The first time Andy Murray won Wimbledon he felt the pressure of having to achieve the nearly-mythical and do something that hadn’t been done for 77 years. His stunning straight-sets triumph yesterday was for himself and he said: “I feel happier this time.”
Then he qualified his remarks. Of course he was aware that the country wanted to him to win it – again – and he was proud to have made them happy, too.
He wanted the team behind him to share in the victory because super-coach Ivan Lendl, pictured below, and the rest of the gang had all played their part. But there was someone else who’d been spurring him on and deserved some of the credit – his baby daughter Sophia.
“You know, having a child gives you a different perspective on life,” he said.
“It’s also given me a little bit of extra motivation as well – to work hard, train hard and do all of the right things to give myself a chance of winning these events.
“When Roger [Federer] had kids, he started playing some of his best tennis. Novak [Djokovic] the same thing. The reality is, though, you still have to put the work in. You still have to have the drive and the dedication.
“Right now I feel more motivated than ever.”
Murray then contrasted and compared the two SW19 successes, the first coming three years ago.
“The last time it was such a big thing, you know, for a British man to win Wimbledon. It had been so long, I was so relieved that I’d done it. I’d been asked [if I could win the title] so many times over the course of my career. You start to think about and put more and more pressure on yourself.
“It’s different this time. I feel happier this time – yeah, more content. I feel like this [win] was sort of more for myself more than anything, and my team as well. We’ve all worked really hard to help get me in this position.
“Last time it was just pure relief, I got dragged in all sorts of different directions and didn’t really enjoy the moment as much, whereas I’m going to make sure I enjoy this one.”
Analysing the 6-4 7-6 7-6 victory over the big-serving, 147 mph-hitting Milos Raonic, Murray said two things had been important: his serve and his return.
“I think I served well. And every time I got into rallies I was hitting the ball clean from the back of the court. Then I think I returned pretty well.
“That paid off in the tiebreaks. I practice my returns a lot, that doesn’t sort of just happen. I put a lot of time into my return game. When I was 15, 16 I didn’t practice it loads but it’s now something I dedicate a lot of time to. Maybe when other players practice the return gets missed out,” he said.
Murray was asked about the Grand Slams he’d lost including the three since his previous Wimbledon and whether they’d dogged him to the extent of wondering if he’d win another.
“Failing’s not terrible,” he said. “It’s okay, provided you’ve given your best. You have to not be afraid of failing, learn from the losses.”
So can he win even more than the three he now has to his name.
Djokovic and Federer, to say nothing of the guys coming up behind like Raonic, might have something to say about that, but he doesn’t see why not.
“I still feel like my best tennis is ahead of me,” he said.