Andy Murray column: Keeping ice cool when Wimbledon heat rises

Murray beats battling Kukushkin
Wimbledon 2015
Venue: All England Club Dates: 29 June - 12 July
Play: From 11:30 on outside courts and 13:00 on Centre Court and Court One
BBC coverage: across BBC TV, radio and online with 153 hours of tennis scheduled and up to 15 live streams
Read more: BBC coverage bigger than ever and TV and radio schedules

I don't know how many chances I'm going to have to win more Grand Slams and to blow one because I hadn't prepared properly would be a huge regret.

The last time I played my second-round opponent Robin Haase was at the US Open in New York last August, and it was one of my toughest matches as I suffered with terrible cramps.

I came through in four sets but could have gone out of the tournament, not necessarily through me being the worse player but because I missed something in my preparation and became very dehydrated.

You have a match like that and it's a bit of an eye-opener.

I had always eaten well and tried to drink the right things but this was about being more meticulous; actually getting the correct information and just sticking to it.

Andy Murray
Murray struggled in the New York heat when he faced Haase at the US Open in 2014

I take that side of things more seriously now, for sure. My diet is pretty well managed during events.

It would be hard to take if I went out of a Slam because I hadn't drunk enough beforehand, or hadn't checked the weather and the humidity so I knew how much I was supposed to be taking on board.

The margins are very small at this level and I train very hard - I wouldn't want to put in all the preparation and then blow it because of a small detail.

The Ice Bath Challenge

I'm sure good preparation played its part on Tuesday for my first-round match against Mikhail Kukushkin, because I haven't played too many matches on Centre Court when the temperature reached 41 degrees.

I spent just over two hours out there. My recovery might change a little bit depending on circumstances and how a match went.

I could spend more time with the physio after a longer match because in that situation you come off court and things actually hurt! You need that extra time.

Andy Murray on Centre Court at Wimbledon
Centre Court temperatures reached 41C during Murray's victory over Kukushkin

I do an ice bath after every single match throughout the year, whether it has lasted one hour or four hours, because I just feel like it helps me.

After Tuesday's match I came off court and went on the bike, and was given water and a sports drink by my fitness coach Matt Little. I probably drank about a litre or so in the 30 to 40 minutes after I came off.

I then had a shower, drank a protein shake and ate some pasta and chicken. Then it was about 45 minutes with physio Shane Annun for a massage and a stretch, and then an ice bath.

Feeling the heat at SW19
The hottest ever temperature at the tournament was 34.6C on 26 June, 1976
When Murray won his Wimbledon title in 2013, the conditions reached 30C
Wimbledon's 'heat rule' allows female players a 10-minute break between the second and third sets of matches played in extreme temperatures

Normally during Wimbledon I would use my ice bath at home but they have them on site at the All England Club this year, so I did eight minutes at eight degrees Celsius.

The Spanish player Pablo Andujar was in the 12-degree one next to me, and there was a bit of chat. Ice baths can be competitive too! He was saying that he's Mediterranean and so doesn't like the cold, whereas apparently I'm used to it.

I can go colder but that's not always intentional. We check the temperature with a little thermometer and I normally go between 10 and 12 degrees.

Two coaches, one goal

This is the first time I've been at a tournament with both my coaches, Amelie Mauresmo and Jonas Bjorkman, and that means the tennis side of my preparation is well covered.

The three of us sat down and chatted about what to expect in my first match after my practice session.

Normally I'll have some video sent to me and various statistics, which I'll look at myself, and when I watch the videos I'll message Amelie and Jonas and point out things I saw that are maybe different from what we spoke about.

Andy Murray's Wimbledon journey

During the week at Queen's Club, Jonas went out and watched a couple of the guys that I might be playing, but nowadays I do a lot of it on video and with statistical analysis.

Sometimes going out onto the court can help though because you can't always see exactly what's happening on the video.

It will be the fifth time I've played Haase on Thursday, so hopefully there won't be too many surprises.

Andy Murray was speaking to BBC Sport's Piers Newbery. You can follow Murray on Twitter,external-linkFacebookexternal-link and Instagram.external-link

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