Andy Murray says the calming presence of his new coach Amelie Mauresmo can boost his chances of lifting back-to-back Wimbledon titles.
The 27-year-old clinched the trophy at the All England Club 12 months ago to become the first British men’s champion in 77 years after Fred Perry, and believes the 2006 Australian Open and Wimbledon winner can help guide him to a second triumph on home soil.
Murray says the pressure to perform this time around is different to what he felt in 2013, and has subsequently welcomed the relaxing influence Mauresmo has provided since replacing Ivan Lendl earlier this month.
“After winning it last year, the pressure of wanting to win definitely was finally released. I’m still feeling the pressure and the nerves but this year they are completely different,” he said, according to The Daily Record.
“I like having the nerves and I’m able to use them positively. It’s great having Amelie around, she’s a very calm person but also incredibly supportive, so naturally that helps me.”
The Scot, who has won his last 16 matches on grass, beat world No.18 Kevin Anderson on Centre Court earlier today to secure his place in the quarter-finals.
Having breezed through the opening three rounds without dropping a set, he faced a harder challenge against the South African - but still progressed without breaking much sweat. It finished 6-4, 6-3, 7-6.
Murray and Anderson – occasional practice partners – had shared the spoils in their two previous meetings, but the 20th seed has again failed to reach the first grand slam quarter-final of his career.
Murray, searching for his 29th singles title, opened the defence of his Wimbledon crown against Belgian David Goffin and emerged victorious 6-1 6-4 7-5.
He produced an even more emphatic performance in the second-round, defeating 23-year-old Slovakian Blaz Rola in just 84 minutes. Murray conceded just two games in an emphatic straight sets demolition to set up a meeting with Roberto Bautista Agut at the next stage.
The reigning champion continued his solid form against the Spaniard, winning 6-2 6-3 6-2 in the first-ever match between the pair.
Should Murray go on to lift a second consecutive trophy in west London, he'd become the first back-to-back Wimbledon men’s singles champion in 78 years. The last man to do so was Fred Perry.
However, he faces an uphill battle to retain the title with Grigor Dimitrov, Novak Djokovic and Rafael Nadal waiting in the deeper stages of the tournament.
Rain delays have wreaked havoc in the bottom half of the draw, meaning Nadal and Roger Federer will wait until Tuesday and Wednesday to play their fourth-round encounters.
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