Andy Murray has had a glimpse into a possible life after tennis over the last few weeks and it is one he is keen to avoid.
Murray has been back at his Surrey home following the birth of his third child last month, which came less than a week after his 2019 season ended in glorious style with a first title since his career-saving hip surgery.
That win in Antwerp capped off a successful four-week stint back on the ATP Tour – which gave great promise for a return to the top of the men’s game – but the Scot picked up a niggle in his elbow.
That meant, other than an endless cycle of changing nappies and feeding following the arrival of his son Teddy, Murray did not do any training and as a result put on the best part of a stone in weight.
Chocolate biscuits, it turns out, are his vice, as well as sweets and cakes from family celebrations, and it left Murray heavier than he ever has been before.
“I didn’t do anything for 12 days, literally nothing,” Murray, who has launched the AMC clothing range with sportswear brand Castore, said.
“I got up to my heaviest weight in my career probably. My elbow was pretty sore afterwards so I needed to take a break because of that.
“The baby came five or six days after we got back from Antwerp.
“It was evenings were the issue. When the newborn has been going to bed at seven sleeping for a three-hour period my wife would sleep upstairs and get a period of good sleep in before the baby would wake up.
“I’d be on my own downstairs with chocolate biscuits and stuff. There was Halloween and second daughter’s birthday party, then also my sister-in-law had a birthday so there was lots of cake and junk and no training is not a good combination. I was 88.5 kilos and I’m usually 84.”
Being overweight, Murray could not avoid his mind drifting to two-time coach Ivan Lendl and the Scot found it even harder to resist a jibe at the Czech’s current body shape.
“He’ll probably kill me for saying this but I always said I don’t want to end up with what happened to Ivan,” Murray joked. “I know if you put that in your papers I’ll get a message from him tomorrow.
“When he was playing he was in great shape and very thin. And when he stopped things went south so I need to avoid that.”
Chasing three children all aged under four should help keep Murray in shape, but having such a young family will change his thinking on scheduling and travel plans.
“It’s something that you’re going to have to factor in when looking in for scheduling and planning,” the three-time grand slam champion said.
“But also my off-season – how much time to spend away from home there too. It’s definitely something that I’m a lot more aware of and which I’ll be factoring in to any decisions.
“I think short haul definitely in and around Europe occasionally they could come and watch but also my daughter’s at school now and she’s really happy there.
“I don’t think it’s fair to start pulling her around everywhere when she’s happy and settled. It’ll come from time to time in Europe.”
It has always been an ambition of Murray’s to keep playing until his children were old enough to watch him and understand what was going on.
He says now that post-injury he knows that is not important to him, a change in mindset perhaps brought on by the fact his children did not even watch his epic final win over Stan Wawrinka in Belgium.
“I think they were having dinner at Wagamama’s during the final,” he revealed.
“So I don’t think they were watching. They’ve seen me on the tennis court on TV over the last couple of months.
“I’m not sure they’ve got the patience to sit and watch a tennis match.”