HE HAS been working hard to keep his hot temper under control, but Scots tennis champ Andy Murray will have to battle another type of temperature at Wimbledon, with a scorching heatwave due to arrive at the All England Club.
Murray will take on world number 58 Mikhail Kukushkin of Kazakhstan tomorrow in temperatures expected to reach up to 31C, before soaring to 35C by Wednesday, making south-west London as hot as Barbados.
Wimbledon has put extra first aid staff on standby, as experts predict that by midweek the tennis tournament could see the highest temperature ever recorded in its 138-year history. The Centre Court umpire is set to be able to order the roof partially closed to shade wilting spectators.
The hottest ever temperature recorded at the tournament was 34.6C on 26 June, 1976, the Met Office said yesterday.
Murray – who has revealed he is working with a sports psychiatrist to battle his hot-headedness on the court – goes into this week’s tournament as the bookies’ second favourite.
The British number one said he hopes the mind training will help him gain “genuine enjoyment” from the game.
He has previously employed sports psychologists, but hopes the mental health specialist will benefit him even more.
He said: “It’s more about understanding myself better, and I think the better you understand yourself it does help you before big matches.
“I used a lot of sports psychologists when I was younger. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn’t. But the stuff I’m doing now helps because I’m interested in learning about how the brain works rather than being told how to count to ten or whatever to calm yourself down.
“You have to be open and honest about the thoughts and the feelings that you have. If you don’t, and you lie about things to make yourself look stronger and tougher, it’s pointless.”
Murray, 28, who married long-term girlfriend Kim Sears in Scotland earlier this year, goes into Wimbledon after cruising to his fourth victory on the grass of Queen’s this month.
Murray fell at the quarter-final stage against Grigor Dimitrov when defending his Wimbledon title last year, but is currently second favourite behind Novak Djokovic to win at the All England Club.
Murray previously admitted he has had a bad temper from a young age, revealing his childhood nickname was “BamBam”, after the Flintstones character as he “used to get so angry I’d just be bashing things about”.
A mini heatwave is due to arrive in the UK next week, just in time for Wimbledon.
Temperatures are expected to soar to 35C by Wednesday as a heatwave from Africa hits Britain just in time for the start of the event.
Hundreds of tennis fans had already started queuing yesterday and setting up their tents so they can be in with a chance of seeing their favourite players on the first day today.
Met Office forecasters said Britain will bask in at least six days of dry and sunny weather. Met Office forecaster Marco Petagna said: “Wimbledon has a 30 per chance of exceeding 36C.”
All England Club chiefs have prepared extra first aid staff and told fans to drink extra water.