WIMBLEDON champion Andy Murray believes his ability to overcome intense pressure last year and end a 77-year wait for a British male champion bodes well for a successful defence when the tournament begins today.
The 27-year-old takes on world No104 David Goffin and will shoulder the hopes of a nation once again, particularly, as he was at pains to acknowledge yesterday, due to England’s early elimination from the World Cup.
Murray revealed he woke up “with butterflies” and will still carry those nerves when he steps out on centre court, desperate to avoid becoming only the third defending champion to lose in the first round.
But the No3 seed expects memories of his historic SW19 triumph to help pave the way for further glory.
“If you win a tournament like this you feel the benefits later in the tournament because you know what it takes and you know how to handle the latter stages,” said Murray.
“Last year the final was definitely the most pressure I’d felt in all the years I’d played here and I managed to come through it. I think that comes with age and experience. I feel fairly similar to last year. I feel nervous, which is good. I like that.”
Ability to cope with pressure is one of the reasons Murray says he hired Amelie Mauresmo as coach. And he hit back at 1977 Wimbledon champion Virginia Wade’s claim that she thought Murray was “fooling around” when he joined forces with a female.
“She was No1 in the world. She won multiple grand slams. She understands the psychological part of the game,” he said. “It’s possible it doesn’t work, but it will have nothing to do with whether she’s a woman or not.”