Sunday January 16, 2011
Andy Murray's pre-tournament interview at the Australian Open 2011
MELBOURNE, Australia--(LadyDragon.com)16/01/11--Andy Murray's pre-tournament interview at the Australian Open 2011.
Q. How is the training going? You in as good of a spot as you were last year?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, you never know how you're going to feel once the tournament starts. But trained well in Miami. Then last week or so I think has been quite tough for everyone because of the weather.
But, you know, we've managed to get some decent practice indoors and practice outside the last couple of days. The court plays very different outside.
But, no, it's been good, a good month and a half.
Q. What's the difference with the court speed compared to when the roof is shut?
ANDY MURRAY: The ball moves a lot quicker. Obviously, every court here is going to feel slightly different pace wise. I think Laver is perhaps a little slower. I practiced on the Margaret Court one today, which felt pretty quick.
But I think when the roof's on, it definitely slows the ball down. I played, you know, my first round I remember against Kevin Anderson, who hadn't been broken the whole time through qualifying. I played him the first round. The ball just wasn't going anywhere, which worked to my advantage.
It's definitely quicker when the roof's open.
Q. What do you know about Karol Beck?
ANDY MURRAY: He's been around a long time. I think he plays like a lot of the Slovak, Czech players: very flat hitter of the ball. He's talented. He's been a very good player in the past.
He had some problems off the court a few years ago. But, you know, he's obviously got a lot of experience. So it will be a tough match.
Q. You never played him. Have you spoken to anyone that has?
ANDY MURRAY: No. But I've seen him play quite a bit. I haven't spoken to anyone that played against him. I never practiced with him either.
It will be, yeah, one of those matches where you don't really know your opponent particularly well. Have to work a few things out once you're on the court.
Q. How do you feel you're an improved player compared to this time last year?
ANDY MURRAY: Experience obviously helps. I played quite a lot of big matches last year. I went through some very tough patches last year, as well, especially after the Aussie Open. That was something I had to come back from and I learned from. So I think mentally, you know, I'm probably in a better place. Physically I've worked hard again, so physically I should be good.
In terms of my game, I work on things a lot in practice, things that are hopefully going to improve my game. Then you just need to go out there and try to put them into the matches when you get the chance to, so...
Q. Do you feel this is a place where you're going to have that win?
ANDY MURRAY: I have no idea. I don't think any of the players do. I'm focusing on my first match. Got a tough opponent in the first round. You know, that's what I'm focusing on just now: trying to win my first match.
Q. What's the main emotion coming back here? Is it having played so well last year or having got so close?
ANDY MURRAY: It's a little bit of both. I mean, you know, I have very good memories from here. I have some bad ones, as well. I've had a couple of very tough losses here in the past. Obviously last year I played some of the best tennis of my life throughout the tournament.
But I do always enjoy playing here. I think it's a very fun place for all the players to come. Everything's incredibly easy. I always enjoy coming back. We're staying the same place as we stayed last year. Everyone enjoys it.
So, yeah, it's kind of mixed emotions.
Q. Because of its place in the calendar, is it the most difficult Grand Slam to get a sense beforehand of how you feel you're going to perform?
ANDY MURRAY: You have to trust the training that you've done and believe in it. That will get rid of some of the doubts.
But, yeah, you won't really have played a big, big match for, you know, quite a long time. No one's played that many matches. The conditions are very different here to what we were playing right at the end of the year in the indoor tournaments.
Yeah, no one ever really knows exactly how you're going to play. There's always been a few guys getting deep into the tournament normally that haven't done that well at slams in the past. You just have to, you know, try and focus on every match and not get too far ahead of yourself 'cause you're probably not going to play your best right at the beginning.
Q. Would we be wrong to interpret the fact that you're practicing so much with Novak for the two of you to get that little bit up to Roger and Rafa?
ANDY MURRAY: I used to practice with Novak a lot, as well. A lot of it is depending on tournaments that you're playing and stuff, if you're around at the same tournaments.
But, no, I've said it quite a few times. You practice with one of the other guys that are ranked high, especially when the weather's been bad, it's a lot easier to get practice courts. You get, yeah, kind of priority, and that helps.
I haven't practiced with Novak to try to beat Roger and Rafa, but he's obviously a great person to practice with because he's, you know, No. 3 in the world, and an incredibly, incredibly tough player.
Q. With all due respect, you don't exactly come from a place that's a stronghold of the game. Are you a cricket fan?
ANDY MURRAY: I never played it when I was growing up in school or anything. Cricket and rugby are two of the sports, two of the real British sports, that I haven't really followed that much. But I did watch the game last night.
I like Twenty 20 compared with test matches.
Q. Perhaps it's a bit too obvious, but did what happened in the Ashes, could that inspire you at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No, like I say, it wasn't something that when we were over in Miami, we were training and stuff. It's not something you really watch or have sort of on on the TV.
It's obviously a great achievement. I think the Aussies were ranked No. 1 in the world. So, you know, it's obviously a great achievement.
But, yeah, it's never been a sport that I've watched that much.
Q. Are you tempted to go tomorrow night?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I'll be in my hotel room. We don't actually know when we're playing yet. Could be first up on Monday. So, yeah, no plans.
Q. Are you pleased, after the talk of you falling to No. 5, then you get in the same quarter with Soderling, do you feel that sort of defused all that sort of speculation and is a nice place to be?
ANDY MURRAY: To be honest, I don't really care. Like last year, I was seeded 5 here and made it to the final. Been 4, lost in the third round of slams.
I don't think it really makes a whole lot of difference where you're seeded. You know, you have to play maybe one of the top guys maybe a round earlier.
But, no, all of those guys are incredibly difficult to beat. It wasn't something that I was worried about or thinking about when the draw was getting done.
Q. Was your Miami training the same sort of stuff as usual? Did you try anything new?
ANDY MURRAY: I did most of the same stuff. I did a lot of running on the track, running on the beach. Yeah, just the usual weights, core stuff, movement work on the court. Yeah, nothing too different to normal.
Q. Do you have any thoughts on who deserves to be favorite in the event?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I think Roger and Rafa are the two guys that have played the best in the slams the last few years. So I'd probably say between those two, you know, they'd be the favorites.
But I think there's a lot of guys that can win against them if they play their best. It's going to be an interesting tournament.
Q. The running you do on the track, is it 200s...
ANDY MURRAY: We do 200s, 400s, 800s are the only distances we run.
Q. What is your worst and the best?
ANDY MURRAY: 400 repetitions are probably the most painful 'cause you've got to run pretty quick. But it also is, you know, a long enough distance, it starts hurting a lot towards the end.
800s are quite tough on the legs, but you're not running as fast. I don't mind that too much.
200 is probably the least painful one, I would say. But 400s I don't like. But that's the distance that I'm good at running. Kind of not ideal (smiling).
Q. In his online blog today, Nick Bollettieri has suggested you might be changing your management company.
ANDY MURRAY: I got told about it just before I went in. And, yeah, it was news to me. So, yeah, I don't really know where that came from. I've definitely got a contract for a couple more years before I'd have those remarks come up.
Q. He doesn't pick you in the tournament either.
ANDY MURRAY: I always get on quite well with Nick. And when I see him, he'll probably tell me that he thinks I'll win, so...
Yeah, I don't know. Have to wait and see.
Q. Do you have a view on the question of, if Rafa wins here, whether you should call it a Grand Slam? Do you think it not being in the calendar year in any way belittles the achievement?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think it does at all. Really, yeah, I don't think it does. If you hold all four of them, I think it's one of the greatest achievements I think almost in sport.
You know, I think now, because of the depth in the game and because you have to win seven matches against, you know, always different players, a different day. You turn up and play a bad match, because of depth you can lose.
To me, I think if you hold all four Grand Slams, it's one of the best achievements in sport. And I really hope he doesn't do it (smiling).