By Iain Rogers
Andy Murray attributed his stunning victory over Rafa Nadal in the Madrid Masters final on Sunday not only to the work of his team but also to a happy private life following his recent marriage to Kim Sears.
Murray beat home favourite Nadal 6-3 6-2 with another superb performance on the red dust to secure his second clay title in a week following his debut triumph on the surface in Munich.
The Scot become only the fourth player to beat Nadal in a clay final, joining Novak Djokovic, Roger Federer and Horacio Zeballos, and will head to Roland Garros at the end of the month with high hopes of a deep run in the French Open.
“People don’t always appreciate that there is another part of our lives that is very important as well,” Murray told a news conference after clinching his 10th Masters crown.
“If you’re happy away from the court, if your private life and your personal life is good, that will help everything,” added the 27-year-old, who spent some time honing his clay skills in Barcelona before the Munich event.
“Obviously, for me that’s very good right now … but you still need to put in the hard work as well, which I did in Barcelona and Munich, and I’ve been rewarded for that.”
Murray’s emergence as a genuine force on clay follows years of struggles on the surface, when he was unable to cope with the demands that sliding around the court placed on his body.
He said he had put in a lot of hard work with his advisers, including French coach Amelie Mauresmo, to try to turn things around.
“I have been healthy this year and that’s a big thanks to all of my team, Amelie too, but also my physical team for putting in a lot of hard work and making some pretty drastic changes to the way I have trained,” Murray said.
“I’ve tried to understand my body better so I could stay healthy, especially on this surface which I hadn’t done the last two or three years.
“Obviously, Amelie has been influential in that but also the rest of my team as well for being brave enough to actually make changes and I feel a lot better because of it.”