Being able to play under pressure is a vital part of Andy Murray’s Wimbledon campaign, tennis legend Rod Laver has said.
Laver, 74, who holds the record for most singles titles won in the history of tennis, said: “England wants a champion, and Scotland too.”
Laver made his comments at the Jumeirah Carlton Tower hotel in Knightsbridge, where he and fellow former player Margaret Court hosted a champagne reception last night to celebrate the championships.
Of Murray’s chances of winning tomorrow’s final, Laver said: “He certainly has a chance.” He said the Scot had put up a “gutsy effort” in his quarter-final clash against Fernando Verdasco but said he was helped by the support of the Centre Court crowd. “I think the crowd saved him. It was a little demoralising on Verdasco knowing that ‘nobody’s on my side’.”
He compared Murray to Britain’s last men’s singles Wimbledon champion Fred Perry, saying: “Fred Perry was an all-court player, a little bit like Murray. He’s not just purely a serve and volley.
“The most important thing is if you play well under pressure, that’s half the battle. If you can concentrate when the chips are down and things are going along and you get an opportunity to break serve, or hold your own serve from a difficult position, that proves you play well under pressure. But if you don’t take those opportunities, it all goes away.”