Often when you are nervous, you can play your best tennis
Andy Murray says feeling nervous during a Grand Slam is a good thing after sweeping past Dutchman Robin Haase in the opening round of the Australian Open
The last time Andy Murray faltered at the first hurdle of a Grand Slam was in Melbourne five years ago but the Scot’s progression to the second round never looked in doubt today as he saw off Haase 6-3, 6-1, 6-3. The Scot admitted to some nerves ahead of his first Grand Slam match since his heroics in New York back in September, but says the feelings are nothing new.
“I don't think there's anyone that doesn't [feel nervous],” said Murray. “I think nerves are a good thing. If you aren't nervous, it shows that you're really not that bothered.
“When the nerves are there, sometimes it can be, you know, for 10, 15 minutes before you go on the court or the beginning of the match or the evening beforehand. You know, they can affect you at different times. But it shows that you care, and that's the positive you take out of it. Often when you are nervous, you can play your best tennis.”
No first-time Grand Slam winner in the Open Era has ever gone on to win their next Slam, a fact Murray was made aware of in his pre-tournament press conference. “Like I've been saying the last couple of weeks, I have no idea how I'm going to play here,” he said. “I have no idea how I'm going to feel when I go on the court.
“But I know how hard these events are to win. If I don't win the Australian Open, I don't think it will be down to having won the US Open. It's down to the level of competition and how tough it is to win these events rather than what happened, you know, four or five months ago.”
Next up for Murray is Portugal’s Joao Sousa, who finished 2012 in the top 100 for the first time in his career after a successful year on the Challenger Tour.