Andy Murray came out like the thunderbolt Tuesday thumping former Top 5 Nikolay Davydenko 61, 61, 75. The three-time Wimbledon semifinalist said after that he’s done with the outside tabloid distractions to focus on his tennis.
Murray, who’s under the microscope in Britain this time of year, is also battling a bad bad. And of his post-match gesture, that stays private.
Murray will play the dangerous Ivo Karlovic on Thursday.
Here’s what Murray said afterward:
Q. What is the gesture you did in celebration?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it’s something for me and the guys that I work with. I don’t really want to go into too much detail because I’ll end up getting asked about it every single day.
Q. Nothing to do with pointing to heaven and God, is it?
ANDY MURRAY: Whether it is or not, I’m not going to tell anyone.
Q. It was a helluva start, that quality of tennis.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it was a good start, and I knew obviously when I drew him I was going to need to start the tournament well, playing good tennis. Yeah, I mean, I struck the ball well. It’s been a long couple of weeks since Queen’s. Yeah, obviously with the rain and stuff today, there was a chance might have to play under the roof or there might be some stop/starting. So once I got ahead, I really tried to keep it up; did a good job.
Q. A combination of the slice and then going to the forehand as well, is causing all kinds of problems, isn’t it?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it worked well. He hasn’t had his best results on this surface. Normally that can be down to things like the ball jumps off the surface differently from a slice so I used to that mix it up and flatten the ball out when I had a chance to take his time away. Yeah, I did that well throughout. The slice worked well.
Q. Is it one of those days where since the moment you walked out on court, you looked like you were comfortable in your own skin.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, like I say, it was a long couple of weeks with, you know, a lot of time on the practice court, a lot of talk about various things. I just wanted to go and play. I wanted to play tennis, that was it. I played well. Like I say, once I got ahead of him, I wanted to make sure I didn’t let him back in. You know, he’s very, very dangerous. He’s a very good returner as well. I needed to stay concentrated on my serve, and I did it well.
Q. Immediately after the match, there’s been a lot of talk in the buildup to this tournament. Is there a part of you that likes proving something to people who maybe doubt you?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Well, yeah, I mean, if someone doesn’t want to do well, then it’s nice to play well. Yeah, of course. I mean, every week going into Wimbledon, the week beforehand, there’s talk about all sorts of things. It’s not this one more than any other one. It’s just something where because I didn’t do well at Queen’s, it’s been a lot longer to get through all the practice days and the preparation, yeah, and all the other stuff that goes on the week before Wimbledon. Glad I played well.
Q. There was a sense of urgency brought on by the weather, trying to beat the rain or darkness.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I was just saying because there was a chance it might rain, and obviously there were a couple of delays during the day, you know, ideally you don’t want to be going from outdoors to indoors. You know, once I had the momentum I didn’t want it to stop because of the rain or having the roof on. I just wanted to try to get off the court, if I could, as quickly and efficiently as possible. I did it.
Q. Just wondered how much motivation you Drew from the quite cutting and scathing comments by some former and current players over the weekend. Your response to being called a drama queen, for example.
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, that happened a few weeks ago. I haven’t heard anything that has been said the last few days. I just wanted to go out there today, play well, keep my focus, and not worry about the other stuff that goes on off the court around this time of the year. I think I did a good job of that. Time to let the tennis do the talking.
Q. Such a convincing victory was a good way of silencing your few doubters.
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don’t think that today’s win stops that. I mean, the way that you, I guess, stop getting asked questions or have people doubting you is by playing tennis and winning tennis matches. That’s what I need to do the rest of the tournament.
Q. This summer would you rather win the Wimbledon or the Olympic medal?
ANDY MURRAY: I’d take either. Both are great for different reasons. Both tough to win. But I don’t know. Either would be good.
Q. Is it still special, Wimbledon?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it’s very special, a very special tournament, special court. So, yeah. I mean, I’m always motivated to play well here and do well. I always enjoy playing on the Centre Court.
Q. There’s now five in the second round. How delighted are you for James and the three girls to be there?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, anytime the Brits do well in slams it’s good for British tennis. Yeah, I saw a little bit of Jamie’s match, as well. Looked like he was playing well, holding his own against Roddick. It’s been a good tournament so far, and hopefully it continues.
Q. Comparing two and three years ago, do you think this time you’re coming to Wimbledon with less pressure? If yes, does it help you?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I think pressure’s always the same really for me, because I put the same pressure on myself each Grand Slam to play my best tennis. So it doesn’t change. I have more experience probably to deal with that pressure a bit better than I used to.
Q. What is your first conscious memory of the player Ivan Lendl when you were a kid?
ANDY MURRAY: I never saw him play when I was a kid. I’ve only seen him play since I got older. That’s one of the good things about the Internet. I watched quite a lot of his matches on YouTube, clips of him playing. Yeah, he was obviously a great player, very ruthless, one of the best players that ever played. I’m glad to have him working with me.
Q. The Olympic wildcards were announced. Do you have an opinion on who should carry the flag, and is it something you would be interested in doing?
ANDY MURRAY: Carry the flag?
Q. In the opening ceremony.
ANDY MURRAY: That’s got nothing to do would the wildcards. I didn’t see the wildcards, so I don’t know. Yeah, I’ve not seen them. In terms of who should carry the flag, there’s many great Olympians. Yeah, I don’t really have an opinion on it. That’s for someone else to decide.
Q. What would be the difference for you playing Wimbledon and the Olympics on the same arena?
ANDY MURRAY: I can’t say really until I play. I mean, the motivation will still be the same. I mean, I think the atmosphere maybe will be a bit different I would have thought.
Q. In what way?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I just always think it might be a different crowd. I don’t know. I just think it might be a little bit different to when the tournament’s getting played. I just have that feeling.
Q. Looks like it’s going to be Ivo Karlovic next. A completely different match than today. Do you enjoy the challenge of facing someone like him on grass?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it’s a tough match. It’s very hard to get into a rhythm against someone like that. I mean, he’s made it very difficult for a lot of players over the last five, six years because he serves so well, makes you feel pretty uncomfortable on the court. So there’s going to be games where you might not even touch the ball where he’s serving, so you need to try and stay in the zone and not kind of lose focus on your service games. I’ll need to serve well against him.
Q. One of your great strengths is your returning. Do you look at the Karlovic match and think, Let’s see how the returns are at the moment?
ANDY MURRAY: It’s a bit different than, say if you’re playing someone six foot that serves well, that’s when you would normally see how well you’re returning. A lot kind of depends on the day when you’re playing a guy that’s 6’10″ because a lot of it’s just reaction. Sometimes you’ll see it; sometimes you’ll might pick a couple serves in a row; sometimes you won’t. I wouldn’t say it’s the best way to say whether somebody returns well or not, but certainly very challenging.
Q. For the sheer joy of going back and playing with some legend from past times, who would you choose to have an imaginary match against?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, pretty hard to pick one. I would have liked to have played against Sampras, Agassi. For me, I saw them playing when I was growing up. I know their game a little bit and have seen them play. I practiced with Agassi a few times and learnt a lot from that. Obviously watched Sampras play many times. For me, that would be a fun match. Like we were just saying with the return, that would be a guy you would see how well you actually return against because he had such a great serve.
Q. What did you learn from Andre?
ANDY MURRAY: Just from practicing with him, he’s incredibly intense. From what I saw, he didn’t spend loads of hours on the practice court. He spent slightly less amount of time on the practice court, but the time he did spend was incredibly intense. He went on there focused, did his job, got off, and got out of there. He didn’t spend too much time hanging around the courts, which is something I’ve learnt, because it can be quite tiring.
Q. How do you prepare for playing somebody as up in the air as Karlovic? If you’re going to play a lefty, you sort out a lefty to practice with. Do you get Danny to stand on a box or something?
ANDY MURRAY: Even when I’m not playing someone like Karlovic, when I’m practicing, I always had Danny or any of my coaches really stand and serve just from behind the service line just for the reaction and getting used to the ball coming from that height. Yeah, that’s something that’s really the only thing you can do. Then I would assume he’ll come into net a lot, so hit a lot of passing shots in practice tomorrow.
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