Fairy Tale of New York supplies latest chapter in Murray’s Rise

9th September 2008

Being happy off the court is crucial to Murray. Not always confident in the company of strangers, he surrounds himself both on tour and while at home practising with friends and those he knows and trusts.

If Murray has yet to achieve the popularity Tim Henman enjoyed, much of it is down to his demeanour on court. While Henman retained a stiff upper lip in adversity, Murray has never been reluctant to show his emotions. He can scowl and curse when things are going wrong, conducting a running commentary. This year he has learnt to channel his energies more effectively, though he still occasionally needs a confrontation – either with himself or an opponent – to raise his game.

Roberto Forzoni, an Italian sports psychologist, has helped the player but Murray says that the biggest factor in his improved mental approach has been his physical fitness. He now goes on court knowing that he has the strength to outlast his opponents. Tracy Austin, the former player and now a leading commentator, believes that the Scot can join Nadal, Federer and Djokovic at the very top. “We haven’t even scratched the surface with Andy yet,” she said.

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