Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Admits Family Ties Are a Bind on His Single-Minded Bid for US Title; Scot Claims Clan Can Be a Distraction and Says He Is Happier Spending Time with His Coaching Team and Girlfriend Kim Sears

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Murray Admits Family Ties Are a Bind on His Single-Minded Bid for US Title; Scot Claims Clan Can Be a Distraction and Says He Is Happier Spending Time with His Coaching Team and Girlfriend Kim Sears

Article excerpt

Byline: Chris Jones Tennis Correspondent in New York

ANDY MURRAY says he loves his family, but doesn't want them interfering with his bid for a first US Open title and is delighted to be the only member of the clan in New York.

While that may sound like a return to bad old days of the Kevin-the-teenager attitude, it is most assuredly not.

In fact, those days are becoming a distant memory thanks to the effect having "Team Murray" around has made on the 22-year-old who takes on the dangerous Marin Cilic, of Croatia, on centre court in the fourth round later today.

While his family - including mother Judy - are back in Britain, Murray is not alone in New York thanks to the presence of girlfriend Kim Sears and his coaching entourage of Miles Maclagen, Jezz Green, Matt Little and Andy Ireland, plus British doubles expert Ross Hutchins, his closest friend.

The group eats together each evening, dealing with the many forfeits they dream up that can involve dressing up in women's clothing or eating a giant piece of chocolate cake. Of course, it sounds trivial to anyone outside the group, but for each of the members of the Team the horseplay is a positive way to deal with the repetitive routines of professional tennis.

Murray pin-points the decision to end his association with American coach Brad Gilbert in November 2007 as the time when he started to feel happier with his tennis lot as he explained: "I did not enjoy travelling with one coach. I found it stressful, there was a lot of bickering and it carried on to the court. When I started with Brad, it was fine but after a while, I felt quite tired. I was not enjoying it. I enjoy working with the guys I am with now and there is no point getting angry.

"Mum is commentating for Eurosport and I don't think she's coming out but she hasn't told me so we'll wait and see. It's a bit nicer when you can just concentrate on the tennis and don't need extra distractions. If people are coming in every day or every match when you get closer to the end of the tournament, then I would rather they were there from the start or not there at all.

"Mum obviously understands, but if you have a few family members or family friends that haven't been over to the tennis that much, their expectations of how much they're going to get to see of you and do with you might be a little different."

Murray's focus is solely on beating Cilic and he bridles at the suggestion that his mind has already wandered towards a potential meeting with Rafael Nadal as he prepares for possible four matches in six days.

Murray said: " I am not going to look past someone like Cilic - it would be unbelievably stupid to do that."

The Croat is 6ft 6ins and possesses a big serve and dangerous ground strokes, attributes that have moved him up to No16 seed at this tournament at just 20-years-old. …

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