Andy Murray Reveals Details of Epic Wimbledon Win in New Book
In winning at the All England Club, Murray ended a 77-year wait for a British male winner at the event. His book recalls the pressure of expectation that surrounded him all tournament.
A fascinating insight into how Andy Murray was crippled by nerves before and during the Wimbledon final: http://t.co/tHy9K79xMH— ESPN.co.uk (@ESPNUK) November 4, 2013
The following is a passage, quoted by ESPN, on the moment he saw three match points pass him by in what proved to be the final game:
Having been three times within a solitary point of the title I had craved for so long, the gulf I had to bridge had now been extended to two points. That is when the shaking began.
It's hard to describe accurately the pressure and nerves I was experiencing at that moment because I sensed that if I lost this point it might all be over, the opportunity completely gone.
I was thinking that this could be the only chance I ever have, so it was unbelievably hard not to allow myself to think ahead, to think how it might feel having to play those points that were yet to come.
Despite being only 26, there had been many willing to write off Murray's chances of ever winning Wimbledon well in advance of his eventual success.
However, the Scot enjoyed a sensational year following his 2012 final defeat to Roger Federer, avenging his loss to win an Olympic gold medal before securing a first major title at the 2012 U.S. Open.
For a man who had reached the final of a major four times without success, that triumph will have doubtless come as a great relief and surely makes for great reading. However, Wimbledon was always set to be the tournament on which his career was judged.
As Murray explained, the pressure of the event each year took its toll on him physically and mentally:
The week before Wimbledon I had endured my usual bout of mouth ulcers. They come on before the Championships every year, the sign that although I try to block out all that the tournament means to me and to everyone else in the country, my body will respond to the pressure in a way I can't control. The ulcers tend to have disappeared by the time the event comes around, but they are a painful reminder of the time of year.
To understand the average British tennis follower's feeling toward a British Wimbledon champion is difficult for outsiders, but the end of any 77-year search for success is surely easy to relate to.
Over the past two decades, fervour had grown to fever-pitch as first Tim Henman, then Murray, threatened to finally end the wait. Both, though, had to live with the suggestion they crumbled under pressure.
Murray has shown over the past two years that he has the mental strength to be a champion, and much of that success must be attributed to the decision to hire Ivan Lendl as coach at the beginning of 2012—a real turning point in his career.
The Czech legend, too, had lost four finals before eventually winning a major tournament—yet would go on to win eight.
The Scot's story of his relationship with Lendl and ending his dire record in Grand Slam finals is no doubt a captivating read. However, it will be the chapters on his Wimbledon success—and the stresses his triumph entailed, including ulcers—that will be the big attraction for most readers.
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