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Andy Murray: 20 things you might not know about the Wimbledon champion

July 10, 2013
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Andy Murray won the hearts of the nation when he became the first British male Wimbledon champion for 77 years last weekend. The tennis star was cheered on by girlfriend Kim Sears during his straight-sets victory over Novak Djokovic. He celebrated his win at the Wimbledon Champions Ball at InterContinental Park Lane Hotel, and at Number 10 Downing Street, where he was congratulated by Prime Minister David Cameron. Mark Hodgkinson, author of the biography Andy Murray – Champion, has compiled 20 facts about the Scottish sportsman…

1. Kim Sears is the only serious girlfriend Andy has had. They met at the US Open in 2005.

2. As a boy, Andy spent his pocket money on Bond films – his favourite was Goldfinger. He was thrilled when he received a call from Sir Sean Connery during Wimbledon 2005 to wish him luck.

3. He once played tennis with David Cameron in the State Dining Room at 10 Downing Street during a reception. He admitted to being scared that he would break something but luckily they both managed to avoid hitting the chandeliers.

4. The 26-year-old appeared in a special edition of the BBC comedy show Outnumbered for Sports Relief where he showed his sense of humour. He was asked by the young character Karen what he did. When he replied, "I play tennis", an underwhelmed Karen replied, "But what do you do for a job?".

5. He once loaded so many Milky Way cake bars into his supermarket trolley that the lady at the checkout said, "Do you think these are on special offer or something?" Kim replied, "No, he just likes them a lot."

6. As Andy was born with a bipartite patella, where the kneecap bone fails to fuse together, he has required painkilling injections and pills to get him on court.

7. Andy sold his red Ferrari as he felt like an idiot in it. "I'm quite a conservative driver, but when I was driving that, I would get beeped just for getting out of the car," he said.

8. When Andy won the junior title at the 2004 US Open he dedicated his victory to the victims of a terrorist attack on a school in Beslan in Russia that year, as well as to the victims of the 1996 shooting at Dunblane primary school (where he and his brother were pupils). "I found it hard to watch those children coming out of the Russian school," he said. "I watched it on television and felt so much sorrow for them."

9. When Andy started playing on the tour, he often felt lonely and isolated. "I love company, I love being around a lot of people," he has said.

10. If you listen to the album produced by the world's leading doubles team, American twins Bob and Mike Bryan, you will hear Andy rapping about signing autographs. "During Wimbledon it gets really crazy. My hand cramps up and my mind gets hazy. I sign and I sign but the line doesn't end. Wake me up and let's do it tomorrow. Autograph."

11. Though the only book Andy ever read all the way through was a wrestler's autobiography, he has been acquainted with Shakespeare – he read some to Kim to help her learn her lines for a stage production.

12. As a young boy, Andy and his family would listen to cassettes of Billy Connolly's stand-up routines as they drove to tournaments. He says that Connolly taught him to swear.

13. Andy sometimes has been known to eat four Feast ice-creams a day (although he is now extremely strict when it comes to his diet). "I can eat ice-cream from midday until I go to bed," he once said.

14. Andy believes there is "a fear of emotion in tennis". "It wouldn't make me feel good to bottle up my emotions," he once said. "Saying nothing and standing there makes me feel flat. If someone in the crowd boos, everyone looks at them as if to ask, 'What the hell are you doing?'"

15. He recently bought a hotel, Cromlix House in Dunblane, where his brother Jamie got married.

16. His obsession with go-karting is such that he has his own racing shoes and helmet which has "The Stig" written on the back.

17. The tennis champion almost missed the 2004 BBC Sports Personality of the Year show, where he was given an award for young sportsman of the year, after he inadvertently locked himself in a hotel bathroom.

18. As tennis is a "diagonal sport", Murray's body is not totally in balance; he has a weaker left shoulder, because it never gets to work as hard as the right, and his left leg is a little stronger than his right.

19. Andy's middle name is Barron, which translates from Old English as "young warrior".

20. When Andy was seven, he spent £8 at a local market on getting the Andre Agassi ‘hot lava’ look in tribute to his idol — Andy bought some cut-off denim shorts, neon pink and purple cycling shorts, and a baseball cap with a long blond ponytail clipped to the back.

Andy Murray – Champion by Mark Hodgkinson is out now in paperback (Simon and Schuster, £7.99).

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