Andy Murray Opens Up On How The Dunblane Massacre Affected His Childhood - UBITENNIS
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Andy Murray Opens Up On How The Dunblane Massacre Affected His Childhood

The former world No.1 has shed light on a dramatic event in his life that he rarely talks about.




Andy Murray at the 2019 Australian Open (photo Roberto Dell'Olivo)

Three-time grand slam champion Andy Murray has said tennis helped him deal with ‘anxiety’ as a child following the aftermath of the deadliest school shooting in British history.


Murray, who is now 32, narrowly escaped the Dunblane massacre along with his brother. On 13 March 1996 16 children and their teacher were murdered when gunman Thomas Hamilton broke into the gymnasium of Dunblane primary school. He was armed with four shotguns and shot at a class of five- and six-year-olds. Murray was at the school at the same time the incident happened.

In the past, Murray has rarely spoken in detail about the events that took place. However, he has in an upcoming documentary on his recovery from a serious hip injury. Andy Murray: Resurfacing will be released on Friday 29 November on Amazon Prime.

“You asked me a while ago why tennis was important to me,” he said. “Obviously I had the thing that happened at Dunblane. When I was around nine. I am sure for all the kids there it would be difficult for different reasons.
“The fact we knew the guy, we went to his kids club, he had been in our car, we had driven and dropped him off at train stations and things.
“Within 12 months of that happening, our parents got divorced. It was a difficult time that for kids. To see that and not quite understand what is going on.”

It was tennis that would be Murray’s escape following the Dunblane massacre, which remains the deadliest mass shooting in British history. The sport helped him overcome anxiety as a child.

“And then six to 12 months after that, my brother also moved away from home. He went away to train to play tennis. We obviously used to do everything together. When he moved away that was also quite hard for me.” Murray reflected.
“Around that time and after that, for a year or so, I had lots of anxiety but that came out when I was playing tennis. When I was competing I would get really bad breathing problems. My feeling towards tennis is that it’s an escape for me in some ways.
“Because all of these things are stuff that I have bottled up. I don’t know because we don’t talk about these things. They are not things that are discussed.
“The way that I am, on the tennis court, I show some positive things about my personality and I also show the bad things and things I really hate. Tennis allows me to be that child, that has all of these questions and that’s why tennis is important to me.”

Retirement was recently on the table

Murray’s upcoming documentary focuses mainly on his recovery from two hip operations. 2019 has been a roller-coaster season for the Brit. During the Australian Open, he said he may be forced to retire from the sport due to ongoing problems with his hip. However, his career was revived by a second operation he underwent which was hip resurfacing surgery. A procedure that involves placing a metal rod into the joint.

Whilst it looked on the court that Murray was gaining momentum on the court during the summer, he reveals that he was still contemplating retirement if he was unable to reach the level he wanted. It wasn’t until the Asian swing in September where he started to realise that he wasn’t finished in the sport yet.

“Asia was basically where I started to realise I can do this because at the beginning of that trip, literally two or three days before the first tournament in Asia, I was having conversations with my team.” He told reporters on Monday evening.
“I was practising and I was like ‘no, I am giving this until the end of the year and if I’m not winning matches and feeling better than I am now, I don’t want to keep going.’
“I was putting a lot of effort in but my movement wasn’t at the right level, but as I started to play quite a few matches it changed quite quickly and I thought I was a lot further away than I was and that was what a lot of guys in the team were saying to me.
“They were saying ‘you are much closer than you think’ and I won a few matches, started to feel better and maybe as well I gained more confidence in my hip. I stopped thinking about it in matches – which was quite a big step.”

The pinnacle of his comeback occurred at the European Open in Antwerp. Entering the tournament with the use of a protected ranking, the Brit stunned the field by winning the tournament. Defeating fourth seed Stan Wawrinka in the final. The victory was Murray’s first ATP title since the 2017 Dubai Tennis Championships.

With his head back in the game, Murray said he is ahead of where he expects to be in regards to his hip. Hoping that there will be no more talk of quitting tennis anytime soon.

“It depends how long the hip lasts basically. I could have other injuries on top of that as well. If I am healthy, I’d love to play for as long as I can.” He concluded.

Murray is currently ranked 126th in the world.

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