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.

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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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Alexander Zverev: “You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many Grand Slam semifinals”

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Alexander Zverev has reached the first Grand Slam semifinal of his career after beating Stan Wawrinka 1-6 6-3 6-4 6-2 in the quarter final of the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Zverev became the first German player to reach a Grand Slam semifinal since Tommy Haas at Wimbledon ten years ago.

“It feels awesome. I have done well in World Tour Finals, won Masters, but could never make that breakthrough at a Grand Slam. I am happy to be in the semifinals. You can’t imagine what this means to me and I hope it will be the first of many.”, said Zverev after the quarter final match against Wawrinka.

Zverev set up a semifinal against Dominic Thiem, who beat Rafael Nadal 7-6 (7-4) 7-6 (7-4) 4-6 7-6 (8-6). The Austrian player leads 6-2 in his eight head-to-head matches against his younger German rival and won their most recent clash in the semifinal of the ATP Finals in London.

“I will have a cold glass of Coca Cola in my hotel room, with air conditioning, hopefully watching Nadal and Thiem play for six hours. That’s my assessment of the match”, joked Zverev in his post-match interview.

Zverev started his 2020 season with three defeats against Alex De Minaur, Denis Shapovalov and Stefanos Tsitsipas at the ATP Finals, but he bounced back at this Australian Open, where he dropped just one set against Wawrinka in the quarter final.

“After losing the first set against Stan, I was getting ready to talk to the press about why I lost in straight sets. I turned it around and my energy picked up a bit. I wasn’t used to his ball. I needed to get used it. Thank God it worked out. I hope you can see in ATP Cup I was horrible, but this is a Grand Slam and this is where you’re meant to play your best tennis and I have been doing that. My energy picked up a little bit”, said Zverev.

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(VIDEO) Australian Open Day 10: Dominic Thiem Stuns Nadal, Zverev Breaks New Ground

A four set thriller resulted in the shock exit of the world No.1.

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Dominic Thiem - Australian Open 2020 (via Twitter, @AustralianOpen)

Rafael Nadal has become the first member of the illustrious Big Three to exit this year’s Australian Open. The world No.1 crashed out in four sets to Austria’s Dominic Thiem, who is through to the last four in Melbourne for the first time at the age of 26. Awaiting Thiem next will be another semifinal debutante in the shape of Alexander Zverev.

 

Ubitennis’ Ubaldo Scanagatta analyse both matches with British journalist Stuart Fraser from The Times.

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Hsieh-Su Wei and Barbora Strycova set doubles final clash against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic

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Hsieh Su-wei and Barbora Strycova will battle against against Timea Babos and Kristina Mladenovic in a clash between the number two seeds in the doubles final at the Australian Open in Melbourne.

 

Hsieh and Strycova beat number 4 seeds Barbora Krejcikova and Katerina Siniakova 6-2 6-3 in Thursday’s first semifinal. The top seeds will be bidding for their second title as a team after their triumph at Wimbledon last summer.

Hsieh and Strycova broke twice in each set and never faced a break point in each set.

“It’s always so amazing to be back here, because my first final in a junior Grand Slam was here, so I would like to thank Barbora for bringing me back again”,said Hsieh.

 “I am very happy that we are through to the final. It means so much for me. To have a partner like Su-wei by my side, it’s something very special. Playing another final of a Grand Slam, especially in Australia, which is my favourite country”,said Strycova.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Latisha Chan and Chan Hao-ching 7-5 6-2 in the second semifinal. Neither team faced a break point in the first ten games before Babos and Mladenovic earned the first break to take a 6-5 lead. The Hungarian and French team came back from 4-5 down in the first set by winning eight of the next nine games.

Babos and Mladenovic beat Hsieh and Strycova 6-1 6-3 in their previous head-to-head clash in the final of the WTA Finals in Shenzhen.

 

 

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