Tomorrow Andy Murray begins his second defense of a Grand Slam title, but one like no other. At 1pm he will walk out on to the revered Centre Court and commence the defense of his Wimbledon title against Belgium’s David Goffin.
“I feel nervous, which is good. I like that. And, yeah, that’s it. I don’t feel that different to last year. I mean, I think, you know, if you win a tournament like this, I feel like you get the benefits, you feel the benefits later in the tournament because you know what it takes and you know how to handle the latter stages of a tournament like this.
“But I think, you know, always when you come back to a Grand Slam, there’s always nerves and pressure there before you start the event. I feel fairly similar to last year.”
Understandably, but maybe still frustratingly questions still swirl around the appointment of two-time Grand Slam champion and former World No. 1 Amelie Mauresmo. But Murray is getting used to handling those with aplomb.
“First of all, you can talk about her accomplishments on the tennis court. She won a lot. She was No. 1 in the world. She won multiple Grand Slams. She got to latter stages of slams very often.
“I think she was someone who struggled with nerves and conquered them later in her career, which I think when you start to coach someone, I think you can help more than someone that hasn’t had those issues before.
He continued: “She understands the psychological part of the game maybe more than some because of that.
“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.”
Looking ahead to the match against Goffin, he knows that this is not some pushover who will just be happy to be there for the occasion.
“He’s played some very good tennis on the big stages before. I think he played Roger a few years ago at the French Open and pushed him close in four sets. I think he also played Novak in one of the slams on the hard courts before and had a tight three?set match with him.
“He plays well. He doesn’t mind the big stage. And, yeah, he’s solid. He’s a solid player in all parts of the court. It will be a tricky match.”
Murray and Goffin are scheduled on Centre Court at 1pm.