Andy Murray Interview - Wimbledon, June 20Posted on June 20, 2009
Q. Can we ask your reaction to Rafa's withdrawal from the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's obviously a shame. You know, I think over the last couple of days it was kind of expected. Sounded like he was struggling in the matches that he played.
But obviously, you know, always disappointing if someone like him, you know, pulls out of, you know, Wimbledon especially when he was the defending champion.
You know, I'm sure everyone would have liked to have seen him here. You know, I enjoy watching him play. He's my favorite player to watch, so I'm sure the fans and stuff that wanted to come to see him will all be disappointed. But he's got to do what's best for him.
Q. Would you have liked to have the opportunity to get revenge for last year here, or do you see it more of an opportunity for yourself now?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I mean, if I got to that stage. I mean, I would have had to have won five matches before I would have had to play him, so I wasn't thinking about playing Nadal at all. If that opportunity came, then I'd obviously look forward to it any time I play him. It's a great challenge.
He's one of the best players ever. So, you know, always nice to play against him. But I definitely wasn't thinking about that.
Q. Can you tell us what your practices have been like this week, what you've been doing.
ANDY MURRAY: I took yesterday off. Played some golf. Did some go karting. Didn't hit at all yesterday. I trained hard Tuesday to Thursday, and then today I practiced for an hour this morning.
I'm practicing again at 4:00. And then, yeah, because I'm playing on Tuesday, so practice a little bit longer tomorrow, probably the same as today, and then on Monday I'll practice for an hour. But nothing too heavy the next few days.
Q. Any crashes on the go kart track?
ANDY MURRAY: No, no, none (smiling). None. Just winning. That was it (laughter).
Q. You mentioned Rafa is your favorite player to watch. When you watch Roger, what strikes you most? What do you appreciate most about his play?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, well, he never looks rushed. You know, he's got very good anticipation. You know, he doesn't have any sort of jerky bits in any of his strokes. He's a very smooth player to watch. You know, that's what I like about his game.
Q. What perspective do you have on him tying Sampras' record for majors and going to break it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it's obviously it's pretty special what he's managed to do. I mean, you know, I think there's a great chance that he's gonna pass 14 slams now. I'd be surprised if he didn't.
You know, it's one of the best achievements in sport, I think, of all time. You know, there's also the thing for me that's incredible right now is that he's obviously won all four majors. You know, he's won 14, and you've got Rafa who has won three and has a chance of getting the four as well.
So if you've got two guys playing at the same time, it shows how good a place tennis is in, if you've got two guys that are, you know, have won all four of the slams, which Rafa's got a great chance of doing in his career.
Q. Do you enter the tournament considering yourself a championship contender? Is your view of your chances different this year than, say, a year ago?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel like I'm better equipped to win a Grand Slam this year than I was last year. Uhm, and, yeah, I think I have a chance of winning, but I understand how difficult that is to do. You know, it's very easy to, you know, sort of say, Oh, Rafa's not playing, you know, Andy's got, you know, a much easier route to the final.
I don't view it like that at all. You just focus, you know, on each match at a time, the first one, and try and win one best of five set match every couple of days and not get ahead of yourself.
I feel like I've got a chance, but I'll have to play great to do it.
Q. In terms of maybe changing your own expectations, how big a role did your US Open final play and your championship at Queen's Club play?
ANDY MURRAY: The US Open was much bigger than winning at Queen's just because it's the first time I'd play seven matches in the two weeks. It's the first time I'd been the whole way in a Grand Slam. I played a lot of tennis that tournament. I had a few long matches early in the tournament and had to deal with things I'd never been through before, sort of rain delays, and semis switching courts.
You know, it's the first time I'd beaten the No. 1 in the world in a slam, and that gave me a lot of confidence, knowing that physically I was able to, you know, get to the final match of a slam. You know, it's just a matter of playing your best tennis when you get there, which I didn't necessarily do in the final there. But I'll definitely have learnt more from that than at Queen's.
Q. Last year you were, I think, the 12th seed and you weren't necessarily one of the favorites to win. You beat Gasquet in the fourth round, and obviously got to the quarters. Was that a defining moment in your career? Because obviously you've kicked on after that and have shot up the rankings.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, for me it was a great match, that one, to be involved in. But, you know, it wasn't I mean, you could say I kicked on a lot after that, but I lost to Nadal comfortably the next round. Actually went away for like three or four weeks after that and trained really, really hard over in the States, down in Miami in really warm conditions, because I realized that, you know, I was in good shape then.
But I lost to someone like Rafa, who's probably one of the best athletes to ever play tennis. You know, I need to improve that side of my game. It was, yeah, after Wimbledon I pushed on. I just learnt a lot from the loss to Rafa. I realized I needed to get fitter and stronger. I went away and worked on it.
Q. You've coped with Murray Mania before. Are you ready for how intense it could get over the next two weeks, given the fact that you and everybody think you have a really good chance of actually winning the tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, because you can either deal with that stuff or you can't. I think that, you know, I don't get caught up in the whole, you know, hype thing, getting involved in, you know, reading all the papers, listening to what everyone else is saying. Because at the end of the day, it makes no difference if, you know, some guy thinks I can win the tournament or, you know, whatever. You know, the guys that I work with and myself, it's important what they think about my game and how we approach all of the matches.
But I think I can deal with it, yeah. But, you know, it's just making sure you stay away from, you know all just not letting yourself get distracted is the most important thing. I think I've got the right people around me to stop me from doing that.
Q. When you were a kid following Tim, what did you feel when you were watching him play matches here and the crowd was involved, people had their hopes up for him?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it was great. I mean, I did watch quite a few of his matches the last few years of his career. You know, support was great. I mean, I think anytime you can play in front of a home crowd in any sport, you know, is a huge advantage.
I think, you know, a lot of people try and say that playing here at Wimbledon that it's not, but I don't understand why, you know, in football and in basketball, whatever, home court or playing a home match is a huge advantage.
I view tennis as being the same thing. You've got 15,000 people behind you. Tim, I'm sure, played some of the best tennis of his career here. I think the crowd has something to do with that.
Q. Have you any advice for Laura Robson playing in her first main draw here?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, I mean, I think well, obviously, first is to enjoy it and not put too much pressure on herself to perform well, because, you know, she's probably not going to win the tournament this year.
She should try and learn as much as she can from that and go into obviously the matches believing she can win. But, you know, try and learn as much as possible from it. You know, she's going to be a great player anyway, regardless of what happens this year, so she might as well go out and enjoy herself.
You know, she's probably going to play on a big court. You know, it's not often you get a chance to do that when you're her age.
Q. Your first match is against Robby Kendrick, who took Rafa to five sets here once. You beat him 6 Love, 6 Love last time you played. Any chance of underestimating him, perhaps?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Like I said, I'm focusing totally on the first round; not looking past him at all. He's a tough grass court player. He obviously proved that, you know, when he had when he nearly beat Nadal here.
He has a big game. Plays very aggressive and takes a lot of chances. So, no, no chance of me underestimating him.
Q. Have you had a conversation with Tim Henman about being the British man here at Wimbledon and the expectations? Did he ever offer you any advice about that?
ANDY MURRAY: I've spoken to him about other things. But, you know, if I wanted to, yeah, he'd be there to give me the advice. I speak to him on the phone a few times a month.
But I think this period of the year, he's obviously dealt with it, and dealt with it very well. But I think it's a very individual thing. I don't think that, you know, what one person you don't kind of not every person does the same thing in these situations.
You know, I think that you just have to learn what works for you best. I haven't discussed it with him, and I probably never, never will.
Q. You obviously probably watched last year's final. Very unlikely to have a final that's that good again. What were your feelings as you were watching that match?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I watched I came and watched it. I watched the first I watched up until the first rain break on the court, and then I went home and watched it.
I mean, I think, obviously, it was the Wimbledon final, and the ups and downs of the match, the rain breaks and stuff made it, you know, incredible. I think Roger and Rafa have probably played better tennis.
But because of the situation and everything that went on, you know, yeah, probably was the best match, if not one of the best matches ever.
I just enjoyed it. You know, sometimes, you know, I was saying a few days ago that I watched sometimes you watch tennis to try to pick things up from the players, things they're good at, tactics maybe when you play against them, and sometimes you just watch to enjoy the tennis.
I watched it and enjoyed the match. They're both great players. The match was pretty incredible.
Q. You said once you probably have more chance and prefer to win the US Open. Given your position right now, is that still the case? Now being elevated to the second seed, does that actually put more pressure on you, or do you feel this is an amazing opportunity to actually win your first Grand Slam?
ANDY MURRAY: The hard courts I think are my best surface, and they always have been since I was young. The difference between the US Open and here, obviously the surface is different, but less guys play well on grass.
So, therefore, a lot of the guys, you know, the Spanish players and the South American players, don't feel that comfortable on the grass; therefore, there's less guys that you might feel there's a chance you could lose the match against here, whereas at the US Open, obviously, you know, those guys still play very well on the hard courts.
I'd obviously love to win here. I enjoy playing on grass. You know, I love playing at Wimbledon. Like I said, I feel like I'm ready to win a Grand Slam now, whereas last year I might not have been. But I understand how difficult it is. It's not an easy thing to do.
You know, Federer's made the last six finals of Wimbledon, you know. He's obviously the big favorite going into the tournament. I've never won a Grand Slam before. I think I've got a chance of doing it here.
But, like I said earlier, I need to play my best tennis ever to do it. It's not like it's gonna come easily. Slams don't come easily, and I'm sure the guys that have won them will tell you that. I understand how big a challenge it is.
Q. How significant would it be for British tennis if you were to succeed, winning Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I mean, it obviously would be I mean, I'm sure it would be huge, huge news for quite a few weeks and stuff. But, you know, I don't know. You never know until those things happen. It's been such a long time, and people have been waiting for it for well, forever now.
I'm sure it would make a difference, but I don't know how big or what changes would be made to British tennis. But I'm sure it would be big.