The measured voice and stellar career of Andy Murray
Andy Murray has no shame. He allows his three daughters to give him manicures and dons fairy wings during recess. He recently posted a photo of himself in an undersized dinosaur costume and another wearing mouse ears and posing with Mickey. When his tennis shoes – and the wedding band he had tied to the shoelaces – went missing and then suddenly reappeared last year, Murray admitted they still smelled bad.
But on the tennis court, Murray, 35, is not kidding. Since turning professional 17 years ago, the former world No. 1 has often been hailed as one of the hardest working pros on the ATP Tour. Although blocked at times by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Murray reached 11 major finals, winning the US Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. He also twice won Olympic gold in singles and led Great Britain to the Davis Cup in 2015.
Murray has also become one of the most measured voices in sport, a champion of women’s and gay rights and fairness in prize money. Hip surgery nearly ended her career in 2018. Instead, she extended it.
The following interview, conducted via email, has been edited and condensed.
It’s been 10 years since you reached your first Wimbledon final. What stands out the most?
There have been many ups and downs in this tournament. One thing I remember clearly is the pressure as the final approached. I don’t think I appreciated how much it meant to the British people to have a Briton in the final. But my main takeaway was losing to Roger [Federer]. I was really close and I wanted to win so badly. I felt like I was letting people down.
You have played 70 games there since your first in 2005. Which one touches you the most and which one would you most like to play again?
The game that resonates the most was when I first won the championship in 2013, but it’s also the game I would most like to play again. It was so blurry. I don’t remember hitting that last ball or climbing the crowd to the box, though I’ve seen it replayed many times.
If you had to design the greatest player in history, what move or character trait would make the list?
If I had to pick one shot, it would probably be my lob, which has earned me quite a few points over the years. Or my determination, which allowed me to come back from a serious injury and continue to improve.
Was your greatest tennis achievement being able to return to the highest level in singles with a metal hip?
I don’t know if I would say that’s my greatest achievement in tennis. I wish I didn’t have to have hip surgeries. I had some dark days during this time, and it was definitely a time when I had to dig deep to get to the other side.
Your support for equity and inclusion is well documented. Where does this come from and do you treat your son differently from your daughters?
My parents are both compassionate people and they always encouraged us to treat everyone with respect. I treat my children exactly the same and hope they grow up into a generation that has no barriers or discrimination based on gender or sexual orientation. We are not there yet, which is why I speak.
Is this your last Wimbledon? If so, how would you like to be remembered there?
I hope not. I don’t feel like I’m done yet. I hope I will be there for a few more years. I would like to be remembered for being myself. I don’t think I always fit the mold of what a tennis player should look like, and I know I can get frustrated on the court, but I’ve always tried to be true to who I am and what which I believe. I know that at the end of my career I will have given absolutely everything, and that’s all we can do.