Murray reveals he was stalked by hotel maid at two tournaments

World No. 2 Andy Murray gesturing at a malfunctioning selfie stick after beating Italian Andreas Seppi at the China Open in Beijing yesterday.
World No. 2 Andy Murray gesturing at a malfunctioning selfie stick after beating Italian Andreas Seppi at the China Open in Beijing yesterday.PHOTO: REUTERS

BEIJING • Andy Murray says he was stalked around Europe by a hotel maid who once woke him by entering his bedroom and stroking his arm.

The Wimbledon and Olympic tennis champion believes the uninvited guest followed him to two tournaments after she was spotted at his hotels.

Despite having a "Do not disturb" sign on his door in the first incident, the British tennis player said the maid let herself in and approached his bed before perching by his side and touching him.

The 29-year-old described the behaviour as "extreme", after disclosing the startling information when asked to explain what is the "craziest thing" one of his fans has done.

In an interview promoting the International Premier Tennis League, Murray said: "I don't know if that's a fan thing - that's a bit extreme - but that happened."

The Scot did not reveal the hotel or city in which the first encounter with the woman occurred.

Despite the shock and concern his revelations sparked, he remained calm and focused as he advanced to the second round of the China Open in Beijing.

The world No. 2 was playing his first competitive match since his Davis Cup win over Guido Pella a fortnight ago, when he suffered a thigh injury, and he got back in the groove with a 6-2, 7-5 win over Andreas Seppi.

There were doubts whether the Scot would compete in Beijing after the injury in Glasgow. But, with a shot at the No. 1 ranking in mind and no Novak Djokovic in the draw, Murray stuck to his itinerary.

He was pleased to come through unscathed and hopes to improve as the week goes on, stating in his post-match press conference: "I thought I did okay today considering I hadn't played much the last couple of weeks. I didn't arrive here until a couple of days ago. I think I can play better."

Earlier, Rafael Nadal barrelled through his opening match as he seeks to redeem his injury-blighted season with a strong run in the tournament. The 14-time Grand Slam champion dropped just two games to 39th-ranked Paolo Lorenzi, beating the Italian 6-1, 6-1 to reach the round of 16.

"When you get injury for two months and a half in the middle of the season (it) is tough," the world No. 4 said after his first-round match. "(There) remains a little bit to finish the season.

"Today is an important victory. There are points to try (and win) to qualify for the World Tour Finals."

Nadal is eighth on the leader board for the London ATP Finals - which features the year's top eight players - and needs to pick up points in Beijing to ensure his qualification.

THE GUARDIAN, AGENCE FRANCE-PRESSE

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Straits Times on October 05, 2016, with the headline 'Murray reveals he was stalked by hotel maid at two tournaments'. Print Edition | Subscribe