Jose Mourinho has admitted he cried when Andy Murray won Wimbledon for the first time in 2013, as the former Chelsea and Manchester United manager revealed his passion for tennis on a visit to the Fever-Tree Championships at The Queen’s Club.
Mourinho was perched in the front row to watch the men’s semi-finals, yet it seems his primary reason to attend the grass-court event in west London was to catch up with two-time Wimbledon champion Murray.
The Scot, who is making his latest comeback from injury after undergoing hip surgery in January, will play in the men’s doubles final alongside Spain’s Feliciano Lopez on Sunday and he has a big admirer in Mourinho.
“I watched his training session, and then spoke about all the processes he has gone through,” stated Mourinho.
“It has been hard. Of course, with his age, with his history, with everything he has already won, he needs to be really special, in love with the game, and ready to make the effort he is making to be back.
“If he can evolve to play singles again at the highest level that would be amazing.”
Murray cemented his legend as one of Britain’s greatest sportsmen of all-time when he won Wimbledon for the first time in 2013 and Mourinho admits the victory over Novak Djokovic in the final on Centre Court left him watery eyes.
“I shed tears when Murray won Wimbledon first time because for these boys, Wimbledon, Roland Garros, these big tournaments are like the Champions League for us,” he confirmed.
“We know what we feel when we do it, we know what we feel when we almost do it but don’t do it, and so I could imagine what it meant for him.
“It’s not just Wimbledon, it’s in London, the city where he lives, with all the meaning for the whole of the UK.
“I could imagine being in his skin, and understand all the feelings that he went through. So yes, I was a little more emotional than normal when he won.”
Mourinho went on to suggest tennis players have a tougher time dealing with pressure than footballers, with the one-on-one combat of a singles match adding to the tension.
“I’d love all the football players to cope with responsibilities the way these tennis guys do it,” he added.
“In football you can hide behind each other. If I am the centre-back, maybe it’s the goalkeeper’s fault.
“If I am a striker, and I don’t score goals, maybe it’s the winger that is not giving me enough crosses, but in tennis they can’t hide behind anyway. It’s them on court, one against one.”
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