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Psychiatrist to give Andy Murray a Wimbledon headstart

By John Skilbeck

Andy Murray has abundant confidence but the self-awareness that belief alone will not guide him to a second Wimbledon title.

The in-form Scot has a Tuesday start against Kazakhstan's Mikhail Kukushkin, a Russian-born 27-year-old who reached the third round last year.

Murray has been working with a sports psychiatrist, just like Britain's Olympic cyclists and snooker star Ronnie O'Sullivan have done to great effect.

"It's more about understanding myself better and I think the better you understand yourself it does help before big matches," the 28-year-old said.

He added: "I used a lot of sports psychologists when I was younger. Sometimes it helped, sometimes it didn't. The stuff I'm doing now helps because I'm interested in learning about how the brain works rather than being told how to count to 10... You have to be open and honest about the thoughts and the feelings that you have."

Arguably, Murray is at the very peak of his career, with three titles and a win-loss record of 41-6 for the year. Only Novak Djokovic has a better overall record on tour in 2015, and the Serbian could await Murray in the final on July 12.

"I think in any sport, winning gives you confidence," Murray said.

"This year I've won a lot of matches - more than I ever have in my career to this point in a season. It's been a good start this year. I hope I can keep it up."

Tennis, Pages 52-56

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