Andy Murray insists he enjoys being a mentor to younger players after Yorkshire’s 20-year-old Kyle Edmund revelled in the Scot’s support for his first round victory on Monday.
Murray had just beaten Argentinian qualifier Facundo Arguello in straight sets at Roland Garros, before telling reporters he was eager to rush through his media duties so he could watch Edmund’s five-set marathon against France’s Stephane Robert.
Edmund overcame cramp and vociferous home support to record his first ever grand slam victory on Court Seven and Murray was seen in the crowd cheering his compatriot through the closing stages.
The British No 1 sent Edmund a congratulatory text after the win and he also tweeted: “Well done @kyle8edmund on winning first grand slam match and likely breaking top 100 for first time.”
Edmund, who could play Murray if he pulls off an unlikely win against Australia’s Nick Kyrgios in round two, later beamed over the Wimbledon champion’s support, insisting he was “fortunate” to have his help and that “it just shows he really cares”.
Murray has enjoyed an increasingly close bond with the British players, particularly after the recent success of the Davis Cup team, and says he remembers those who helped him when he first arrived on the circuit.
“I think for me I remember a lot of the guys that were nice to me when I was young on the tour, and it’s a good thing to do,” Murray said.
“I remember very well and I was very grateful to all of the players that were nice to me when I first came on the tour, because it can be tough.
“It’s not easy as a 17, 18 year old coming into a locker room with older guys or people that you’ve watched on the TV and look up to.
“Some guys weren’t nice. And I remember that too.
“I would rather try to be one of the guys that the young guys look up to and say ‘yeah, he was nice to me when I was coming up’.”
Murray has practised with a number of younger players and has struck up a strong friendship with Australian 19-year-old Thanasi Kokkinakis, whom he trained with in the build-up to the French Open last week.
“A lot of them are really nice guys with fun personalities,” Murray said.
Murray will now face Portugal’s Joao Sousa who beat Canadian Vasek Pospisil 6-3 7-6 (7-5) 6-1 yesterday.