Andy Murray has no shame. He permits his three daughters to present him manicures and dons fairy wings during playtime. He recently posted an image of himself in a too-small dinosaur costume and one other wearing mouse ears and posing with Mickey. When his tennis shoes — and the marriage band he had tied to the laces — disappeared after which suddenly reappeared last 12 months, Murray admitted that they still smelled stinky.
But on the tennis court, Murray, 35, is not any joke. Since turning pro 17 years ago, the previous world No. 1 has often been hailed as one in all the hardest-working pros on the ATP Tour. Though sometimes stymied by Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Rafael Nadal, Murray has reached 11 major finals, winning the United States Open in 2012 and Wimbledon in 2013 and 2016. He also twice won Olympic gold in singles and led Britain to the Davis Cup in 2015.
Murray has also emerged as probably the most measured voices in the game, a champion for ladies’s rights and gay rights and prize-money equity. Hip surgery nearly ended his profession in 2018. As an alternative, it has prolonged it.
The next interview, conducted via email, has been edited and condensed.
It’s been 10 years because you reached your first Wimbledon final. What stands out most?
There have been a whole lot of highs and lows during that tournament. One thing I remember clearly was the pressure because it got closer to the ultimate. I don’t think I appreciated how much it meant to the people of the U.K. to have a British man in the ultimate. But my essential takeaway was losing to Roger [Federer]. I used to be really close, and I desired to win so badly. I felt like I let people down.
You’ve played 70 matches there since your first in 2005. Which one resonates probably the most with you, and which one would you most prefer to replay?
The match that resonates probably the most is once I first won the championship in 2013, but that can also be the match that I might most prefer to replay. It was such a blur. I can’t remember hitting that final ball or climbing up through the gang to the box regardless that I’ve seen it replayed so much.
For those who were devising the best player in history, which stroke or trait of yours would make the list?
If I had to decide on a stroke it will probably be my lob, which has won me quite a number of points over time. Or my determination, which has enabled me to come back back from serious injury and carry on improving.
Is your biggest tennis accomplishment that you simply were in a position to return to top-level singles with a metal hip?
I don’t know if I’d say that’s my biggest tennis accomplishment. I wish I hadn’t needed to undergo the hip operations. I had some dark days during that period, and it was actually a time I needed to dig deep to make it through to the opposite side.
Your support of equity and inclusion is well documented. Where does that come from, and do you treat your son otherwise out of your daughters?
My parents are each compassionate people, they usually all the time encouraged us to treat everyone with respect. I treat my children the exact same, and I hope they grow up as a part of a generation that won’t have barriers or discrimination based on sex or sexual orientation. We’re not there yet, which is why I speak out.
Is that this your last Wimbledon? If that’s the case, how do you ought to be remembered there?
I hope not. I don’t feel like I’m done yet. I hope I’ll be around for a number of more years. I’d prefer to be remembered for being myself. I don’t think I all the time fit the mold of what a tennis player ought to be like, and I do know I can get frustrated on the court, but I even have all the time tried to be true to who I’m and what I feel. I do know at the top of my profession I may have given absolutely every little thing, and that’s all you’ll be able to do.