Tennis

/ News

  • Wimbledon

Murray ready to battle Wimbledon butterflies

ESPN staff
June 22, 2014 « Mauresmo: No major changes needed in Murray's game | Rashid's burst takes Yorkshire top »
Andy Murray spoke to the media on Sunday as he prepares to open his Wimbledon defence © Getty Images
Enlarge

As Andy Murray prepares for an emotional return to Centre Court as Wimbledon Champion on Monday afternoon, he is fully aware of the dangers of letting the occasion get the better of him.

All eyes will be on Murray when he opens his Wimbledon defence against Belgium's world No.104 David Goffin.

The two will face off at the scene of Murray's greatest triumph, where he ended Britain's 77-year wait for a male singles champion at the All England Club last summer, and he admits the "butterflies" will be there in the pit of his stomach.

"I'm here to try and win the tournament. And that's it," said Murray.

"I need to enjoy that moment when I walk back on the court. But as soon as I start playing the match, it's about trying to win.

Bookies backing another Murray-Djokovic final

  • July 7, 2013: A day that will live long in the memory of tennis fans as Andy Murray ended a 77-year wait for a British winner in the Wimbledon men's tournament with a straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic.
  • And Unibet are predicting a repeat of last year's final with top seed Djokovic the favourite to lift his second title at SW19 in two weeks' time, closely followed by the defending champion.
  • Novak Djokovic - 7/4 fav

    Andy Murray - 7/2

    Rafael Nadal - 4/1

    Roger Federer - 11/2

    Stan Wawrinka - 16/1

    Grigor Dimitrov - 20/1

    Tomas Berdych - 40/1

    Jo-Wilfried Tsonga - 50/1

  • Click here to place a bet with Unibet

"I'm aware when I walk out on the court tomorrow I'm going to be nervous. I know there's going to be pressure. That's why today when I woke up there's butterflies there. You're one day away from starting the tournament."

Plenty has changed for Murray since that three-sets victory over Novak Djokovic on July 7 last year.

His run to the French Open semi-finals suggested Murray has shaken off the last remnants of rust following September's back surgery, while it will be Amelie Mauresmo and not Ivan Lendl staring back at him from the players' box.

Mauresmo and Murray's partnership got off to a low-key start at Queen's last week, with the Scot's title defence ending in the third round.

However has has insisted it is their chemistry and not his results that will determine if they stay together after the grass-court season.

And part of Murray's game plan to tackle his nerves on Monday will be tapping into the invaluable knowledge and experience of Mauresmo, a former Wimbledon champion herself.

"She was someone who struggled with nerves and conquered them later in her career, which when you start to coach someone, I think you can help more than someone that hasn't had those issues before," Murray added.

Andy Murray and Amelie Mauresmo have been hitting together in practice this week © Getty Images
Enlarge

"She understands the psychological part of the game maybe more than some because of that. And in terms of what she's like, her game style, she had quite a creative game style. She used a lot of spins, slices, she came to the net, good variety in her game. That's something that I've always tried to use during my career. So I think she can help with that.

"And then in terms of what she's like as a person, she's a very, very nice person. She's very easy to speak to. She's very easy to communicate with. She listens well. She's firm, as well."

Murray has never faced Goffin before, but he has made sure he has done his homework ahead of Monday's meeting.

"He's played some very good tennis on the big stages before," said Murray. "I think he played Roger [Federer] a few years ago at the French Open and pushed him close in four sets.

"I think he also played Novak [Djokovic] in one of the slams on the hard courts before and had a tight three-set match with him. He's a solid player in all parts of the court. It will be a tricky match."

© ESPN Sports Media Ltd

Feeds Feeds: ESPN staff

ESPN staff Close