It's a style move that Murray initially questions with a "catlike grin"—you Murray fans and observers know just what writer Sam Knight means by that—but acquiesces to, as is his nature. Rely on those who know best. It worked for him with mother Judy Murray for so many years (and even today), and it worked for him under the tutelage of Ivan Lendl until earlier this year. Their coach-player split arrived on the heels of significant highs: A U.S. Open championship, Olympic gold, and (most important) a Wimbledon title to send Great Britain men's emasculating, infamous drought spiraling into oblivion, into the past. Success can have a way of making one more relaxed and open: The monkey has been tossed from one's proverbial back. That seems to be the case with Murray:
But the other, larger, reason Mr Murray doesn't speak of his new lightness is that he doesn't have to. His way is to be careful in conversation: amused, watchful. The bright hazel eyes wait for you to commit. "I don't necessarily feel like I need to prove myself any more," he says, after a U.S. Open, after Olympic gold, after $30m in prize money.
And instead you see it in the way Mr Murray jokes and carries himself, the way he ribs MR PORTER's Style Director. "So," he says, slowly, "are people starting to wear socks with their flip-flops now?" The sudden, catlike grin. He is free. When he wears a hoodie now, Mr Murray smiles. And when he speaks about the turn of the seasons, the breaking of the British spring, it is as straightforward as it has ever been. "I always get pretty excited because the grass court season is only six or seven weeks away," he says. "It always comes around really quick now... It's gone fast as well."
A semifinalist at the 2011 French Open and the No. 7 seed at Roland Garros this year, Murray is second up on Court Philippe-Chatrier against the hometown favorite, streaky No. 23 seed Gael Monfils on Wednesday.
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