Andy Murray may be one the biggest sports figures in the world, but it’s his family that is starting to take center stage. Or rather, center court, as Murray goes after his second Wimbledon title.
Although his parents separated when Murray was very young, the family remained close and helped forge not one but two professional tennis careers for sons Andy and Jamie. Add into the mix a stint on Strictly Come Dancing, a wedding earlier this year and one epic Twitter exchange and the Murray’s are a family of rising stars.
Here’s what you need to know about the close knit group:
1. His Mother, Judy, Was a Former Tennis Player & Coached Andy Early in His Career
Judy Murray, a former competitive tennis player, was the first person to introduce Andy to the sport that has now come to define him. In fact, Judy was actually Andy’s first coach in the early years of his career.
Murray has frequently talked about his close relationship with his mother, whose reputation as a louder-than-normal sideline spectator has grown at the same rate of her son’s tennis career. She screams, she pumps her fists, she is, for all intents and purposes, her son’s biggest fan.
A bit of a celebrity in her own right, Judy competed on BBC’s Strictly Come Dancing, the original British version of Dancing With the Stars.
2. Murray’s Parents Split Up When He Was 10 Years Old
After they separated, when Murray was 10 years old, Judy and Willie were not particularly fond of each other. Both Andy and his older brother Jamie lived with their father after the split and the family described the change as “difficult.”
The pair did not officially divorce until March 2005, but the initial split was enough to fuel some fire in Murray, both on and off the court. He told The Telegraph:
My parents separated when we were very young. They didn’t speak too much and they didn’t get on too well together… they are just two different people. If I stayed with my mother for two nights, then I felt I should stay with my father for two nights. At Christmas I didn’t know how long to spend with each of them.
But when Murray became the first British man to win the Wimbledon title in 2013, his parents found a way to bury the metaphorical hatchet. The proud parents were seen hugging Murray and even embracing each other at the Wimbledon victory dinner.
3. Murray Married Kim Sears in 2015 & the Couple Refused to Sell Their Wedding Photos
Murray and long-time girlfriend Kim Sears began dating after first meeting at the U.S. Open in 2005 and were married at the Dunblane Cathedral in his hometown in April 2015.
But while the wedding drew big crowds and even bigger headlines, Murray and Sears opted to keep their ceremony and day completely private, refusing to sell images from the wedding to any of the, very interested, tabloids. The Guardian reported that both Hello! and OK! Magazine both offered money to chronicle the day but the pair declined.
4. His Brother, Jamie, Is Playing in the Wimbledon Doubles Tournament
Peers and Jamie began playing together in 2013 and immediately got off to a good start, winning four ATP tournaments by summer 2014.
This also isn’t the first time Jamie has performed well at Wimbledon. He won the mixed doubles title in 2007 with partner Jelena Jankovic. The two frequently had to ward off assumptions of a romantic relationship off-the-court. Jankovic told The Independent:
When we arrived we were treated like a couple. It was as though we were two lovebirds. I thought: ‘Oh God. This whole story has developed around us and it isn’t true’. Maybe the British fans didn’t know me that well, because I didn’t behave any differently with Jamie to how I am all the time. That’s my personality. Even when I play singles I have fun.
Jamie has also won two doubles titles while competing with Andy.
5. The Murray’s Had One of the Most Memorable Twitter Exchanges Last Month
It all started innocently enough. Murray’s mom, Judy, tweeted out a photo of Andy posing with Chelsea manager Jose Mourinho wit a captain that read “The Special One with My Special One”
Then it got interesting. Jamie, Murray’s brother, took a bit of social media offense that his mom had, publicly, labeled Andy “special.” So he, naturally, responded:
Murray tried to make amends with his brother, listing off reasons as to why Jamie is actually the family’s No. 1 son. He also called his brother “noobs,” which might just be the most Scottish thing to ever happen on Twitter.
Jamie had the perfect response though and made sure to add an emotive emoticon as an extra internet bonus:
In the end though, mom Judy settled the social media squabble, making sure to let Jamie know that, despite the lack of Grand Slam titles to his name, he’s still as special as Andy.