Newly minted Grand Slam winner Andy Murray met the press in Australia where he’s twice finish runner-up.
Q. Has anything changed since last year?
ANDY MURRAY: Anything changed?
ANDY MURRAY: In what respect?
Q. In the global tennis way.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously last year was by far my best year on the court. You know, I had my first Wimbledon final, the Olympics was obviously a great experience, then my first Grand Slam after that.
So, I mean, obviously it was aided as well by Rafa not playing. But I finished with my highest ranking that I ever finished before. So there were a lot of firsts for me last year, and that’s pretty important.
I was always saying, once you get to sort of your mid 20s, and I’d been around the same ranking for a few years, it’s important to try and find things to improve on and do things that, you know, you’ve never done or things you haven’t achieved before.
So that was obviously great to have been able to have done those things. And I’ll try and build on that this year.
Q. Does it feel like there’s a monkey off your back as a Grand Slam winner?
ANDY MURRAY: I think for most tournaments, yeah, it feels that way. Not just Grand Slams. You know, I kind of maybe always felt like I was having to prove something every time I went on the court, you know, ’cause I hadn’t won a slam. You know, even when you win a Masters Series, people still asked me always about the slams.
So it’s nice just to kind of not have to worry about that anymore. I think it will help me throughout the rest of the year, as well, on the tour ’cause I just won’t be worrying and thinking about the slams all the time, I can focus on all of the events that I’m entered in.
Q. You’ve been quoted several times as saying you never felt quite so relaxed coming into a Grand Slam. Could that relaxation almost have a negative effect? Do you need to be more revved up?
ANDY MURRAY: I’m very revved up. That’s not the issue. I didn’t at any stage say that I was ‘very relaxed.’ I feel more relaxed than I have done the week before a slam. In the past I think that’s going to kind of be natural. I felt that way after the US Open and most of the tournaments I played between then and the end of the year.
But, yeah, I mean, I didn’t work hard in Miami, you know, in the off season to come in and just not be focused or too relaxed or anything like that. I mean, I didn’t train over there for four weeks to come here and put in a really bad performance.
So, you know, I plan on playing well here.
Q. One statistic that people have mentioned is that the first time Grand Slam winners, in the open era, no first time Grand Slam winner has gone on to win their next Grand Slam. Is that something you’re aware of? Have you thought about it? Have you thought how you might deal with that?
ANDY MURRAY: I wasn’t aware of it. But, like I’ve been saying the last couple of weeks, I have no idea how I’m going to play here. I have no idea how I’m going to feel when I go on the court.
I said I feel more relaxed. But I don’t know the day when I play my first match, I could be unbelievably nervous. I don’t know what effect it will have on me until I’m put in that situation.
But I also know, you know, how hard these events are a to win. If I don’t win the Australian Open, I don’t think it will be down to having won the US Open. It’s down to the level of competition and how tough it is to win these events rather than what happened, you know, four or five months ago.
Q. Is there a little sense of unfinished business here, frustration maybe of last year’s semifinal against Novak, and the two previous finals as well?
ANDY MURRAY: Obviously I want to try to take the extra step but in all of the Grand Slams, if I can. I mean, I learnt a lot from last year’s semifinal. It was a very important match for me in the context of my year. It was very important. You know, I’m not frustrated that I got over that loss a lot quicker than I had some of my previous slam losses.
I felt like I played well. There was something I could really take away from it. And, yeah, that’s why I was disappointed obviously, but it wasn’t frustration.
Q. You said you learnt a lot. What else did you learn from that semifinal?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I could go through a huge list of things I learnt.
Q. How about four.
ANDY MURRAY: It was my first tournament obviously with Ivan. We chatted a lot before the match with Novak. When I sat down with him a month beforehand, a month and a half beforehand, you know, we discussed those sort of matches, how I was going to play and perform against guys like Novak, Roger and Rafa, tactics, how I was going to go about the match. I learnt to win those matches, I have to go out and do what I did that day.
I mean, you guys saw the match. I don’t need to go into huge detail about it. The way I went about the whole match was the right way. Even though I lost it, also the same thing happened at Wimbledon. I went about the match the right way. I was just a few points away from being a set and a break up. I felt that was the main thing that I learnt from it.
I was playing the right way in those matches. I was taking my chances. I wasn’t waiting for the guys to miss. I think that’s why those two matches in particular I got over a lot quicker than the previous slam final losses or slam semi losses.
Q. Do you feel your game is stronger now than it was 12 months ago?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it changes every year. There’s certain things that sometimes on the court you can feel great, sometimes you might not feel as quick as you would like, so you work more on your speed. Sometimes you may feel like you’re struggling in longer matches, so you work more on endurance.
You know, that’s the thing over the course of your career. I think you learn to make adjustments to the way you’re practicing or the way you’re training, you know, depending on how you’re feeling.
I mean, I feel good just now. I’ve been practicing well. I’ve been moving well in practice. Yeah, just changed a few things in training like we always do, make adjustments.
What I did in December this year will be different to what I do after Wimbledon this year. Depends on the period of the year and what you’re trying to get out of it.
Q. Do you sense the rivalry with Novak is going to build over the next 12 months?
ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. I mean, I know, like I said, how hard it is to compete at this level and how tough it is to play well in the slams and give yourself a chance to play against those players.
Not worth making any predictions about rivalries or whatever. But, you know, when I do play against him, it’s a match I enjoy. They’re incredibly tough, physical matches. We played quite a few good ones last year in some of the biggest events. If I get to play Novak here, that would mean it would be in the final. So obviously that’s what I would like to do.
But I know how hard it is to get to the latter stages of these events.
Q. I remember a few years ago now you and he played doubles together.
ANDY MURRAY: Had massive hair.
Q. You came into the interview room. He was quite taken aback by the interest because the Serbian press didn’t travel as much as us. You were both sort of matey together. What is the mood like now that you’ve played the big ones together?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, we get on well. Never in any matches have I had any problems with him, in practice. We’ve never had any issues with each other in the whole time we’ve been on the tour.
I know you see it in boxing. You find it amazing that after watching guys, you know, punch each other for 12 rounds, they hug each other at the end, they have more respect for each other after that.
I think after the matches we’ve played over the last year or so, you know, they have been incredibly physical, they’ve been tough. It has been pretty painful at times, some of the matches. But I think our respect for one another has probably grown over the last 18 months or so. But we never had any problems with each other.
Q. Can you not be as sociable with each other as you used to be?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I chat with him all the time and with his team when we see each other. I don’t really speak to him about tennis really ever, which I think is kind of normal. I wouldn’t ask him like how he feels he’s hitting his forehand or anything like that (smiling). I discuss other things with him.
That’s the one thing, we probably wouldn’t talk about tennis much.
Q. What do you think about the match against Robin Haase?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, tough match. I mean, he’s a very good player. He’s very talented. I had a tough match with him at the US Open a few years ago. He likes playing on big courts. You know, he tends to come out firing and going for big shots, playing extremely aggressive. So, you know, I’ll need to be prepared for that.
Yeah, like I say, when I did play him at the US Open a few years ago, it was a very, very tough match. I expect the same thing here.
Q. Do you remember the other time you played against him?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I played him in Rotterdam, I mean, I don’t know what year it was, but it was five, six years ago probably. Yeah, like I say, it’s a tough match for me. I’ll need to be ready.
Q. Jamie Baker is on court. I think he took a lot from what you did together in Miami.
ANDY MURRAY: You’ll have to ask him about that. He trained well and worked hard, like always. I saw he won the first set of his match against Donald. I mean, I hope he can pull through.
Q. How much of an achievement would it be for Jamie to qualify in?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it would be great. It would be great for him. You know, he’s probably one of the lowest ranked guys in the quallies, as well. Donald has been a very, very good player. So if he can come through against him, that will give him a lot of confidence.
And also Ward has done well, too. I saw he was down a break. It would be nice to see a few guys in the main draw.
Q. (Indiscernible) the week for his determination to return to the game. Can you talk about how much you admire his spirit in confronting this illness?
ANDY MURRAY: I don’t want to go into too much. That’s something for him to talk about. I speak to him a lot. He’s one of my closest friends. He’s obviously going through a tough time just now. I think everyone needs to try and respect that. He needs all the support he can get.
I’ve been passing it on to him, but everyone on the tour from stringers, coaches, players, everyone’s right behind him and extremely supportive. That’s what he needs.
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