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“These are some of the best minds ever in the game” – Andy Murray on playing with the Big Three and Borg backing him at Laver Cup
What’s it like having Novak Djokovic offering you tactical advice during a Laver Cup match? Andy Murray felt it tonight and loved the experience.
For those who’ve wished for years that they could be a fly on the wall, listening intently as the greatest legends of the sport spoke about tennis tactics, the wish was granted on Friday night as fans were given glimpses into the tennis insights of Roger Federer, Rafael Nadal, Novak Djokovic as they coached Andy Murray during his Laver Cup battle with Alex de Minaur in the O2 Arena in London.
For fans who watched the World Feed video during changeovers and set breaks, the experience was enlightening.
“I think it’s something that people maybe don’t talk about enough with them – their tennis IQ and their understanding of the game and moments and matches and how to play and figuring things out a bit whilst you’re out there.”— Andy Murray on being coached by Djokovic, Federer and Nadal at Laver Cup
For Murray, it was that and more – it was surreal.
“The best minds ever in the game”
“Sometimes I was maybe in a good position and I was just getting encouragement from them,” Murray, who fell to De Minaur in a thrilling match tiebreak at Laver Cup, said. “Of course you listen – I mean, these are some of the best minds ever in the game. I think it’s something that people maybe don’t talk about enough with them – their tennis IQ and their understanding of the game and moments and matches and how to play and figuring things out a bit whilst you’re out there.”
“I have thought a lot about my own career and the matches that I played and talked to the guys, Roger, Rafa, Novak, about the matches that we played against each other, and I have never done that consistently or as much as we have the last few days.”— Andy Murray
Murray said it meant the world to him, having those players in his corner, and he made sure to pay attention.
“Absolutely, yeah, you listen to them,” he said. “It meant a lot, you know, playing a tennis match and looking over and seeing those guys, like, supporting you, wanting you to win and trying to help.”
Murray – “One of the most special matches that I have played”
Murray told reporters that the experience was unique, remarkable and also tiring. He says he had never experienced anything quite like it.
“It’s surreal, playing a match like with everything that’s going on, having Bjorn Borg on the side of the court and John McEnroe, Stefan Edberg was in the crowd, obviously all of the teams, as well, and having them supporting you and talking to you during the matches and everything,” he said. “Yeah, it was incredible. You know, one of the most special matches that I have played, to be honest.”
The 35-year-old said he felt overwhelmed a bit near the end of his battle with De Minaur, and a lot of it had to do with the energy expended and the emotional roller coaster ride the weekend has taken him on.
He told reporters that he has done a lot of reminiscing with his fellow Big Four members, talking over details of past battles and having laughs.
“I felt very tired at the end of the match. I think like emotionally the last few days, I don’t know exactly why,” he said. “The guys that are here and obviously a lot of the questions have been directed about this sort of period of tennis, and I know I’m a small part of what these last sort of 15 years of tennis has been.
“I have thought a lot about my own career and the matches that I played and talked to the guys, Roger, Rafa, Novak, about the matches that we played against each other, and I have never done that consistently or as much as we have the last few days.
“I gave everything on the court today. I tried my hardest. I was really disappointed not to get the win, but I gave everything.”
Something I’ll remember for a long, long time
Murray admitted he was initially sceptical about the Laver Cup format and whether or not the coaching from fellow players could really be of use. Now, he’s a full-on convert.
“It’s something that I have never experienced that before, obviously, as I have not played in this event,” Murray said. “When the event started there was me probably a bit as well like sceptical about that side of things, but being part of it was really, really special.
“Yeah, something I’ll remember for a long time.”