ANDY MURRAY has revealed how he looked up to Rafael Nadal as a junior.
Andy Murray spent time in Spain as a junior, but only after growing up alongside brother Jamie and mum Judy in Scotland.
Three years later, after winning the Junior US Open, Murray turned pro and has gone on to have a distinguished tennis career.
He has won three Grand Slams, including Wimbledon twice, with this year’s tournament at SW19 beginning on Monday.
And ahead of the tournament, Murray has revealed how it was a chat with current world No 1 Nadal that helped him push his career forward at the age of 15.
“I was playing in the European Summer Cup with all the top countries there, and we were playing racquetball with the Spanish team after one of the matches in the evening,” Murray told The Times.
“I spoke to Rafa when we were resting, and I asked him who he practises with, and he said ‘Carlos Moyá’, who had just been No 1 in the world... I was at home training with my brother, who is a good player, but not anything like the same level... That was the difference.
“My mum tells the story really well. I rang her up and I was saying that it’s not fair that he gets to train with this guy and I am at home.
“I said I wanted to go to Spain, and from there we started to look at some academies. And that was that. It was a turning point.”
Murray’s not wrong. Having turned professional in 2005, he was British No 1 a year later.
In 2008, he reached his first major final losing the US Open final to Roger Federer.
Three Grand Slam final defeats later, Murray finally tasted victory at Flushing Meadows in 2012.
He backed that up with a Wimbledon victory a year later before winning again in south-west London in 2016.
Rafael Nadal, on the other hand, has 17 Grand Slam titles to his name and won the French Open earlier this month.