Wimbledon 2014: Andy Murray feels pressure has reduced after glory of last year’s victory

The Brit faces Kevin Anderson on Monday


Andy Murray knows all about the pressures of the second week of Wimbledon, having made it to the fourth round or better seven times in a row, but after winning the title last year he says it is different this time around.

“Obviously, I’m still feeling the pressure and the nerves, but this year they are completely different – I like having the nerves and I’m able to use them positively,” Murray said yesterday as he made final preparations for his fourth-round meeting with South Africa’s Kevin Anderson on Monday.

“I think, after winning it last year, the pressure of wanting to win was finally released. I had worked very hard for a long time in order to get myself into a position where I was able to win.”

Members of the boy band One Direction, who have been coming here to watch Murray’s matches, could swap notes on fame with the world No 5. “I have a lot of respect for anyone that has to deal with that level of hysteria and fame,” Murray said.

“I’m still quite fortunate, I can often put a cap on and walk my dogs with Kim and go relatively unnoticed. I can’t imagine what it would be like if every time I left the house there were crowds of screaming fans.”

Murray has won his first three matches without dropping a set but today represents another step up in class. Anderson, the world No 18, who uses his 6ft 8in frame to hit some huge serves and is one of the most improved players on the men’s tour, is relishing the chance to play in the fourth round here for the first time.

Amélie Mauresmo, who began coaching Murray less than three weeks ago, is clearly making a contribution to the Scot’s relaxed frame of mind.

“She’s a very calm person but also incredibly supportive, so naturally that helps me,” Murray said. “She’s also a great listener. If I have any concerns, she’ll listen to them and then we’ll work through them in practice.

“She has been over to the house a few times but she’s not living with us. I think it’s quite important to try and give each other space, particularly during the Grand Slams, as you can spend a lot of time together.”

It has taken time for the British public to take Murray to their hearts, but it is clear that his popularity has soared since his Wimbledon triumph last year. “It’s safe to say I’ve been asked for more selfies in the last 12 months than ever before,” Murray said.

He has seen only clips from last week’s BBC television documentary about the 2013 final and the public’s reactions to his victory, but said: “Some of the stories were hilarious, and it’s great that so many people were supporting me.”

Murray said he had been particularly touched by the story of Esme Macintyre, an 18-year-old girl terminally ill with cancer whom he had met after his first-round match last year. She died on the afternoon of his victory in the final.

“She was a lovely girl and it was a pleasure to meet and chat with her and her family,” Murray said. “Although Esme didn’t get the chance to see me lift the trophy, for the family to be able to use my win as something positive to enable them to cope with the incredibly sad event of losing Esme makes me happy.”

Anderson, who earned the chance to face Murray by beating the fiery Italian Fabio Fognini in five sets, has never played on Centre Court. He went into the stadium yesterday to try to get a sense of what it might feel like this afternoon.

“Even if you take the match out of it, it will just be amazing to play there,” the 28-year-old South African said.

“Everybody talks about the walk going out there. There are not many people in this sport who get to do that. And then you add it’s the fourth round, we’re into the second week of the tournament, and it’s up against the defending champion, from Great Britain. It will be a great experience – but at the same time I am going there to win the match.”

Caption competition
Caption competition
  • Get to the point
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Daily Quiz
Independent Dating

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

'It was first time I had ever tasted chocolate. I kept a piece, and when Amsterdam was liberated, I gave it to the first Allied soldier I saw'

Bread from heaven

Dutch survivors thank RAF for World War II drop that saved millions
Britain will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power - Labour

How 'the Axe' helped Labour

UK will be 'run for the wealthy and powerful' if Tories retain power
Rare and exclusive video shows the horrific price paid by activists for challenging the rule of jihadist extremists in Syria

The price to be paid for challenging the rule of extremists

A revolution now 'consuming its own children'
Welcome to the world of Megagames

Welcome to the world of Megagames

300 players take part in Watch the Skies! board game in London
'Nymphomaniac' actress reveals what it was really like to star in one of the most explicit films ever

Charlotte Gainsbourg on 'Nymphomaniac'

Starring in one of the most explicit films ever
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers

Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi

The Emirates' out-of-sight migrant workers helping to build the dream projects of its rulers
Vince Cable interview: Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'

Vince Cable exclusive interview

Charging fees for employment tribunals was 'a very bad move'
Iwan Rheon interview: Game of Thrones star returns to his Welsh roots to record debut album

Iwan Rheon is returning to his Welsh roots

Rheon is best known for his role as the Bastard of Bolton. It's gruelling playing a sadistic torturer, he tells Craig McLean, but it hasn't stopped him recording an album of Welsh psychedelia
Russell Brand's interview with Ed Miliband has got everyone talking about The Trews

Everyone is talking about The Trews

Russell Brand's 'true news' videos attract millions of viewers. But today's 'Milibrand' interview introduced his resolutely amateurish style to a whole new crowd
Morne Hardenberg interview: Cameraman for BBC's upcoming show Shark on filming the ocean's most dangerous predator

It's time for my close-up

Meet the man who films great whites for a living
Increasing numbers of homeless people in America keep their mobile phones on the streets

Homeless people keep mobile phones

A homeless person with a smartphone is a common sight in the US. And that's creating a network where the 'hobo' community can share information - and fight stigma - like never before
'Queer saint' Peter Watson left his mark on British culture by bankrolling artworld giants

'Queer saint' who bankrolled artworld giants

British culture owes a huge debt to Peter Watson, says Michael Prodger
Pushkin Prizes: Unusual exchange programme aims to bring countries together through culture

Pushkin Prizes brings countries together

Ten Scottish schoolchildren and their Russian peers attended a creative writing workshop in the Highlands this week
14 best kids' hoodies

14 best kids' hoodies

Don't get caught out by that wind on the beach. Zip them up in a lightweight top to see them through summer to autumn
Robert Fisk in Abu Dhabi: The acceptable face of the Emirates

The acceptable face of the Emirates

Has Abu Dhabi found a way to blend petrodollars with principles, asks Robert Fisk