Andy Murray’s mid-winter training ethos has become the stuff of legend in recent years, the hours and weeks spent on the sand and in the gym in Florida setting himself up perfectly for the Australian Open, where his performance stats in the past three years read: runner-up, runner-up and then last year, a semi-final appearance. His 2012 training was interrupted for a day or so when he showed a few members of the British press the kind of things he does (and invited them to have a try). He then explained how his training has been going.
This is your first off-season working properly with Ivan. Have you been spending more time on court than normal this year?
It’s been great having Ivan around, and it’s the longest time I’ve been able to work with him on a training block before. It’s such an important time for me and sets me up nicely for 2013 and the Australian Open. Our relationship is open and honest and although work very, we also have fun as well. I’ve been spending plenty of time on the court over the last few weeks, working on specific drills and fitness and it’s nice top be able to do that for an extended time, away from the Tour.
Ivan’s famous for his work ethic. Has he been pushing you to work harder than ever?
He’s a hard taskmaster but I love that. The fact that he’s been there and done it and knows what I’m feeling helps massively. All the guys around me have been pushing me and although the sessions are gruelling, I know the benefits will be worth it. I’ll be going into 2013 in the best shape possible.
Does the work get better as you get older, or more difficult?
It never gets easier, that’s for sure. A few years back I could pretty much eat what I wanted on the off-season, but I’ve noticed that as you get older you have to watch what you eat a bit more when you are not training. That said, I love the physical side to training and it helps me going into matches knowing I’m the fittest I can be.
Is there any one part of the physical work that you particularly dislike and which is especially hard to get through?
I’m not sure about dislike but I’ve been using the Versaclimber a lot this time round. Many of the boxers and UFC fighters use it, it’s basically a machine in the gym, and you use your arms and legs to climb. It’s great for fitness but very tough and as I’m hooked up to a computer it can see how hard I’m working and measure everything I do, so there is no hiding place!
If you had to name a single specific target for 2013 (eg Wimbledon, world No 1 ranking) what would it be – and why?
I would love to win Wimbledon and more grand slams and I’m working hard and doing everything I can to achieve that. I think adding more consistency, so the focus is the same throughout the year regardless of the tournament, will also be a goal. 2012 was my best year so far on the tour, I’d love to make 2013 special as well.