Andy Murray column on Grand Slam nerves, being a Sir and Christmas as a father

Andy Murray
2017 Australian Open
Venue: Melbourne Park Dates: 16-29 January
Coverage: Live radio and text commentary of every Andy Murray match on BBC Radio, BBC Sport website and BBC Sport app. Watch highlights on BBC Two and online from 21 January.

The first round of a Grand Slam is always tricky, but I am glad to get through it.

My first-round match against Illya Marchenko, the world number 95, was OK but it was hard going.

It was tough conditions. The on-court temperature was in the high 30s, which wasn't easy.

I didn't feel any extra pressure playing my first Grand Slam as the world number one. I felt nervous beforehand, but I get that before all Slams.

I always feel that bit of extra nerves and bit of extra pressure because these are the tournaments that often you work towards. They're the biggest tournament for tennis players. It would be a bad sign if you weren't coming in nervous so I treat it as a good sign.

Being nervous shows me that I want to play well and that I'm up for it. Normally nerves tend to make me feel better or play better but I found it tough on Monday in harsh conditions.

The crowd were good. Sometimes in day sessions, when it's hot as it was, it's not easy for people to sit out in the sun for that long. There was a great atmosphere and lot of people out there watching.

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'I'm happy with plain old Andy'

After I was knighted I was asked if I wanted to be known as Sir Andy, from whether it was in the draws and on the scoreboards to when I was getting announced.

I'm happy with just plain old Andy, though.

It was an amazing honour to receive, although I have had some mickey-taking with some of the players about calling me 'Sir', especially the ones that have known me for a long time.

'It helps having family here'

In Grand Slams, if you go through to the end, you have two weeks of tennis with a day off after every match.

Kim and Sophia are here with me in Australia and it helps. It's nice to have them here and take my mind off the tennis when the matches are done.

I have a lot of family here: Kim's mum is also here, as is Jamie and my mum. In the morning we can have breakfast together as a family and then in the evening, when I get back from practice, Sophia is starting to get ready for bed.

So sadly it means I don't get to do a lot of the fun stuff with them during the day.

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'I didn't get the dogs anything for Christmas'

I flew to Australia after being able to have Christmas with my family. My first Christmas as a father was good, but busy.

A lot of Christmases I have been away or at training, so it was good to be able to see Sophia on Christmas Day.

I spent the morning with my wife and daughter and Kim's family, then I flew at midday up to Scotland and had lunch with my mum's side of my family. Then in the evening I went to my dad's to have dinner with his family. It was a busy day and I did all right with presents too.

I didn't get the dogs anything this Christmas. My wife normally gets them toys and presents, and they get sent lots of stuff from my mum and my grandparents. They do pretty well, but they are just as happy tearing into the wrapping paper on Christmas Day.

  • Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport's Amy Lofthouse.

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