Andy Murray has revealed Rafael Nadal's role in helping convince him to leave Scotland and move to Spain to continue his tennis development earlier in his career.
The Scot reached the summit of the men's game when he overtook Novak Djokovic to become the world number one in November. He said that his move to Spain early in his career helped take his game to the next level. Murray admitted that one of the key aspects that convinced him was Nadal's training routine and the chance to train in a competitive environment from a young age.
"He didn´t speak much English, I didn´t speak much Spanish. But I just asked him about how he trains over in Spain and who he trains with. He was practicing for a few hours a day when he was there he was practicing with Carlos Moya. And I was practicing just a few hours a week with my brother," Murray said about his initial meeting with Nadal, as quoted by tennisworld.org
"That was when I realized if I wanted to try to go to the next level and become a professional I was going to have to sort of change the environment I was training in. That´s one of the reasons I moved to Spain.´
"When you´re very competitive, even at that age, that is when I started to realize I didn´t have enough opportunity in Scotland. I couldn´t do it, the weather, not enough courts and obviously with school I couldn´t play enough." The top ranked men's singles player explained.
"He was by far the best player. He´s one year older than me and he was a lot better than all the players there. One of the reasons for that was he was getting great practice with top players and enough hours on the court," he said.
Murray and Nadal will face each other at the Mubadala World Tennis Championship in December after they had contrasting 2016 seasons. The former won an Olympic gold medal and ended the year as world number one, while the latter cut his season short after struggling for most of the campaign with a wrist injury.