2017 continues to be a torrid year for World #1 Andy Murray. His most recent loss was to young Croat Borna Coric and one of the main talking points of that match was his lack of spirit. Those who are familiar with tennis will be aware that Andy Murray is one of the biggest fighters out there. Time and time again he has clawed his way out of matches that seem impossible to do so. The Scot has such a big heart which he uses to will himself to the finish line. Against Coric it seemed like a different man was playing as there was minimal competitive spirit that we are so used to seeing from Murray. This match could be a one off in terms of heart and spirit, or tennis may no longer be Andy Murray’s priority.
Recently the Brit spoke to Spanish website MARCA. He gave an insight to the pressure he is feeling, his views on the #1 ranking and his life as a husband and father. They began by asking him whether he felt pressure being the world’s best tennis player.
“I’m very happy. I think if it was something that would have happened when I was younger or at another time with less experience, I would have felt a lot of pressure. But I’ve been playing twelve or thirteen years on the circuit, I have a family … I’m not so worried about being number 1 anymore or having to win all the tournaments. Yes I was at the end of last year but, really, I try not to think about it too much… It’s great. I am very happy to be there and try to stay as long as possible. This year is not being as good as I would like, but I know if I want to stay there I have to improve.”
Speaking about being a father, Murray added,
“Basically it changes your perspective. Before, when I lost a game, I could be disappointed for several days; Now I do not have time to regret because my family is more important and I am more interested in knowing how my daughter is instead of being worried about tennis every moment. Fatherhood has given me stability. We intend on having more kids. The first experience has been fabulous, and we hope to have more”
Change of Priority for Murray?
It is quite clear that his daughter and family life are at the centre of his attention rather than tennis. Perhaps having being with his family so much in recent months has altered his focus slightly. He was able to spend time with them at the end of the 2016 season. Murray was also with his family when he suffered from shingles after the Australian Open and again during Miami when he was out with an elbow injury. Combine this with finally reaching the #1 spot after 12 years of being a pro and we might have our formula of Murray’s form of late. He has reached the pinnacle in his profession and he may feel it is time for his attention to go on other things in his life. After all, he has spent virtually his entire life with tennis in the forefront of his mind.
Nothing New From Murray
If we cast our minds back to when Andy Murray first became a father, we will be all too familiar with his recent quotes. In February 2016 Murray took several weeks off to spend time with his wife and new daughter. When he returned to the circuit he was asked whether becoming a father has changed his perspective.
“Becoming a parent is life-changing and if it helps my tennis, great. And if it doesn’t, that’s fine. That’s not a problem for me now. My priority is to be a good father first. Obviously I still want to do well in my job. I still work hard and train hard but my priority is to be a good parent.”
These words are almost identical to the ones he spoke about very recently. Following the birth of his daughter and his change of perspective he went on to enjoy the best nine months of his entire career. During those nine months Murray collected a staggering nine singles titles and famously became world #1.
It is evident that tennis is not Andy Murray’s priority. Every player experiences a tough stretch where they struggle to play their best. Nevertheless, it is great to see Andy Murray is still happy and enjoying the balance between being a tennis player and a father. Happiness is a great weapon and it can be key to getting the World #1 back to his best on the tennis court.