Andy Murray - Indian Wells 2023

Andy Murray branded a ‘true champion’ by current British No.1

Andy Murray has been heavily praised by compatriot Katie Boulter, who described the former No.1 as her ‘idol’ growing up.

Murray became the first British senior singles Grand Slam champion in 45 years at the US Open in 2012, and has subsequently been followed by Emma Raducanu in 2021.

Despite receiving a retirement tribute video at the Australian Open back in 2019, the 36-year-old is still playing following two hip surgeries and actually broke back inside the top 40 earlier this year.

Boulter is another player who has had injury struggles over the years, but has had a breakout season in 2023, winning her maiden WTA title in Nottingham and reaching a career-high of No.50 in the world.

And the 27-year-old has spoken to Sky Sports about the impact that Murray has had on her career, “He’s been someone who I have watched throughout my whole entire career. I think he’s a true champion in everything that he does and I’ve got massive respect for what he does on a daily basis.

Boulter continued, “If I needed some advice he’d definitely be someone I would go to. He’s been on tour for a very long time and I’m sure he’s got a lot of wisdom over the many, many years so he is someone who I would for sure be going to for advice.

“His legacy is everything. He is the epitome of tennis in his passion, his love for the game, it’s like no other. You don’t see that often on tour and what he’s been able to accomplish.”

The National Tennis Centre (NTC) in Roehampton is where many of the Brits train either between tournaments, in the off-season or when sidelined by injury.

And Boulter revealed how she gets inspired when seeing Murray at the NTC, “Growing up it was a true rollercoaster to watch, but to see him come out the other end and to see him achieve his goals, it really makes people and kids like me back then to strive for what they want and to be able to achieve what he achieved.

“To see him here at the NTC day in, day out still grafting, still working so hard it is truly inspiring and it’s fun to watch in a way that it gives me questions in my head as to whether I should be doing certain things or whether I’ll be playing in 10 years’ time or whether I’ll be playing in 20 years’ time. I don’t know, so it’s nice to see a true champion at work – that’s for sure.”

She added, “He was my idol because we saw and closely saw him fail many times but pick himself up and finally achieve what he wanted so I think that was something that really resonated with me as a person because life is not easy. You’re going to have some failures but it’s what you do after that makes the difference and Andy is the epitome of that.”

Murray has faced another recent setback, after having to withdraw from Great Britain’s Davis Cup Finals squad with a minor shoulder surgery, bringing an end to his season.

Boulter has also confirmed that her best-ever season is over, but the British No.1 may still have some good news to come after being nominated for the WTA’s ‘Most Improved Player of the Year’ award.

Inside the baseline…

Boulter has probably voiced the views of many of the Brits on both the ATP and WTA Tours, who will look up to the Murray. Although the three-time Grand Slam champion isn’t perhaps getting the results he would like and has been used to, the Scot has still managed to reach his highest ranking since hip surgery this year, won three ATP Challenger titles and reached an ATP 250 final in Doha.

READ NEXT – WTA 2023 Year-End Award Nominees Announced: Featuring a Brit!

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Matthew Johns, Tennishead Writer, is a professional tennis journalist with a specialist degree in Sports Journalism. He's a keen tennis player having represented his local club and University plus he's also a qualified tennis coach. Matthew has a deep knowledge of tennis especially the ATP Tour and thrives on breaking big tennis news stories for Tennishead.