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IT is a moment which has further hyped up Andy Murray’s chances of winning Wimbledon.
The world No.4’s unique half-volley drop-shot through his legs, played on his way to victory over Jo-Wilfried Tsonga at Queen’s on Monday, has already attracted thousands of views on YouTube.
Yesterday, Murray was buoyant as he reflected on the trick shot and described the background to it. “That shot only came about in the last year or so,” said the 24-year-old. “I think I did it a few times in practice just messing around. That is the first time I have tried it in a match.
“The only other person I have seen doing it is Goran Ivanisevic at Wimbledon when he served and volleyed, the ball came back to him and he played a half volley between the legs. In practice, the ball has to be in that one position to do it and your feet have to be caught up a little bit. I think people enjoy seeing shots like that and it would be good if people did it more, but you don’t want to rub up players the wrong way.”
Murray was speaking, alongside mother Judy and brother Jamie, at the launch of the Set4Sport programme. The project has been born of Judy’s desire to create a more physically active country and consists of a collection of fun games to show parents how easy it is to create activities for their children using basic household items.
The games are inspired by some of the childhood activities Andy and Jamie used to take part in, including using biscuit tin lids as tennis rackets, which undoubtedly helped to hone hand-eye coordination. These activities have also appeared to have given Andy his competitive instinct.
“I hated losing but I also loved doing sports,” he said. “I would rather be in a bad mood having lost a game rather than sitting around doing nothing and watching television for a few hours. It was something me and Jamie used to do and it occupied us a lot when we were in the house. And then it would give us something to talk and argue about for most of the day when we should have been doing our homework.”
Despite the natural rivalry between the siblings in their younger years, Andy spoke about the sense of satisfaction he gets when Jamie does well, but revealed he struggles to watch him play as he gets so nervous.
“I watch live scores as I do find it quite difficult watching him,” said Andy. “When he won the Wimbledon mixed doubles, I just sat in a room, checking the score every now and then. When he was 5-1 up in the third, I ran down to see the last two or three points, but I don’t watch him much.”