Mature Murray can handle expectation
Updated: Tuesday, 18 Jun 2013 08:08
British number one Andy Murray has admitted there is "a lot riding on Wimbledon", but insists he is more accomplished at dealing with the pressure heaped upon home by the home fans.
Last year SW19 proved to be an emotional rollercoaster for the Scot, as he lost in the Wimbledon final to Roger Federer, but went on to beat the Swiss player a few weeks later at the same venue to take the Olympic gold medal.
In an interview in this week's Radio Times, Murray said: "There's a lot riding on Wimbledon, but I'm better equipped to deal with the pressures and understand how I need to play matches when I get to the latter stages of the big events.
"The US Open win has eased pressure on myself, definitely, because winning a grand slam was the aim behind every practice session I have ever put myself through.
"I deal with it as best I can, knowing that I've played some of my best tennis at Wimbledon over the course of my career.
"It's the build-up that's difficult. People follow me everywhere and there are more strains on my time.
“Once the tournament starts, it's great. I try to manage my energy well and fit in the extra commitments around training, practice and rest.
"I love playing in front of the home crowd. I want to draw upon the incredible atmosphere I experienced at the Olympics.
"That bubble of a positive atmosphere brought out the best in athletes. And of course it's nice to come home every night and sleep in my own bed, and have friends and family around."
"I'll be short of match practice, but hopefully I'll have had more time on the grass courts and have a bit of a head start" - Andy Murray
Murray, who warmed up with victory at Queen's at the weekend, said missing the French Open due to a back injury was "really hard".
"I haven't missed a slam for six years. All my training goes into being ready for the slams, but you have to try to find a positive," he added.
"I'll be short of match practice, but hopefully I'll have had more time on the grass courts and have a bit of a head start."
The 26-year-old, ranked number two in the world, said losing last year's Wimbledon final was "one of the toughest matches for me to lose", but he has never watched a replay of the heartbreaking loss.
He described how after the tournament, he dreamt he had won, suffering renewed disappointment when he woke.
But managed to recover from the painful loss, saying: "Something had changed. Those two weeks before the Olympics were the best I've ever played in practice. That was the first time that I responded really well after a painful loss."