© Ella Ling

Andy Murray Jamie Murray doubles tactics

Jamie Murray: How to benefit from sibling rivalry

Coaching tips from Jamie Murray on ‘How to get the most out of sibling rivalry’:
It’s okay to wind your brother or sister up. “That’s normal, especially with two brothers. All brothers fight.”
But don’t punch your sibling. “Don’t do that, that would be a no-no. I once hammered Andy’s hand, though. I think we were nine or ten, and he had beaten me in the final of a tournament, and we were coming back home, and he was winding me up about the match. He had his hand on his knee. I turned around and hammered it with my fist. His nail was broken and it took about 15 years for it to fully recover. Even now it’s still a bit messed up. That was probably the only time that I inflicted serious damage to each other but we never punched each other or anything serious like that.”
Appreciate that it’s not going to be easy playing against your sibling in a tournament – unless you seriously hate them! “It’s a totally different feeling when you compete in a tournament against your sibling. Part of you doesn’t want to see your brother lose. You know what to expect as you know eachother’s game really well. But I guess it’s more of a mental thing than anything else. You’re looking down the court at your brother and that’s who you’re trying to beat. That’s a weird feeling, that’s not a natural thing to want to see your brother lose. I can’t imagine how Serena and Venus Williams ever managed to play each in grand slam finals. Andy and I played a lot in juniors, but never professionally. The Williams sisters would have grown up all their lives wanting to win grand slams, and then you get to the final and you’re playing against your sister, that’s just weird. There’s no way you can enjoy that at all. If you’re playing your sibling in a grand slamfinal.
But if you do have to play against each other in a tournament, you just have to get on with it. “That’s life, you have to deal with it and get on with it.”
What’s great is that you’re always going to have someone to play with. And someone to spur you on. Embrace that. “Andy and I are very similar in age – there are only 15 months between us – and when we were growing up I was always a little bit better than him. It was probably better for him having a older brother. He was always trying to beat me and I’m sure that spurred him on. That helped his development somewhat. We were always pushing each other. It was a great thing for us to be so similar in age. If your brother or sister is three or four years older or younger than you, you’re not going to play each other in the juniors, but Andy and I were pretty much always in the same age group. Because we were similar in age, we always had someone to compete against. That helped both of us. It was never just me and a coach, or me and Mum, or me and Dad. We could go off and play things together.”
  • Rupert Penry Fan

    I really dont know how long Jamie will try to keep this “cute brotherly” image in news articles with telling personal anegdotes with Andy.This “naive” but “sympathetic” “boy” image doesnt really match to his sleazy smile.

  • http://twitter.com/tennisopolis Tennisopolis.com

    I wish I had a brother that was as serious about tennis as I was – I wonder how good I could’ve gotten…. maybe even a 3.5!