Saturday, December 9, 2023

Andy Murray: British No 1 Katie Boulter explains why three-time Grand Slam champion ‘is a true champion’

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British No 1 Katie Boulter has spoken about what makes Andy Murray a true champion, saying the three-time Grand Slam champion is the “epitome of tennis” as well as explaining what his legacy means to her.

The Scot reached six major semi-finals and four Slam finals before finally cracking his duck at the US Open in 2012.

Murray, a former world No 1, went on to win Wimbledon twice, while also becoming the first player to win back-to-back Olympic singles titles and clinching an historic first Davis Cup title for Great Britain since 1936.

Boulter has enjoyed a breakthrough year on the tour after picking up her maiden WTA title at the Rothesay Open, Nottingham, becoming the new British No 1 and reaching a career-high world No 50.

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Boulter, from Leicestershire, sees Murray as someone who has inspired her throughout her professional career, but watching the 36-year-old continually grinding it out at the National Tennis Centre brings out the best in her.

“He’s been someone who I have watched throughout my whole entire career,” Boulter told Sky Sports. “I think he’s a true champion in everything that he does and I’ve got massive respect for what he does on a daily basis.

“To see him here at the NTC day in, day out still grafting, still working so hard it is truly inspiring and it’s fun to watch in a way that it gives me questions in my head as to whether I should be doing certain things or whether I’ll be playing in 10 years’ time or whether I’ll be playing in 20 years’ time. I don’t know, so it’s nice to see a true champion at work – that’s for sure.

“If I needed some advice he’d definitely be someone I would go to. He’s been on tour for a very long time and I’m sure he’s got a lot of wisdom over the many, many years so he is someone who I would for sure be going to for advice.”

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Boulter also spoke about what sort of legacy Murray will leave behind when he eventually decides to hang up his racket.

“His legacy is everything,” she said. “He is the epitome of tennis in his passion, his love for the game, it’s like no other. You don’t see that often on tour and what he’s been able to accomplish.

“Growing up it was a true rollercoaster to watch but to see him come out the other end and to see him achieve his goals, it really makes people and kids like me back then to strive for what they want and to be able to achieve what he achieved.

“As a tennis player sitting here now, it’s something that I want to get to and the goalposts that I want to get to. It makes you believe that you can do it and I think that’s what’s pretty impressive about what he’s done.”

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The 27-year-old, who will begin her 2024 campaign by playing at the United Cup tournament in Australia, revealed Murray was her “idol” growing up, admitting seeing him fail at Slams only made him stronger and showed that failure is a part of life we all learn from.

“He was my idol because we saw and closely saw him fail many times but pick himself up and finally achieve what he wanted so I think that was something that really resonated with me as a person because life is not easy,” said Boulter.

“You’re going to have some failures but it’s what you do after that makes the difference and Andy is the epitome of that.”

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