Andy Murray, a skinny teen, believes he filled out a little too much while opting for the home life rather than the road after lifting the European Open title in Antwerp on October 20 – due to a diet of chocolate biscuits and cake.
I didn’t do anything for 12 days, literally nothing. I got up to my heaviest weight in my career probably Andy Murray
The former world No.1 was able to be by wife Kim’s side during the birth of their third child and first boy, Teddy, during a break in which he developed eating habits a mile away from the strict regime for which he is known.
But the Brit now aims to put the bite on opponents after getting back in shape as he returns to action in the Davis Cup in Madrid next week.
The 2015 Cup winner, resting a sore elbow, said: “I didn’t do anything for 12 days, literally nothing. I got up to my heaviest weight in my career probably. Evenings were the issue, when the newborn has been going to bed at 7pm and sleeping for a three-hour period. My wife would sleep upstairs and get a period of good sleep in before the baby would wake up. I’d be on my own downstairs and … chocolate biscuits and stuff.
“There was Hallowe’en and my second daughter’s birthday party, then also my sister-in-law had a birthday, so there was lots of cake. Junk and no training is not a good combination. I was 88.5 kilos and I’m usually 84.”
He added with a smile: “He’ll probably kill me for saying this but I always said I don’t want to end up with what happened to Ivan (Lendl, his ex-coach).I know if you put that in your papers I know I’ll get a message from him tomorrow. When he was playing, he was in great shape and very thin. And when he stopped things went south so I need to avoid that.”
Murray is revved up for the Cup but has mixed feelings about the atmosphere at the newly-formatted competition, which involves an 18-nation finals with six groups rather than the home and away showdowns throughout the year.
The 32-year-old double Wimbledon and Olympic champion, teaming up with Dan Evans, Kyle Edmund and Jamie Murray & Neal Skupski against Netherlands and Kazakhstan in Team GB’s group, said: “I’m excited and intrigued to see what it’ll be like with the new format
“I’m going to miss the atmosphere because I don’t think the atmosphere is going to be the same as some of the home ties or the away ties that I played. The atmosphere (for an away tie) is tough but they are atmospheres that, when I finish playing, I’ll remember, like the Belgian final and my first Davis Cup in Israel. I’m going to miss that.
“But I love being around the team and I’m excited to see what the new format looks like and I hope the atmosphere is brilliant.”
Murray’s comeback from career-saving hip surgery remains on schedule as he plans for the tour next year.
He said: “I’m not worried from the hip’s perspective as I’ve had zero issues with it so far. So I don’t anticipate that playing an extra 45 minutes or an hour will be bad for my hip,” he said, of five-set matches.
“The rest of my body, how that responds, I’ll see when I’m out there. My physio has always been more positive about me playing grand slams and playing a tournament when you play five days in a row. She loves the fact there’s a day off to rest and actually recover and your body gets a chance to rest up before the next match.”
But the fact he now has three children under four will influence his schedule.
He said: “It’s something that you’re going to have to factor in when looking for scheduling and planning. But also my off-season – how much time to spend away from home there too. It’s definitely something that I’m a lot more aware of and which I’ll be factoring in to any decisions.
“I think short haul definitely in and around Europe occasionally they could come and watch but also my daughter’s at school now and she’s really happy there. I don’t think it’s fair to start pulling her around everywhere when she’s happy and settled.”
Murray was speaking at the opening of the Castore store in King’s Road in Chelsea which features a collection by the player called AMC.
*Quotes from The Scotsman and Glasgow Evening Times