Murray wants to be a Special One

Andy Murray was not at his best against Gilles Muller but did enough to earn a victory in the match that had Jose Mourinho among the spectators. Murray befriended the Chelsea boss when he used the club's facilities near his home.
Andy Murray was not at his best against Gilles Muller but did enough to earn a victory in the match that had Jose Mourinho among the spectators. Murray befriended the Chelsea boss when he used the club's facilities near his home.PHOTO: AFP

Tennis star keen to find out from Chelsea manager how to be consistently successful

London - Andy Murray says he wants to learn the secrets of Jose Mourinho's success as the former Wimbledon champion fine-tunes his challenge to regain the All England Club title.

The British tennis player battled to a 3-6, 7-6 (7-2), 6-4 victory over Gilles Muller in Friday's quarter-finals of the Wimbledon warm-up event at Queen's Club and then caught up with English football club Chelsea's manager Mourinho for a quick chat and a picture that he posted on his Instagram account.

The 2013 Wimbledon champion has become friendly with Mourinho since using Chelsea's training ground, which is near his Cobham home, during his recovery from back surgery last year.

And, given Mourinho's vast success, including leading Chelsea to the Premier League title and League Cup last season, it is little surprise that Murray is keen to get a few tips from the Portuguese.

"I haven't met him long enough or in a situation where I could do that," Murray said.

"But I'd love to chat to him about those things to understand what it is that makes him great.

"The consistency of his success is pretty incredible really."

Murray was below his best against Muller and admitted he was relieved to have put on a winning performance in front of Mourinho after falling flat the last time the Portuguese was in attendance.

"I said to him that this was a slightly better performance than the last time he came to watch me, which was at the O2 finals last year when I played against Roger (Federer)," Murray said. "I think he seems to be quite interested in tennis. He spent a few days obviously this week and maybe will come tomorrow or on Sunday.

"So, yeah, I met him a few times when I had my back surgery, I did a lot of my training and rehab in the Chelsea training ground near to my house. I met with him a few times and he's a fun guy."

While Murray has a good rapport with Mourinho, he stopped short of grilling the manager about transfers, in particular Chelsea goalkeeper Petr Cech's proposed move to Arsenal. "No, I actually didn't ask him about that," the Scot said with a laugh.

His mood, though, darkened when he was asked about his next opponent Viktor Troicki in the semi-final.

Murray slammed him for refusing to provide a blood sample after the 2013 Monte Carlo Masters and labelled the Serb "unprofessional" before his year-long drug ban.

Troicki, 29, has since rebuilt his career after the 18-month ban that was reduced to a year on appeal, climbing back to 25th in the world rankings.

"Obviously, it's a difficult situation," Murray said when questioned on whether Troicki should have been allowed back in the game. "I think I said at the time you have to be aware of what exactly the rules are.

"I think if you want to protect the image of your sport, you need to understand how serious the drug testing is and anti-doping is.

"I'm sure he's learnt a lot from that."

AFP

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A version of this article appeared in the print edition of The Sunday Times on June 21, 2015, with the headline 'Murray wants to be a Special One'. Print Edition | Subscribe