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Andy Murray: ‘Off court I’m pretty laid back’

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The tennis player, 33, on difficult moment growing up, hating cruelty to animals and not punching walls.

 

My earliest memory would be when I was about four or five, walking into school on my first day. I don’t remember much about it, though. My brother Jamie and me had some difficult moments growing up: our parents getting divorced, and obviously Dunblane [the school shooting in 1996]. But we played tons of tennis and had a very active childhood.

If I could go back in time, it would be to Barcelona when I was 15 and training there. It was the first time I had freedom. Some people get it when they finish school or move to university. I loved it there and made a lot of friends.

 

People see me on TV and think I am very intense, moody and difficult. But take me away from the court and I’m pretty laid-back. I don’t have a temper. I don’t break things; I don’t punch walls; I don’t shout and scream. But when I’m on the tennis court, I do.

 

The only player I was intimidated by – and I don’t know why, exactly – was Marat Safin. I played him when I was young at Cincinnati, in 2005. Sometimes I’d speak to him and he’d be nice, and sometimes – I don’t know whether he didn’t like me or not – I found it a bit tricky.

I would like to stay young because the thing I love doing the most is playing and competing at tennis. As you get older, the amount of time you get to keep doing that becomes less. I wish I’d lived a bit more in the moment when I was younger, getting the most out of these amazing cities that we go to.

 

There are a few things that depress me – animal cruelty, I don’t get that. And when people who are in bad situations are getting treated horribly by some of the media – people who are trying to come to the UK on rafts and boats, for instance. They’re coming from countries that we potentially had an involvement in, disrupting and unsettling. They’re risking their lives and their family’s lives. How bad a situation would you have to be in to take that decision?







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