Andy Murray conquistou neste domingo, nos Estados Unidos, ao derrotar David Ferrer na final do Sony Open (2/6 6/4 7/6), o primeiro título no país desde que ganhou o US Open, em setembro e se tornou o primeiro britânico a ganhar um Grand Slam depois de 76 anos. Discreto e quase tímido, Murray se tornou herói nacional. Com uma relação antes um pouco conturbada co o povo da Grã Bretanha, passou a ser admirado por todos. Mas, ao contrário do que poderia acontecer, em vez de se retrair, Murray se abriu.
Neste fim de semana, o jornal The Times, em sua revista, publicou uma matéria de capa com o tenista. Pensei que fosse encontrar um texto do Neil Harman ou do Simon Barnes, dois dos jornalistas que viajam o circuito e cobrem o esporte praticamente em todos os lugares do mundo. Mas, quem assina a matéria é Matthew Syed, que raramente vemos dedicar tempo ao tênis.
A entrevista é parte de um acordo entre Murray, adidas, e os organizadores do ATP de Queen’s, o Aegon Championships e foi realizada no mítico clube londrino.
O que ela traz de diferente é um Murray aberto, revelando como ganhou o US Open falando sozinho, no vestiário no fim do 4º set, antes do 5º set começar. Já tinha lido algo similar na biografia dele, lançada no fim do ano, mas nem lá é tão íntima. As declarações estão escritas de uma maneira que consigo visualizar a cena. Vou inclusive reproduzir aqui as frases dele em inglês, para não pecar numa tradução ou adaptação para o português.
“It had got to me,” Murray says when we meet at the Queen’s Club in West London, where he’ll be competing in the Aegon Championships in June. “I had spent the past five years being asked whether I would ever win a grand slam. I knew this was not just about sport, but about the entire country. People used to say that our failure to produce a grand-slam winner said something about our lack of toughness as a nation, and things like that. I pretended that I was above it all, that I wasn’t that bothered about history. But it was beginning to affect me.
“I had played in four grand-slam finals before playing Novak in New York and had only won one set. Wherever I walked, I walked with hunched shoulders and with my head down. I think in my own mind I had bought the idea that I was not a real winner until I had won a grand slam. It’s strange to think that my stance, the way I carried myself, was affected. I was very negative in my own mind at the end of the fourth set at the US Open. My self-belief was pretty low.”
“When you walk out of the stadium there is a cubicle on the right-hand side,” Murray says. “It is small, not much more than a toilet, a sink and a mirror. I was thinking: ‘Why do I keep losing these finals? Do I lack something? How on earth did I squander a two-set lead?’ It is easy to get into a train of bad thoughts, particularly when an opponent is coming back at you. I could not go back onto the court feeling like that. I would have lost the deciding set before the first ball was hit.”
And so Murray did something he had never done before: he gave himself a pep talk. “I never talk to myself. Not out loud. You would never catch me walking around the house and actually saying things to myself. Isn’t that supposed to be the first sign of madness? That is why that toilet break was so unusual. I stood in front of the mirror with sweat dripping down my face and I knew I had to change what was going on inside. I had a drink, a change of T-shirt and a banana with me, but they didn’t really matter. I had to get a grip of my mind. So I started talking. Out loud.
“‘You are not losing this match,’ I said to myself. ‘You are NOT losing this match.’ I started out a little tentative, but my voice got louder. ‘You are not going to let this one slip. You are NOT going to let this slip. This is your time. You have never been closer than this to a grand slam. Give it everything you’ve got. Leave nothing out there.’ At first, it felt a bit weird, but I felt something change inside. I was surprised by my response. I knew I could win.”
Só isso já bastaria para deixar a matéria interessante o suficiente. Mas Murray ainda fala da vida caseira que leva, que acorda e todos os dias, quando está em Surrey, onde reside, vai, às 07h, levar os cachorros para passear.
Ele conta também da relação com a mãe Judy Murray, de como não teria chegado onde está sem ela, fala de Kim Sears e também comenta do pai, Will, de quem Judy se separou quando ele tinha 9 anos. Eis o que ele diz: Because my mum’s around a lot at competitions people tend to focus on her. They don’t see my dad as much, but that doesn’t mean he is not a big part of my life. He has always been there, supporting me whenever I have needed it. And that is part of my motivation. Some people are motivated by money, others by winning tournaments, and others by creating history. But I think a lot of my drive comes from wanting to repay those close to me. It is a nice feeling to win and know that loved ones are made up because of it.”
É Andy Murray. Você parece estar ganhando não só a admiração dos britânicos…