MARRIAGE seems to be agreeing with Andy Murray.
Mother Judy has said her son is “very chilled and relaxed” as he prepares to battle to regain his Wimbledon crown in nine days time.
The tennis coach said she sensed he was in winning mood, helped by his self-confessed happiness since marrying his long-time girlfriend Kim Sears in April. In an interview with The Scotsman today, she said: “Since he got married he just seems to have found a really good place to be.”
She also had no worries about wedded bliss taking the edge off his game. She said: “Not at all. In all my experience of working with players, men and women, the more emotionally stable they are the better they perform.
“If they’ve got stuff going on in the background, gnawing away, it probably won’t happen for them. I know that well enough.”
Murray, 27, who was married at Dunblane Cathedral in his home town, underlined his joy by scribbling “Marriage works!” on the lense of a courtside TV camera at the Madrid Open last month.
He said then: “A lot of people have told me there’s a sort of honeymoon period when you get married and then it gets harder after that, but we’ve been together a very long time and obviously getting married was the next step.
“And the tennis has gone well since then. I’ve always said that when the personal stuff and your private life is under control and you’re happy, that helps on the court as well.”
“But also this year I feel healthy – I’ve been training very well with my team.
Playing on a clay surface at Madrid, he said: “I have to thank my team for getting me in this condition for the clay. In the past I’ve struggled with my back and haven’t been able to train like this.”
Mrs Murray’s positive assessment of her son, chiming with his own, came as Murray shrugged off an apparent left thigh niggle to rally for a testing three-set victory over Gilles Muller in the Aegon Championships quarter-finals at Queen’s Club yesterday. He is due in the semi-finals today, but the heavy rain forecast could force him to play both that match and the final tomorrow to claim the title.
Murray won Wimbledon in 2013 but was defeated by Bulgaria’s Grigor Dimitrov in the quarter-finals last year.
But Mrs Murray said her son, the world number three with two Grand Slam titles under his belt, had plenty more ambition.
She said: “He is happy with what he’s done but he’s not finished yet. He needs to win another major because he wants to win another major – more than one more, in fact.
“He’s never satisfied – he’s always striving to get even better.
“I couldn’t tell you how hard he works.
“It blows me away when I see him at a big tournament, all the training, the matches, the physio and gym stuff, media, sponsorship obligations – then on to scouting the next opponents. It never stops.”
Mrs Murray, 55, said she was equally determined to continue campaigning for better tennis facilities in Scotland.
She said Murray and his brother Jamie had told her: “Mum, you work too hard. You don’t have to do all this.”
She retorted: “But I think I do.
“As someone who grew up in Scottish tennis when it was such a minority sport, it’s so frustrating that we aren’t capitalising on what the boys have achieved.
“I’m frustrated by that but it doesn’t seem right to sit back and criticise others.
“If you want something done, as they say, do it yourself.”