Andy Murray Talks Training for the U.S. Open With Hula Hoops, Skydiving, and His Top Travel Spots

Andy Murray of Great Britain practices before the start of the US Open at the USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Centre on August 22, 2018 in New York City, United States.
 TPN/Getty Images


Being a professional tennis player with two Grand Slam titles, two Olympic gold medals, and 45 career titles to his name, Andy Murray gets to do a lot of traveling. From tournaments on basically every continent, Murray gets to travel the world on an annual basis. While some tennis players find that part of the job a bit exhausting, Murray sees things very differently.

“I love the traveling aspect,” Murray told Men’s Journal. “I know a lot of tennis players, as they get older they they find the travel tiring or repetitive, and sometimes you only see the hotel or the tennis courts, but I enjoy getting out there and seeing places where we go. When I stop playing, I definitely will want to travel more and see some new places around the world.”

 

 

Some of Murray’s favorite places to play—and visit—include Melbourne for the Australian Open, Canada for the Vancouver Open, and Vienna for the Erste Bank Open. “Vienna is a beautiful city,” Murray said. “It’s nice, clean, and quiet, and has so much history to explore there.”

Apart from travel, another thing Murray is passionate about is the environment and being eco-friendly. Murray works alongside the World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF), and he’s set a personal goal of being plastic-free in the future. That mindset was why it was easy for Murray to start driving the electric Jaguar I-PACE, the first all-electric vehicle for the Jaguar brand, as his personal car.

Murray spoke with Men’s Journal about his training for the U.S. Open, why he wants to skydive one day, his favorite travel spots, and why people should consider driving electric cars.

Men’s Journal: What do you enjoy most about playing in the U.S. Open and coming to New York City for the tournament?

The energy of the city is definitely reflected at the tournament itself. Even when I was practicing a week before the tournament, there were already a bunch of people there watching us hit. t’s just different to be at a major that is unlike all the other ones. I comparison to a place like Wimbledon, which is great, but it’s very traditional and quiet, and here you have a lot more energy. At Wimbledon, when you play a point it’s almost completely silent, and here there’s almost constant noise from the city, or planes flying over, and the subway. It always takes a little time to adjust, but then it becomes the norm and you embrace it. I’ve always enjoyed playing here.

What are some of the workouts and training you do for a tournament like this?

My training changed pretty significantly while dealing with my injury [Murray dealt with a hip injury in 2017], I used to spend a lot of time doing weights and stuff like that, but now it’s been more functional moves, and obviously getting on the tennis court as well. I’ve actually been spending a lot of time in the pool. I’m not swimming, but I’m doing a lot of tennis-specific movements like aqua jogging and other moves that allow me to take the impact and strain off my joints while still getting the physical benefits. I’ve been doing coordination stuff, gymnastics-type moves, and actually some moves with hula hoops [laughs]. I hadn’t done it since I was a kid, but those moves have helped keep me loose and healthy without putting too much strain on my body. It’s been new and challenging, but I’ve enjoyed it.

What do you enjoy most about working with Jaguar?

It fits well because it’s such a big, British brand and I’m British [laughs], but it’s global and it’s been fun to be able to go and drive some of the cars on track days when I’ve been able to do that. I’m very environmentally conscious as well, so working with them and being able to drive the Jaguar I-PACE has been an exciting thing for me. It’s a nice-looking car, of course, because it’s Jaguar, but it’s also very quiet, and that’s nice when normally you’re used to having such a loud car. It’s futuristic in a way, but also great for the environment, which is a major plus for me.

Andy Murray, Jaguar I-PACE
Jaguar

Why would you recommend someone get an electric car if they’re looking to buy a new ride?

The mileage is really good, and I think contributing to the environment in a positive way is something important. The Jaguar I-PACE is spacious as well, which is big for me since I have a young family, and it’s good for trips, and it also has a lot of space in the back for my sports equipment and you can put camping gear and stuff like that if you need it. It drives quick and fast—it’s still a Jaguar [laughs].

What’s your diet and nutrition like?

I do stick to a diet, and I know this sounds obvious, but I really try to not eat any bad stuff when I’m training. I have a nutritionist who helps me out, and I try and plan for match days depending on when I’m playing and also depending on the weather. You need hydration strategies for when it gets really hot, and you’ll do different stuff if it’s a day match or a night match. I don’t think there’s sort of a diet that works for everyone, you know you have to find what works for you and what works for your body.

What are some places you’ve enjoyed playing in and visiting in your travels?

The places I go to that I love, I’ll often think of them in the sense, “is this a place I could live?” Some places I’ve loved to go to was Vienna, and Vancouver I really like as well, I’ve been there a couple times and thought it was really amazing. I’m planning to go to the Maldives, that’s more of a vacation, I’m going for the first time and that’s a place I’ve always wanted to visit. Vienna, Vancouver, and Melbourne are some of my favorites, and Munich is a place I’ve always liked.

When you travel, what are some of the activities you enjoy doing the most?

I really like going jet skiing and getting out on the water. One thing I really want to do when I get the chance is go skydiving. The last tournament I won was in Dubai last year, and they have a skydiving place, so I said to my team before the start of the tournament that before I leave I want to go skydiving. Half of my team said absolutely not [laughs], and it ended up not happening, and then I dealt with my injury, so I kind of regret not celebrating my win with that. I still hope to do it in the future at some point. When I go away on vacation, I like to do some other stuff besides laying on the beach, like some high-energy activities like jet skiing and stuff like that.