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Tennis star Jamie Murray says find a partner with different passions 

Jamie Murray, 33, brother of Andy, is a six-time Grand Slam doubles winner and a Davis Cup champion, formerly doubles world No 1, and currently ranked doubles world No 8. At Wimbledon, starting this week, he will debut with his new partner, Neal Skupski. Jamie lives in London with his wife, Alejandra.   

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Whatever you want to achieve in life, you’ve got to give it your best shot, and that means putting in the work.

Tennis has taught me I can’t rely on other people to make things happen. There are 1,000 other players who all have the same goal as me, and only one of us (or two in doubles!) can achieve it.

For me, it’s easier to pick myself up after losing if I know I’ve given it my all. The question for everyone facing any kind of challenge in life is: how much do you want it? No one’s going to force you to spend the time on the practice court. You have to make the sacrifices — and keep making them.

Growing up, tennis wasn’t the be all and end all: there was no ‘project’ to turn my brother Andy and me into world champions. But for Mum [Judy Murray], the goal was certainly to give us the opportunities she didn’t have.

Her dream of becoming a top-ranking tennis player was thwarted by the fact there were no indoor tennis courts in Scotland when she was growing up.

When we were kids, she created that infrastructure around us by sourcing the coaches, paying the fees and driving us for hours to play all over the UK.

As I get older, tennis will inevitably become a smaller part of my life and, in some ways, I’m preparing for that now. It’s always helped that my wife isn’t into tennis. She’s a fantastic emotional support, but she’s not into the fine detail of each match, which means I can switch off when I get home. It really helps to keep me mentally fresh.

When you look at the tennis legends who’ll be in the commentary box for Wimbledon — John McEnroe, Pat Cash, Boris Becker — what they share is an ability to overcome tough times through sheer self-belief. They knew no one was going to hand it to them on a plate.

Jamie is global ambassador for PlayBrave (playbravesports.com). youtube.com/JamieMurrayTennis

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