Andy Murray explains what it is like to play without crowds and how he tries to stay positive

Andy Murray serious

Andy Murray admits it was “a little bit tricky” to get used to the lack of atmosphere at USTA Billie Jean King National Tennis Center due to the absence of fans, saying he missed that “little bit extra boost” you get from the crowd.

The three-time Grand Slam winner got his first taste of ATP Tour-level tennis without supporters during his first-round win over Frances Tiafoe at the Western & Southern Open at Flushing Meadows.

Murray kept himself motivated throughout the 7-6 (8-6), 3-6, 6-1 win by talking to himself and doing constant fist pumps.

Afterwards he revealed that he missed the “extra boost” that those in the stands usually give.

“There isn’t really an atmosphere, to be honest with you. Yeah, so that’s obviously a little bit tricky,” he said. “I mean, I know it’s a bit of a cliché, but you need to kind of create your own atmosphere a bit on the court. It’s just not quite the same.
“It’s obviously pretty hot, tough conditions, you know, and I felt like it was going to be the case before the match, but, like, in difficult moments or whatever, like a crowd being there sort of maybe helps you focus a little bit more and sometimes gives you that little bit extra boost in terms of your energy or whatever, your concentration, and that’s not there. It’s certainly different in that respect.

“I thought I did quite well with that. Like at the beginning of the third set I made, like, a big effort to, you know, give as much energy as possible on the court. Fist pumping and trying to be positive, you know, that helped a bit.”

Murray will face fifth seed Alexander Zverev from Germany in the second round on Monday evening.

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