Murray draws on inner strength
Originally published on: 26/02/10 12:34
Murray became the first home-grown winner in 71 years with victory at Queens on Sunday, and now the hype will begin to build as hopes are raised of a British champion at SW19 in what would have been Fred Perry’s centenary year.
The 22-year-old said: “If I ever need advice, Tim will always be there for me. I can call him whenever and we chat a few times a month in order to keep in touch. But, when it comes down to dealing with pressure and expectation, for me that has to come from within yourself.”
Henman, 34 and now retired, was the last Briton to be a genuine contender for a first Wimbledon men’s singles title since Perry in 1936, reaching the semi-finals at the All England Club no fewer than four times between 1998 and 2002.
Murray revealed Henman called to congratulate him on his AEGON Championships victory, where the young Scot did not drop a set.
However, Murray will look within when it comes to finding the strength needed to come through the Wimbledon fortnight.
“I think everyone deals with those things differently, especially in an individual sport,” said Murray, who reached his first grand slam final at the 2008 US Open.
Murray maintains carrying the burden of a nation on his shoulders should not have any real impact on his title chances.
“A lot of people, not Tim or Greg [Rusedski] but ex-players, use it as an excuse as to why someone British has not won Wimbledon for so long,” he said. “But I personally don’t think its makes any difference once the tournament starts.
“The build-up beforehand is a little bit more stressful than other tournaments but, once it starts, its like all the other slams and you get great support in every one of your matches. Everyone wants you to win and that is a huge help. I put a lot of pressure on myself and I expect a lot from myself in the big tournaments and that helps me to play better.”