Andy Murray has had some very big moments in his career, winning an Olympic gold medal, being the first British man since 1936 to win Wimbledon and so on, but the first of his big moments came in New York City when he won his first major, the US Open.
Murray has always said he has a close affinity to New York and the whole atmosphere that comes with the US Open, so he didn’t think too long when a place was offered to him to be part of the BNP Paribas Showdown at Madison Square Garden in New York.
“When I was growing up (New York) was my favourite place to play and favourite place to visit,” said Murray. “It’s a pretty unique atmosphere that you get at the US Open playing in New York. It should be fun to go back and play at Madison Square Garden. It’s a cool city and I’ve always enjoyed going there. The first time I went I was 15 years old and I’ve enjoyed it all the time.”
While he has never played The Garden, it was quite a scene of triumphs for his coach Ivan Lendl.
In fact in New York overall, Lendl reached 21 finals – nine at the year-end championships at Madison Square Garden winning five, eight straight at the US Open winning three and four at Forest Hills winning two.
“I think when Ivan was playing … I spoke with him about playing there and he said it was amazing,” said Murray. “Like the atmosphere was great and the event was unbelievable.
“I always find the atmosphere of playing indoors it seems like you are able to create … an extra buzz and a little bit more of excitement (and) atmosphere. Like none of the noise kind of gets lost in the open. It all kind of stays inside of the arena.”
On 3rd March he will take on Novak Djokovic, who he beat in that US Open final back in 2012, on a night that will also see John and Patrick McEnroe take on Bob and Mike Bryan.
“It should be a great event,” said Murray. “I’ve heard from the guys that played there before that it is an amazing atmosphere. When I went to look around they were in the middle of refurbishments but it looked like it was going to be unbelievable so it should be a fun place to play.”
Murray doesn’t normally play a whole load of exhibition matches but as he says “it’s not often a chance comes around to play at a venue like that, Madison Square Garden”.
“I am a huge, huge boxing fan and they have had a load of great fights over the years,” said Murray. “I love my basketball as well so to play in a place like that where you might not be able to get that chance to do that ever again, where you know most tournaments we will get that opportunity. You know the exhibitions kind of will be great for us as players to play in different arenas and parts of the world, we don’t usually get to.”