Andy Murray revealed he sought inspiration for the biggest home tie in his Davis Cup career by visiting the home of Scottish football.
Murray took time out of his preparation for the World Group encounter with the United States to take a tour of Hampden Park.
He admits he will be nervous when he turns out in front of his home crowd on Friday, Saturday and Sunday at the Emirates Arena, and his trip to a more established Scottish sporting venue helped him reflect on the encounter to come.
Murray said: “I just went and had a little walk around and saw the locker rooms and changing areas and went on to the pitch, which was nice.”
The Emirates Arena will only hold about a seventh of Hampden’s 50,000 capacity but Murray expects the crowd to play a significant role in the first-round encounter.
“For all of us as a team, getting to play in front of a crowd like this is a great feeling,” said the world No 5.
“I would say that’s the nicest thing about the Davis Cup, when you get a home tie you get the whole crowd behind you.
“It’s not like that at the tournaments we play throughout the rest of the year.
“To have a crowd turning up just to support you is fantastic, and I’m sure the whole team will respond.”
Murray joked that James Ward was “piling the pressure on” when his fellow singles player stated that the Australian Open finalist would be a clear favourite in his games, but he later appeared relaxed over the prospect of meeting expectations.
“I have always viewed nerves as a very positive thing,” the 27-year-old said. “When you actually learn what nerves are and why they come, it’s positive to feel nervous.”
Murray gave short shrift to questions on the effect his support for Scottish independence in last year’s referendum would have on his commitment to the Great Britain team, having explained his decision to come out in support a Yes vote.
“Well, I guess we’ll see at the weekend,” he said before coach Leon Smith moved the topic back to tennis.
Murray helped Britain to a 3-1 victory over the US in San Diego at the same stage last year, before losing to Italy in the quarter-finals.
But the visitors have top singles player John Isner back after an ankle injury and Murray goes into the weekend slightly out of sorts after two quarter-final defeats since his collapse against Novak Djokovic in the Melbourne final.
Murray admitted he had missed the influence of coach Amelie Mauresmo, who was occupied with France Fed Cup duties when Murray lost to Gilles Simon and then Croatian teenager Borna Coric in Rotterdam and Dubai, respectively.
He said: “After the Aussie Open I spent the next three or four weeks with no coach and I feel that’s something I obviously need to get sorted so that when I get to the clay court season I am not in that position, because I feel like there are some things I need to work on all the time and when I don’t have somewhere there it’s harder to do that.
“That’s high on my list of priorities.”