ANDY MURRAY may be a champion on the tennis court but the pressure of being a parent gets to him at home.
The tennis ace has confessed it is tough being a hands-on father because “everyone is judging how you are doing it”.
The 31-year-old – who has two daughters with wife Kim, 30 – says people should be less critical and more supportive.
Murray returns to Grand Slam action at the US Open this week for the first time in almost 14 months, and his lack of form on the court has been blamed on becoming a father – something the player has contested.
The two-time Wimbledon champion wants his children to pursue their own goals growing up, but admits it could be “challenging” if they follow him into sport.
He said: “Fatherhood has been great and I have loved it. It has been exciting – every day is different. But it is difficult because parents judge each other a lot and how one person parents is different to the next person, and there is no right way of doing it, clearly. It is challenging because I get the feeling that everyone is judging how you are doing it.”
Murray, who has said tennis is not his number one priority now, added: “I feel we should be doing more to be supportive of each other because it is an incredibly difficult thing to do.
“I think it is really hard; I don’t think it is appreciated how difficult it is to be a parent.”
Murray and his wife were married in 2015 in his home town of Dunblane, after almost a decade together. They had first met at the US Open when Kim’s father, Nigel Sears, introduced the pair while he was head of the Women’s Tennis Association. Their eldest, Sophia, was born a year later and their youngest – believed to be named Eadie – in 2017.
Murray admits that his career keeps him apart from his family. “My wife is obviously with the kids more of the time than me,” he said. “It’s tough being at home for a day with two young children. It’s not an easy thing to do, and do it well. Obviously you can get tired, frustrated, there’s lot of emotions involved. Yeah, it’s very tough.”
However, Murray credits his “settled” relationship with his success. “I do think it is very important in sport to be very settled and very clear exactly what it is you want to do,” said Murray. “I’ve been with my wife for 12 or 13 years and it has just helped me stay concentrated on my tennis.”
The former men’s world No 1 said there would be pressure on his daughters to repeat his success. “I can see if they did want to play sport that it might be a challenge,” he said. “I could certainly see that being the case but, no, I think it is important you instil the right values in them.
“Providing that they work hard and are happy, I don’t really mind what they end up doing.”
But letting his teenage child move abroad – as he did at 15 years old when he went to the renowned Barcelona Tennis Academy – would be a wrench. “Being a parent now, I appreciate that at that age it must be very difficult to let your kids move away, especially to another country.”
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