Andy Murray blasted his way into the quarter-finals at Wimbledon last night and then revealed that the routine he hopes will win him a second title begins with a bagel and ends with some football on the telly.
The Scot beat Australia’s Nick Kyrgios to maintain his record of not having dropped a set in the tournament, but while everyone is talking about this being his title to lose, he kills the volume when the tennis pundits are talking. He said he hadn’t allowed himself to think about lifting the trophy again – “not once.”
There had been a lot of hype and hullabaloo about Kyrgios whose flashing tennis had been on display in previous matches, along with flashes of temper, but Murray won 7-5, 6-1, 6-4. “I thought I played well, this was one of my better matches for sure,” the No 2 seed said. “But the trick is to keep that up, to maintain that level for the whole two weeks. I’ve done a good job so far [but] I need to have a good practice tomorrow, stay focused, one match at a time. I know everyone think’s that’s boring but it’s what you do as a professional.”
Next up for Murray tomorrow is Jo-Wilfried Tsonga, of France, a dangerous opponent and “one of the best grass court players in the world”. The pre-match routine might well be the same as yesterday which began with this breakfast: a bagel with scrambled eggs, half of another bagel with peanut butter, a banana and berry smoothie and a melon. Lunch was salmon with rice. Murray’s preferred version of yoga is gyrotonic and he’s also a fan of pilates. During matches he’s got some notes containing special messages which he’ll read during the change of ends.
Post-match, after catching up with his family, he likes to unwind in front of the TV. The Euros and the machinations of the Tory leadership, perhaps? “And the Labour leadership,” he smiled. The football for sure, though, and he’s been rooting for Wales. “It’s an amazing story, unbelievable what they’re doing.”
It looked like a shattering defeat for Kyrgios, judging by his gloomy disposition afterwards. He thought he played some good tennis in the first set but after that he rated his performance “pathetic”.
Asked what he learned about himself from the loss he said: “I think when things get tough I’m just a little soft. I’ve previously said I don’t love the sport. But, you know, I don’t really know what else to do without it.”
Kyrgios was asked about his match preparation, having spent much of the earlier part of yesterday watching countryman Lleyton Hewitt in action. He said: “I woke up this morning and played computer games. Is that the greatest preparation? I don’t know. But it was fun.”
Would getting a coach help his game? Kyrgios wasn’t sure, saying he preferred “just doing whatever you want”. At the end of the match he and Murray hugged. “He said sorry. I said: ‘It’s OK. Now just win the tournament please.’”