Tennis champion Andy Murray has listed getting his four children – who are all under five – to bed on time as his proudest achievement in life.
The two-time Wimbledon winner – who shares Sophia, five, Edie, three, Teddie, one, and a third daughter, thee months, with wife Kim – claimed: ‘Seeing the kids sitting at the table behaving and eating their food and going to bed at the right time, those sort of things make me proud.’
Speaking to This Morning’s Alison Hammond, Andy, 34, also added that one of his children is already showing similar traits to her sporting dad.
‘My eldest daughter plays [tennis] once a week and if she wanted to I’d be happy but at their ages it’s important to be doing stuff with their friends,’ he said.
As he prepares to compete in Wimbledon 2021, after a year’s break due to the pandemic, Andy also revealed one of his superstitions.
‘I tend to use the same shower. It’s a bit weird, especially if there’s someone else in there – it’s a bit odd standing outside the cubicle,’ he joked.
Centre Court at Wimbledon on Monday will see Andy play against his metal hip, his desperate lack of match practice and Nikoloz Basilashvili of Georgia.
19-year-old Jack Draper will also play against world No 1 Novak Djokovic.
Former US Open finalist Greg Rusedski branded British Draper the man to carry the flag into the post-Murray world.
‘He looks the heir apparent,’ said Rusedski. ‘It’s going to be very interesting to see Jack against the best player on the planet, see how his game holds up.
‘It’s an amazing experience to play the defending champion in the opening match of the Championships.’
Draper will be one of 10 home hopefuls on a bumper first day of British action. Plenty will have more immediate hopes of making a run through the draw, but Rusedski reckons none have Draper’s potential.
‘He has the full package,’ said the 47-year-old. ‘He is still in those early stages. Draper is our best prospect so far. He is a fellow leftie with a big serve and good groundstrokes.
‘The areas in his game to work on are his defence and transitioning forward a little bit more.’
Djokovic comes into Wimbledon just two weeks after winning the French Open and with only a few doubles matches in Mallorca by way of grass-court preparation, so the first round should be the best time to play him.
Rusedski knows all about the pressure of being a home player at Wimbledon, sharing the burden with Tim Henman for a decade before Murray’s talent erupted and blew expectations for British tennis sky high.
‘It is a bit unfair for that next generation because of what Andy has achieved,’ said Rusedski.
‘Tim and I both had excellent careers, getting to No 4 in the world, but Andy has raised the bar.
‘I hope the public’s expectation is not: if you don’t win Wimbledon, you aren’t very good.
‘Anybody who gets to the top 10 in the world has had an exceptional career and anybody who gets to the top 50 has done phenomenally.’
Murray has been vulnerable to big-hitters during his comeback from hip resurfacing surgery, and few hit bigger than 24th seed Basilashvili. Murray will have to use all his grass-court skill to make his opponent uncomfortable.
If he manages to come through without a five-set epic, his second round against either Oscar Otte or Arthur Rinderknech looks promising, and from there he may be able to tread the fine balance between putting matches in his legs and not overburdening his body.
Two players who will be hoping to put injury problems of their own behind them on Monday are the two Katies, Swan and Boulter.
The former has battled wrist and back issues but scored three superb wins to come through qualifying.
Swan plays 23rd seed Madison Keys, who is among the most powerful women on tour but can be inconsistent.
Wildcard Boulter has a more promising draw against qualifier Danielle Lao of the USA, and was having a solid year before an elbow injury forced her out of the quarter-finals in Nottingham earlier this month.
Whether she is fully recovered for the Championships remains to be seen.