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5 Sentences We Didn’t Expect to Read About Andy Murray

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Mental_floss co-founder Mangesh Hattikudur is at the US Open today. Between matches, he'll be serving up some tennis history and random knowledge.

I'm sure plenty of players on the tour have been studying Andy Murray to understand his game. Fresh off a victory at Wimbledon, the defending US Open champ certainly has a target on his back. But if you really want to understand Andy Murray, you should probably read this massive (and delightful!) list from The Evening Standard. These are some unusual sentences, straight from the London paper.

1. “He is the Jay-Z of the men’s locker room.”

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From the rap lyrics he performed on this song, his 99 Problems largely revolve around the difficulties of signing autographs. “During Wimbledon it gets really crazy. My hand cramps up and my mind gets hazy. I sign and I sign but the line doesn’t end. Wake me up tomorrow, let’s do it again.”

2. “Though the only book Murray has completed was a wrestler’s autobiography, he is familiar with William Shakespeare.”

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Murray said one of the Harry Potter titles turned him off books when he was 14 or 15. He got through 200 pages of the 600+ page book before deciding that books weren’t his style, and he hasn’t read a book since.

3.“Murray’s physiotherapist believes in aliens.”

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This sentence was provided without any additional context.

4. “Though he loves boxing, he’s never punched anyone in the face.”

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5. “As a young boy, Murray and his family would listen to cassettes of Billy Connolly’s stand-up routines as they drove to tournaments.”

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It taught him how to curse!

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What Tennis Shoes Looked Like in the Early 1900s
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Mental_floss co-founder Mangesh Hattikudur is at the US Open today. Between matches, he'll be serving up some tennis history and random knowledge.

Image credit: whatsalltheracquet.com

In the pre-Swoosh era, the best shoes for lawn tennis had giant treads and looked like they could be worn to church.

Follow ibmsports on Instagram for scenes from the U.S. Open.

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The Benefits of Grunting During Tennis
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Mental_floss co-founder Mangesh Hattikudur is at the US Open today. Between matches, he'll be serving up some tennis history and random knowledge.

Emitting a Monica Seles-style grunt as you wallop a ball across the court has more than a few benefits. Most people link the biggest advantage to breath control—kind of like yelling hi-ya when a karate expert chops a board in half. And in fact, studies have shown that you do get extra oomph from a short, sharp yell, helping you exert more focused energy than you would without it.

But there’s another advantage to letting out a belly groan with every shot: distraction!

For highly skilled tennis players, hearing how a ball comes off a racket is useful information in processing a quick response. A grunt obscures that information, and it isn’t just the world’s best who get affected. According to a 2012 study from the University of Hawaii and the University of British Columbia, players are significantly worse at anticipating the ball’s direction and speed when a hitter grunts. As The Conversation puts it, “if a shot is traveling at 50mph, the relatively small delay in response that grunting causes (about 30ms) would result in the ball traveling an extra two feet by the time the opponent responds.” That might not sound like a lot, but a little grunt could actually throw off your opponent’s footwork and help you eke out a win.


Follow ibmsports on Instagram for scenes from the U.S. Open.

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