more strains on my time. Once the tournament starts, it’s great. I try to manage my energy well and fit in the extra commitments around training, practice and rest,” Murray says in an interview in this week’s Radio Times magazine.
What seems most unbelievable to Murray is that the positive momentum that began with the Olympic gold medal, continued with his first grand slam title at the US Open, and took him to another final against Djokovic at the Australian Open, has been stalled by injury.
As he concedes, expectation has never been higher. He will tread the grass of SW19 not just as the British number one, but as the world number two, Olympic and US Open champion.
Surely this could be the year that Murray becomes the first British man to win Wimbledon since Fred Perry in 1936?
The night before Murray stepped back onto a practice court after Wimbledon 2012 he dreamt he was holding the men’s singles trophy above his head in victory. “Three or four days afterwards, I woke up thinking I’d won Wimbledon. When I realised I hadn’t, that set me back again, but once I was back on the practice court I started to feel better. Something had changed. Those two weeks before the Olympics were the best I’ve ever played in practice. That was the first time that I responded really well after a painful loss.
“I was struggling after I’d lost at Wimbledon. It was one of the toughest matches for me to lose,” he says.
Immediately after the trophy ceremony, he spoke with Lendl in the locker room. “Not about the match, more about the way I’d handled the situation and the pressure. He was really happy with how I’d dealt with all of that.”
“I love playing in front of the home crowd. I want to draw upon the incredible atmosphere I experienced at the Olympics. That bubble of a positive atmosphere brought out the best in athletes. And of course it’s nice to come home every night and sleep in my own bed, and have friends and family around.”
To that the nation’s chorus is: “We do, Andy, we do” – confident he’ll be doing his damnedest to achieve the ultimate dream.
See Andy Murray: The Man Behind The Racquet Sunday, 10.25pm, BBC1 and read Andy Murray’s full interview with Sarah Edworthy in this week’s Radio Times magazine – on sale tomorrow.
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