Murray hoping to avoid another nightmare

Mon, Aug 27, 2012, 01:00

TENNISIT IS acknowledged in oneirology, the study of dreams, that those magical excursions into fantasy or horror generally occur most vividly when the dreamer’s brain is racing.

Anyone who has watched Andy Murray play tennis could be forgiven for thinking that this is also an ongoing daytime experience for the Scot, rather than an occasional nocturnal excursion into wishful thinking, as he conjures up wonder shots that do not always occur to less gifted mortals as obvious choices.

The player himself, however, does not altogether dismiss the power of his own imagination. He revealed in a relaxed conversation on the eve of the US Open – regarded as his best chance of winning his first Major – that dreams have consumed him lately.

In the land of hopes and dreams, it made for great copy, of course. From the Times of India to a website which somehow pilfered the entire transcript of his press conference a mere hour or so after he had left us scratching our heads, tennis wondered if maybe this was a new way to pick a winner.

Predictably, perhaps, the signals were confusing. “Four days after Wimbledon I dreamed I won Wimbledon,” Murray said. “I woke up in the morning and I was just starting to feel better . . . That didn’t help. Then a few days after the Olympics, I dreamed that I lost in the final of the Olympics. Obviously waking up remembering that I had won was nice.”

His first test in New York ought to be straightforward: second up on Arthur Ashe today against Russian Alex Bogomolov Jr . . . except there is a demon lurking. It was Bogomolov who embarrassed Murray last year to tip him out of the Miami Masters in straight sets, while ranked 118th in the world. The American-based Bogomolov is, however, unlikely to deliver Murray another nightmare.

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