'That's why tennis is important to me' - Murray opens up on Dunblane horror
In a new film about his lengthy recovery from injury, Andy Murray has opened up about why the Dunblane massacre was key to establishing his emotional connection with tennis.
Murray is the subject of the documentary, Resurfacing, on Amazon Prime, and in an exchange with the director spoke about how the 1996 shooting spree at his school, which saw 16 children and one teacher killed, informed his connection with the sport.
It is rare that Murray speaks about the massacre, but in the documentary reveals that the killer, Thomas Hamilton, was well known to the Murray family.
"I am sure for all the kids there it would be difficult for different reasons. The fact we knew the guy, we went to his kids club, he had been in our car, we had driven and dropped him off at train stations and things. Within 12 months of that happening, our parents got divorced.
“It was a difficult time that for kids. To see that and not quite understand what is going on. And then six to 12 months after that, my brother also moved away from home. He went away to train to play tennis in Cambridge.
"We obviously used to do everything together. When he moved away that was also quite hard for me. Around that time and after that, for a year or so, I had lots of anxiety but that came out when I was playing tennis. When I was competing I would get really bad breathing problems.
"My feeling towards tennis is that it’s an escape for me in some ways. Because all of these things are stuff that I have bottled up. I don’t know because we don’t talk about these things. They are not things that are discussed.
“The way that I am, on the tennis court, I show some positive things about my personality and I also show the bad things and things I really hate. Tennis allows me to be that child, that has all of these questions and that’s why tennis is important to me.”
The film documents Murray's attempt to return to tennis following hip surgery in 2018. In January, Murray is expected to play again at the Australian Open - one year after the tennis world assumed his career was finished.