An interview with: ANDY MURRAY
August 26, 2012Q. Congratulations on winning the Olympics, the gold medal. Do you carry it with you here to the States?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I didn't bring it with me. It's at home.
Q. Any special place at home that you keep it?
ANDY MURRAY: No. Well, I mean, I left pretty much the day after the final, so, no, I didn't have time to put it anywhere special yet. I will do it when I get home.
Q. Do you feel reaching the finals at Wimbledon and winning the Olympics has lifted some sort of burden for you?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I don't know. Obviously winning the Olympics was the biggest win of my career, that's for sure. It meant a lot to me. The Wimbledon final, I mean, that's the first time I have been there. I was happy with the way I played.
It was obviously disappointing, a tough one to take for a few days afterwards, but I don't know. I mean, I feel confident in myself just now. That's what's important.
Q. Do you feel more confident coming into this than you ever have before?
ANDY MURRAY: I get asked that before every slam. Am I more confident? You never know what's going to happen when you get out there on the court. I prepared well. I trained hard the last five, six days, so I'm ready to go.
Q. The momentum you get from Wimbledon and the Olympics, is that something you can carry with you?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I mean, a week in sport can be quite a long time. There has been a number of weeks since Wimbledon and a number of weeks since the Olympics as well, so I don't know I mean, the one thing it has given me is a bit more confidence probably.
But I needed to make sure that afterwards, you know, I worked hard. That's the most important thing. Whether you're confident or not confident, providing you work hard and you do all the right things in training, then you'll get a good result.
That was the most important thing, to make sure I kept my feet on the ground and keep working hard and try to improve.
Q. You usually come here after good results in Canada and Cincinnati. What sort of effect will this year's results have on the next fortnight?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't really play much in Toronto, so, you know, to be honest, I do not think it's going to have much bearing at all. I have had enough practice. Now, like going into Toronto and Cincinnati I had no practice on the hard courts, really, you know. After Toronto I had to take a few days off, as well.
So, you know, in some ways it was good. I got a few matches in probably, but, you know, I played some of my best tennis in Australia when I have not really gone in there really playing that many competitive matches beforehand, you know.
So long as I have trained well and practiced well, that's what gives me the most confidence. I went into Wimbledon this year having lost in the first round of Queen's. That was meant to be a horrible preparation, but Wimbledon worked out fine. So there's no reason why that can't happen here.
Q. You say you have been training hard. How is your knee doing? Any hangover from the knee problem?
ANDY MURRAY: No, it's been fine. It was fine pretty much in Cincinnati. I felt like I was actually moving okay there.
But, no, I mean, I took two, three days off after Cincinnati, as well. We came to New York and just took a couple of days away from the guys and just spent a couple of days on my own just relaxing. Then started training again on Sunday night. I started training. I have had no problems with it this week at all.
Q. The US Open can be very overwhelming, the crowds and a lot of distractions. How do you keep your focus during an event like the US Open?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it can be challenging. It is very different. A lot of the Grand Slam well, the other Grand Slams it can be very different. Staying in a quieter hotel than usual this time and just trying to make sure I don't spend too much time around the courts, because it can be very busy, quite loud at the courts, especially the first week.
So just trying to get out of here as quickly as possible and just relax in the evenings, and not, you know, spend too much time out and about. That's the key for me, anyway.
Q. How does the elation of winning something as big as a gold medal manifest itself three or four weeks after the event? Do you still wake up in the morning and think, Whoa, I'm an Olympic champion? Or do you stow it away and start on with the next one?
ANDY MURRAY: It was definitely like that for a good week, ten days afterwards. After Wimbledon, like four days after Wimbledon I dreamt I won Wimbledon, and I woke up in the morning and I was just starting to feel better. (Laughter.) That didn't help.
Then a few days after the Olympics, I dreamt that I lost in the final of the Olympics. Obviously waking up remembering that I had won was nice. That was when I was in Toronto.
So I mean, yeah, you think about it a lot. But the thing with tennis I think especially is of course we have tournaments and things to look forward to in the not too distant future. Once you start getting on the match court again, you start to you never forget about it, but that feeling is a bit different.
You're nervous going into matches and preparing for events. That takes your mind off what happened a few weeks ago.
Q. Were you able to stay connected at all to the second week of the Olympics when you were away?
ANDY MURRAY: I actually got to see very little of it, unfortunately. I would have liked to have stayed and watched some of the other sports and just to have been home. To have been around my friends and family obviously after a week like that it would have been nice.
But it wasn't to be. Yeah, I didn't really get to see that much of the second week.
Q. A lot has been written over the years of having the hopes of a nation on your shoulders. Here in this country the perception is we don't have anybody to put any hopes in. Are there any men on the American side that actually think having a shot at winning the hardware this year?
ANDY MURRAY: The last few years a lot of the same guys have won the slams and been in the last few stages of the slams, especially the last few years. I mean, pretty much all of the American players are very dangerous because of their game style.
You know, Mardy and Andy obviously are two of the older ones with experience and have big serves. When they play well, they can be very, very tough to play against.
And then Isner, he just won the tournament in Winston Salem. Querrey was in the semis there. He's had a very good summer. Winning it is incredibly tough. I know that. I know how hard it is to win.
But those guys have big games, and if they can string it together for a few matches, then they can get themselves deep in the event. Then anything can happen.
Q. What sort of void is there without Rafa here?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think tennis misses him, that's for sure. But I still think the tournament will do well. You know, I'm sure the crowds will still be very good. Tennis I think is in a very good place just now.
But, yeah, I think tournaments definitely miss him because he brings something different to a lot of the players on the tour in terms of his character and his personality and the way he is on the court. The energy he brings to the match court is incredible.
So tennis will definitely, definitely miss him while he's not playing.
Q. You talked about the same guys making the latter stages of all big tournaments lately. For the first time in a long time you're on the same half as Federer. Obviously there is a lot of rounds to go before you meet him, but does it feel different for you at all?
ANDY MURRAY: It doesn't feel different, really. Feels the same as any other slam to me. I mean, going into the slams over the last couple of years either been drawn in Rafa's half or Roger's half, and then last year it was either Rafa or Novak. In Australia this year I was drawn in Novak's half, and that makes very little difference to me.
Q. Just out of curiosity, have you had any dreams about the US Open lately?
ANDY MURRAY: Not yet, not yet, but I'll keep you posted. (Laughter.)
Q. You mentioned you were in a quieter calmer, hotel. I know Ivan talks about staying calm in big tournaments. Has that been influenced by him at all?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I have stayed in a lot of different hotels over the seven years or so I have been playing here. Yeah, I think I just decided to go for something a bit different.
I mean, a lot of the slams I have tried, especially the last few years, to stay somewhere where it's a little bit quieter just because that's what I like. When I have played well at Wimbledon I've stayed at home, and it's normally fairly quiet where I live. I like that.
I like just being able to get back to the room and just be able to chill out. Obviously New York can be very, very noisy if you're staying right in the middle of Manhattan. That's why I decided to change this year.
Q. When you were a bit younger you used to get a bit of a kick walking around the streets of Manhattan. Can you still do that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I still do it. When I had the few days off I still go out and walk around a bit, do shopping, that sort of stuff.
But, yeah, just when it gets closer and closer to the tournament I try and stay, you know, away from the streets and just in my own little bubble, I guess.
Then, yeah, when the tournament finishes that changes. I still love coming here to visit. It's such a fun place to come.
Q. When you have any of those walks, do people say, Look, who that is there?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think probably more this year than I have had in the past, that's for sure.
Q. As you know, Kim Clijsters has spoken at Wimbledon eloquently about the pressures you've faced. When you think of Kim and consider the fact that she says this is her last major, what do you think Kim's legacy is?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it depends. As a person, which is often it is much more important than the tennis. I mean, she's a lovely person. I don't know her incredibly well, but every time I have seen her or been around her she's been a lot of fun. She's very polite, you know. She obviously loves her kids and her family.
Then as a player, I mean, great competitor, you know, I think she obviously had early in her career a lot of tough losses. She was competing against Henin a lot, and a lot of pressure came with that.
She lost a lot of tough matches to Henin. Then she managed to turn that around after doing what she did taking a break from the game. To come back to win a slam or couple of slams is pretty incredible to do what she's done.
I'm sure she will be remembered as one of the best players that played over the last 15, 20 years, and also one of the best people.