Murray welcomes World Cup distraction

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iol spt pic Andy Murray pre-Wimbledon

London - Andy Murray is using the welcome distraction of the World Cup to take his mind off his Wimbledon title defence, which begins on Monday with a first-round match against Belgian David Goffin.

The third seed and first British male to win at the All England Club after more than three-quarters of a century said that when he's engrossed in the football from Brazil he doesn't think about the tennis pressure weighing on him.

“I like football, I watch a lot of football,” the Scot said on Sunday before his opening match on centre court. “I enjoy it when the World Cup is on.”

He added: “It gives me something to do in the evenings. I don't have to listen to people talking about me playing at Wimbledon. I can just watch the football. Don't need to worry about any of that (tennis) stuff.”

Murray will put his new and unorthodox coaching relationship with former women's Wimbledon winner Amelie Mauresmo to the test during the grass-court fortnight.

The Scot is the first major men's player to have a woman as a coach.

“The coach can't influence things from the stand. You need to be able to explain how you're feeling at certain stages in matches, why you make certain decisions, why you do certain things when you're on the court.

“It's an important trait for coaches that want to work with a number of players to listen.”

The holder admits that stepping out on the court for his opening match will be tense.

“I feel nervous, which is good. I like that. I don't feel that different to last year.

“Always when you come back to a grand slam, there's always nerves and pressure there before you start the event.

“I'm trying to put myself in a position to win the tournament. But you can't start off slowly. You need to try and be on it from the first match.

“I'll be ready for tomorrow.”

Sapa-dpa



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