McDonald: Fatherhood And The Field Makes Murray The Favorite In The Open

Cue the Sean Connery sightings and get ready for another rendition of “God Save the Queen.”

The Summer of Andy is coming to Queens after a banner couple of months.

With Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal battling wrist injuries and Roger Federer out for the season, it’s been Andy Murray’s time to shine.

A win at Wimbledon and a gold medal in Rio may want to British to rethink this Brexit thing, after all Murray is from Scotland.

No matter, right now he’s still under the jurisdiction of the crown and those results make the No. 2 seed prime for his second Open title.

“After the Australian Open, quite a big change in my life,” Murray said. “Becoming father for the first time is best thing that’s ever happened to me. I came straight from the Davis Cup against Japan with a tough match with Nishikori and didn’t play so well in Indian Wells or Miami and actually didn’t start well in Monte-Carlo, either. There was just one match where I didn’t play well against Benoit Paire. He served for the match in the third set and I managed to turn that around and gained a lot of confidence from that and kicked on from there, really.

“You know, won many matches since then. When you’re winning matches, it gives you confidence and just being riding out the last few months.”

There’s no one else on the men’s draw playing better than the 29 year-old. He had his back problems a few years back that took him out of the Top 10, but now, he’s 100 percent and playing the best tennis of his life.

Be it the baby or just being the last man standing of the Big 4, Murray is primed to win is second Open title in two weeks.

But he’s a smart player and Murray knows there’s plenty of competition, especially from Djokovic and Nadal, who are coming back from bad wrists.

“They’re both in the top half,” Murray said. “With them having wrist problems doesn’t affect my chances of getting to the final. I wouldn’t have to play them in that stage, anyway.

“So just have to wait and see. I think Rafa pretty much proved his fitness in Rio playing, you know, a lot of tennis with winning the doubles and also playing, you know, as many matches as anyone there. And singles, as well.

“And then, yeah, Novak obviously missed Cincinnati, but only a few weeks ago he was playing in Canada, as well. He’s played I think enough matches. It’s just whether he’s fully recovered. We will see that on — whenever it is he plays.”

So he’s ready, willing, and able and not taking anything for granted.

You see, becoming a dad gave Murray some perspective. He’s more interested in his family than the tennis courts. Maybe, it took the pressure off the 2012 Open Champion.

“I think having that different perspective helps a lot,” he said. “Maybe not putting so much pressure on myself and before a match I’m not stressing as much as I used to.”

And now he’s the favorite to win another major.

The Summer of Andy continues.

Now where is Sir Connery?

About the Author

Joe McDonald

Joe McDonald is the founder and former publisher of NY Sports Day. After selling to i15Media in 2020, he serves as the Editor-in-Chief and responsible for the editorial side of the publication. In the past, Joe was the managing editor of NY Sportscene magazine and assistant editor of Mets Inside Pitch. He has covered the Mets since 2004.

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