ANDY MURRAY took further advice from Sir Alex Ferguson after the Wimbledon champion strolled into the last eight of the championships with a straight-sets victory on Centre Court last night.
Murray was imperious in dismissing Kevin Anderson of South African 6-4, 6-3, 7-6 (8-6) to set up a meeting with Grigor Dimitrov of Bulgaria. The boy from Govan watched the boy from Dunblane at Wimbledon last year as he came back from two sets down to beat Fernando Verdasco of Spain. The pair have now formed a friendship and exchange texts throughout the year.
"I chatted to him for a few minutes after the match," said Murray. "We talked about my match today, spoke about football, World Cup a little bit. Then he just said a few things; what he's observed when he's been watching me, not necessarily about technical or tactical things, but more sort of mental things, how you respond to tough or tight situations. Obviously you're going to listen to someone like him. He's witnessed a lot of big, tight sporting occasions. He obviously knows his stuff."
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Murray brushed off suggestions that he could appoint Ferguson as a consultant. "He's someone I would obviously talk to if something came up that I felt I could benefit from speaking to him about something. But I wouldn't see myself employing him or offering him a job within my team," he said.
Murray, too, replied briskly to a question about his reaction to Alex Salmond, the First Minister, waving a Saltire in the Royal Box when the 27-year-old Scot won Wimbledon last year. He said: "I'm not getting into that nonsense during the tournament. I don't want to talk about that sort of stuff. And what I actually said was I don't like it when politicians turn sporting events into political things. That's the point I was trying to get across. "
He added he was prepared for a tough challenge against Dimitrov tomorrow, believing the 23-year-old has matured into a top-class player in a season where he has won three titles.