Belfast Telegraph

Wednesday 17 September 2014

Andy Murray keen to chase next dream

Andy Murray and girlfriend Kim Sears (right) arrive back at Terminal 5
US Open winner Andy Murray arrives back at Terminal 5 at Heathrow
NEW YORK, NY - SEPTEMBER 11: Andy Murray of Great Britain speaks with actor Matthew Perry backstage on the NBC Today Show during his New York City trophy tour after his victory in in the 2012 US Open Championship final on September 11, 2012 in New York City. (Photo by Clive Brunskill/Getty Images)

US Open champion Andy Murray headed home to Surrey to be reunited with his dogs and his own bed and take time to reflect on the achievement of a lifetime.

The 25-year-old went two nights virtually without sleep as he completed a whirlwind media tour of New York following his five-set victory over Novak Djokovic in his fifth grand slam final on Monday.

He then flew back to London overnight with girlfriend Kim Sears and his team, arriving at Heathrow's Terminal 5, where he was greeted by photographers and excited holidaymakers.

Murray is not due to be back in action until the start of next month, when he defends titles in Tokyo and Shanghai, allowing him a few days for a rare break.

In this most hectic of summers, Murray has barely had any time off since the French Open in May, and did not even have a day to enjoy his Olympic gold medal before he flew to north America for a tournament in Toronto.

He is hoping to travel to Scotland to see family and take part in the Olympic parade in Glasgow tomorrow, while coach Ivan Lendl will undoubtedly be keen to look ahead as soon as possible.

But Murray will also soak up the realisation of a dream — and no doubt smile with satisfaction that he has banished the recurring question of whether he will win a grand slam to history.

He said: “Since I was 21 I've been asked it most of my life, and it really started to get to me earlier this year. Everywhere I went I got asked the same thing.

“A lot of people would come up to me and say, ‘You'll get the next one, don't worry about it,’ which almost made it worse. I'm just glad I can move on with my career now.

“If I was to stop playing tennis now, I'd retire very happy, but I've hopefully got five more years or so at the top of the game. That's what I'll try and do, if I can stay healthy and look after my body. That's my plan.”

Even the perennially expressionless figure of Lendl was moved to applaud at times during a near five-hour final, and the 52-year-old just about managed a smile at the end.

It is a deliberate tactic to help Murray keep his emotions in check on the court, but Lendl also delights in living up to the image he carved out during a playing career that brought him eight grand slam titles.

For a man who has had to endure more than his fair share of questions about his often dour demeanour, even after winning on Monday, it is, somewhat ironically, a source of amusement. Murray said: “We are different characters, we think differently, but, in terms of our demeanour, in a lot of ways it's kind of similar.

“I get asked a lot of questions about it.

“Rather than it being me that's boring, it's him that's boring, it's him that doesn't smile not me that doesn't smile. It's nice to see that I'm not the only one that has all of those questions asked.

“I know exactly what he's like away from the court and he makes everyone on the team happy.”

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