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The one lesson I’ve learned from life: Andy Murray says natural talent only gets so far

Sir Andy Murray, 33, is Britain’s greatest tennis player and three-time Grand Slam champion. Murray lives in Surrey with his wife Kim, their three children and two dogs.

I knew something was desperately wrong with my right hip following my five-set defeat to Stan Wawrinka in the 2017 French Open semi-final. That night I was kept awake by a deep pulsating ache, and sharp stabbing sensations seared through my leg whenever I tried to walk. Little did I know then that the pain I felt with every step would plague me for three years.

Mentally, it was tough. I played tennis for a living and had always worked hard on my fitness. But now I struggled to even bend down and tie my own shoelaces. However, I refused to give up. I’ve always been competitive. Growing up with my brother, Jamie [Grand Slam tennis doubles champion], who is 15 months older, played a part in that. He was always that little bit better at sport, slightly stronger and smarter.

Sir Andy Murray, 33, (pictured) who lives in Surrey, revealed how continuously improving natural talents has benefited his career

Sir Andy Murray, 33, (pictured) who lives in Surrey, revealed how continuously improving natural talents has benefited his career

From a young age, I learnt that talent gets you so far, but hard work is vital. You can never stand still. So I trained through the pain. I rehabbed. I exhausted every avenue to help with my recovery.

Eventually, I realised hip resurfacing surgery would be my last shot. The operation to fit a metal ball-and-socket joint into the hip would happen after the 2019 Australian Open. Before the tournament, I was aware I might never play professionally again. During my first-round match I gave everything I could but lost in five sets. Within a couple of weeks, I was on the operating table.

During my recovery, I reflected on my career. I realised I could have probably achieved the same results, if not better, by resting more and being smarter with my training. I also explored how I could support my bones and joints through nutrition sports supplements.

In the event, I was able to walk pain‑free just six weeks after the surgery. That June [2019] I won the men’s doubles at Queen’s and later the European Open singles title in Antwerp, which felt like one of my most important wins.

I doubt I’d have got back to playing at a good level if I didn’t love tennis. Perseverance comes from passion. If you love something enough you will find a way to make it happen.

Andy Murray is an ambassador for TRR Nutrition PRO Advanced Collagen (trrnutrition.com).

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