Andy Murray admits he 'feels bad' for spending time away from new daughter Sophia
Even as Andy Murray builds up his court time in preparation for Friday’s Davis Cup match against Japan, he has admitted that he feels guilty at spending time away from his new daughter Sophia.
"I really don’t want to miss seeing those changes," he told The Guardian. "Even when I’m away for a day I feel bad.
"I feel I should be there and I want to be there as much as I can. So when I’m leaving the house at eight in the morning and getting back at eight at night, I feel bad.
"The thing that has surprised me most is how quickly everything changes – from the first day she was born,” Murray added of Sophia, who was born on Feb 7.
"You don’t notice it when you’re there every day but you look back at a photo on the day she was born, to one taken five days later, to now a few weeks on and you see how much things change on a daily basis."
Murray took a fortnight’s break from his usual rigorous training schedule around the birth. This gave him time to learn the basics of early fatherhood, even if he explained that “I haven’t held her upside-down yet.
"I was OK holding her," he added. “The only thing I found difficult was changing her because you see a small person and you think they’re so fragile – or that their hands are so small that when you’re putting their fingers through their top that they could maybe break.
"But when you see all the midwives – and Kim has a good friend who is a midwife – they’re a lot rougher and they do things much more quickly. Lots of people have told me babies are a lot more resilient than you think. They’re not going to break."
Murray’s great rival Novak Djokovic has often pointed to his own firstborn son Stefan, who was born in October 2014, as a factor in his growing dominance of the men’s tour. But Murray himself is understandably reluctant to make any bold predictions on this score.
"It’s tough to tell," Murray said. "I’ve been training again and certainly haven’t been worse. I’ve been very motivated in practice. Obviously with Novak and Roger [Federer] it’s worked out well. I don’t know if having kids has made them play better or if they’re just really good.
"For other players it hasn’t worked out as well. But [fatherhood] is a positive thing – and tennis not being your priority can help. It lends perspective when you have a bad loss or bad practice.
"The outcome of a match is not everything but I want my daughter to be proud of her dad when she grows up and sees what I did. I hope it works out in a positive way on the court but if it doesn’t, it’s not the end of the world."