‘It’s good to let your emotions show’

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Murray beats Brown in entertaining clash
Wimbledon 2017 on the BBC
Venue: All England Club Dates: 3-16 July Starts: 11:30 BST
Live: Coverage across BBC TV, BBC Radio and BBC Sport website with further coverage on Red Button, Connected TVs and app. Click for full times.

When you get the chance to play in front of a home crowd on Centre Court, you’ve got to use the support and the atmosphere to your advantage as much as you can.

I saw the end of Jo Konta’s win over Donna Vekic in the gym while I was waiting to go on, and her calmness in such a tense finish really impressed me.

A number of times she was pretty close to getting broken at the end – she was 0-30 down – and she stayed focused and managed to get through it.

Konta through after three-set epic

You saw right at the end just how much emotion she had inside her. You don’t see Jo react like that too much and certainly not during a match, but it’s obviously in there.

She can go a long way here. She’s certainly good enough, and hopefully Wednesday’s match was the first of many on Centre Court.

It’s difficult to give other players advice because playing on that court is obviously a great experience but everyone deals with those things differently; everyone has different personalities.

I found for myself that when I’ve been in tight matches like Jo’s on Wednesday, maybe engaging the crowd a little more can help – but that might not be something she’s comfortable doing.

She remains very calm on the court and that’s a positive thing, but there can be times out there when it’s good to let the emotions out as well.

‘You need to try and block that out’

Playing with the crowd on your side is not a regular experience for most tennis players and it can take some getting used to.

We play all over the world and I’d say 90% of the time in matches it’s a fairly neutral crowd.

Obviously when you play against Roger or Rafa or Novak in different places they have huge, huge fanbases and people may want them to win, but most of the time people just want to see a great match. They want to be entertained.

Murray ‘very happy’ with early progress

But when we’re playing at Wimbledon, pretty much all of the crowd want the Brits to win, and using that to your advantage and enjoying it and embracing it can really make the difference.

It always feels a little bit different out on Centre Court, not just because of the crowd but also the history there.

You can tell how much they want you to win because they live every point from the very first game, often groaning or sighing when you make a mistake. You need to try and block that out for sure, but then it’s part of the Centre Court experience.

Maybe the first few times it can be frustrating to hear that, or you can worry a little bit, but now I know exactly what to expect when I go out on that court.

Jo is top 10 in the world, she’s British and looking to get into the second week for the first time here.

She will play more and more matches on that court and hopefully over time become more and more comfortable. Wednesday’s match will have done her a lot of good, that’s for sure.

‘Fabio can be a little different out there’

Fognini is through to the third round at Wimbledon for the third time in nine visits

Fabio Fognini is one player who does let his feelings show on court.

I expect a really serious test when we play on Friday because he’s good off both forehand and backhand, and can hit a lot of winners. This will be our first meeting on grass, so we’ll see how that changes things.

We’re the same age and we grew up playing each other pretty much since we were 12, so I’ve known Fabio a long time as well as his family, because his dad, mum and sister have come to a lot of tournaments over the years.

On the court he can sometimes be a little bit different out there and show his emotions a lot – but then so can I.

Despite the extrovert competitor you see on court, he’s nice and friendly off it and I’ve always got on well with him. I’m looking forward to seeing him out on Centre Court.

Andy Murray was talking to BBC Sport’s Piers Newbery

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