Andy Murray's mental toughness is his biggest strength, suggests Tallon Griekspoor, lauds Briton great for always "fighting till last ball"

Tallon Griekspoor explains why he believes Andy Murray has been very successful over the years.
Tallon Griekspoor explains why he believes Andy Murray has been very successful over the years.

The mental aspect of Andy Murray's game has played the biggest role in his storied success, according to rising Dutch tennis player Tallon Griekspoor, who considers Murray his tennis idol. Griekspoor highlighted that Murray's mental strength is best reflected in his ability to not give up until the last point of every match he plays in.

Griekspoor, who holds the record for most Challenger Tour titles in a single season (8 titles in 2021), further lauded Murray for not stopping himself from giving it his all on every point in each match even with his prevailing injury issues since the past couple of years.

In a young career, the 26-year-old has also had his fair share of fitness and injury issues, and watching Murray's work ethic motivates him to keep going.

"I think it’s just the mental strength that makes him (Andy Murray) so tough," Griekspoor said in response to Sportskeeda after his Round of 16 contest at the 2023 Tata Open Maharashtra. Even now, whenever his body is not a 100%, he is fighting till the last ball every match.

Griekspoor stressed that a player's willingness to make a hundred percent effort even on a bad day on the court is what contributes to the betterment of their game, something he has learned from watching the Briton great.

"I struggled a lot with my body as well, so even on those bad days you can make 100% out of every point, you can be a better player at the end of the day and I think that’s the most important thing."

Griekspoor's brilliant 2021 season raised expectations from him and a sub-par 2022 season could not live up to those expectations. Now, having worked on specific parts of his game, the young Dutchman looks stronger and has already fired on all cylinders in his first tournament in 2023 - the Tata Open Maharashtra.

Learning from Andy Murray, Tallon Griekspoor reveals focus on mental strength as 2023 season kicks off

Tallon Griekspoor faced Andy Murray at the 2019 Davis Cup.
Tallon Griekspoor faced Andy Murray at the 2019 Davis Cup.

After observing Andy Murray and learning about the importance of focusing on mental toughness as much as physical strength, Tallon Griekspoor used the 2023 pre-season to good effect, paying special attention to the mental aspect of his game. The former world no. 44 opened up about his preparations ahead of the new season and his satisfaction with his work in pre-season suggested the 'Andy Murray effect' has played its part.

"Especially in the last two months, in the off-season, I did a lot of work on that part (being mentally stronger)," Griekspoor further expressed. "I felt like I lost a lot of matches last year where the mental part was not good enough, the physical part was not good enough. So I put a lot of time and work in that."

In his first two matches of the season in Pune, Griekspoor looked confident, downing two challenging opponents in Jaume Munar and Marco Cecchinato, respectively, in straight sets. He now aims to ride that momentum into the Australian Open.

"Two matches down this year, I’m feeling really good and calm, mentally strong, so hopefully I can continue that way and take it to Australia," Griekspoor stated.

Griekspoor, who entered the semifinals in Pune after his quarter-final opponent Marin Cilic was forced to retire with a knee injury, will face Aslan Karatsev in the last-four stage on Friday. More importantly, he is into his maiden ATP singles semi-final.