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June 22, 2014
THE MODERATOR:¬† It gives me great pleasure to introduce the current Wimbledon reigning men's singles champion, Andy Murray.
Who would like to start with the first question?
Q.¬† You may have heard there's a football tournament going on in Brazil at the moment, and England hasn't done very well.¬† How does it feel to have the hopes of a despondent nation on your shoulders?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Wow.¬† (Laughter.)
To be honest, I don't feel too much different than I did a few days ago.¬† I'm here to try and win the tournament.¬† That's it.¬† My focus is solely on the first match, preparing properly for that.
I trained hard the last ten days or so.¬† Preparation's gone well.¬† So it's now down to me to try and perform on the court.¬† That's what I need to do.
Q.¬† How do you look back on the pressures and your handling of them in the years leading up to you winning here last year?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Well, I think I handled them fairly well.¬† This has been my most consistent tournament throughout my career.¬† I haven't lost before the semis for the first few years.¬† I'd always played pretty good tennis here.
I maybe could have played a bit better in the latter stages of the event in some of the years.¬† But I feel in terms of handling the pressure, you know, there was a lot of it, and I think I did okay.
Last year the final was definitely the most pressure I'd felt in all the years I'd played here.¬† So, yeah, I managed to come through it.¬† I think that comes with age and experience.
Q.¬† You've achieved so many of your goals, and winning here, do you feel you can go out and enjoy it a bit more, or once you start playing, does it feel the same because you have the same ambition?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I think, you know, tomorrow when I sort of go out on the court, I need to enjoy that moment when I walk back on the court.
But as soon as I start playing the match, yeah, it's about trying to win.¬† And, yeah, I enjoy winning.¬† That's it.¬† I mean, you know, I don't really want to go out on the court tomorrow and enjoy playing and then lose.
I would rather, you know, enjoy a win, and that's what I'll try to do.¬† But it's time when I get on the court to start concentrating.¬† Not think about last year, concentrate on this year's tournament, and that's it.
Q.¬† Virginia Wade said she thought you were fooling around when you appointed Am√©lie Mauresmo.¬† Not sure what she would offer.¬† What is your reaction to that?¬† Can you give us any insight into what Am√©lie has done in the short time you've been working with her?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Well, it's a long list of things.¬† I think, first of all, you can talk about her accomplishments on the tennis court.¬† She won a lot.¬† She was No.1 in the world.¬† She won multiple Grand Slams.¬† She got to latter stages of slams very often.
I think she was someone who struggled with nerves and conquered them later in her career, which I think when you start to coach someone, I think you can help more than someone that hasn't had those issues before.
She understands the psychological part of the game maybe more than some because of that.
And in terms of what she's like, her game style, she had quite a creative game style.¬† She used a lot of spins, slices, she came to the net, good variety in her game.¬† That's something that I've always tried to use during my career.¬† So I think she can help with that.
And then in terms of what she's like as a person, she's a very, very nice person.¬† She's very easy to speak to.¬† She's very easy to communicate with.¬† She listens well.¬† She's firm, as well.
So there are the reasons why I wanted to give it a shot, and hopefully it will work out well.
Q.¬† Describe the feeling you have this year as a defender compared to last year before the tournament.
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I feel kind of similar.¬† I feel nervous, which is good.¬† I like that.¬† And, yeah, that's it.¬† I don't feel that different to last year.
I mean, I think, you know, if you win a tournament like this, I feel like you get the benefits, you feel the benefits later in the tournament because you know what it takes and you know how to handle the latter stages of a tournament like this.
But I think, you know, always when you come back to a Grand Slam, there's always nerves and pressure there before you start the event.¬† I feel fairly similar to last year.
Q.¬† There have been a few people who have questioned hiring a female coach.¬† There have been just as many, if not more, who have gotten excited about it, saying you're some sort of feminist icon for being a pioneer in that way, saying it's a good thing for equality in the world.¬† Just wondering how you feel about the flipside of that, if you're comfortable with that?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† The reason for working with Am√©lie was not for any of those reasons.¬† It was about finding the right personality with the right experience to help me.
I think she will help me.¬† I've really enjoyed the last ten days I spent on the court with her.¬† It's been great.
And, yeah, if it helps sort of bring more female coaches into men's sport and women's sport‑ there's not that many female coaches on the women's side either ‑ that's a good thing.
Because there's absolutely no reason why someone like Am√©lie can't help me.
It's possible it doesn't work.¬† It has nothing to do with whether she's a woman or not.¬† That's not why it will work or not work.¬† That's how I feel about it.
Q.¬† You pretty much always played well here.¬† You have to go back to 2008 to the last time you didn't make the semifinals.¬† Do you feel if got your A game then you've got a great chance of making it to the finals again and therefore of defending successfully?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Yeah, I think that's one of the reasons why I normally feel nervous before these events, is because I know to win or go far in the events you need to play great tennis.
And, yeah, when I understand that in my head I get the nerves.¬† I feel like I focus better on what I need to do.
So I believe if I play my best tennis, I'll give myself a chance of doing well here, you know, putting myself in a position to win the tournament.
But you can't start off slowly in these tournaments.¬† You need to try and be on it from the first match.¬† I'll be ready for tomorrow.
Q.¬† I don't know how much chance you've had to watch any of the World Cup, but were you pleased with England's performance and who would you support now?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I don't really understand the question.
Q.¬† Were you pleased with England's performance in the World Cup?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Why would I be pleased with their performance?
Q.¬† I'm just asking the question.
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I don't think they played too badly, to be honest.¬† I think the first match against Italy was probably better than Uruguay.
But, yeah, I like football.¬† I watch a lot of football.¬† I enjoy it when the World Cup is on.¬† It gives me something to do in the evenings.¬† I don't have to listen to people talking about me playing at Wimbledon.¬† I can just watch the football.¬† Don't need to worry about any of that stuff.
Q.¬† Is there a good rivalry in the locker room?¬† When World Cup is on, obviously there are a lot of nationalities here at the tournament.¬† Is there a lot of sort of banter between the players?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Yeah, it's nice.¬† Pretty much when you walk into the locker room most mornings, that's what almost all of the players are talking about really.
Yeah, I mean, a lot of the Spanish guys have been a little bit quiet the last few days.¬† But, yeah, it's nice.
That's one of the good things about tennis.¬† It's such a global sport.¬† I don't know how many countries there will be involved in the Championships this year, but so many of them.
Yeah, when you've got a competition like the World Cup on, everyone takes an interest.
Q.¬† What elements of Goffin's game will you be most worried about?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Well, he's played some very good tennis on the big stages before.¬† I think he played Roger a few years ago at the French Open and pushed him close in four sets.
I think he also played Novak in one of the slams on the hard courts before and had a tight three‑set match with him.
He plays well.¬† He doesn't mind the big stage.¬† And, yeah, he's solid.¬† He's a solid player in all parts of the court.¬† It will be a tricky match.
Q.¬† Virginia has unique insight as to how you would feel as a defending champion.¬† Are you surprised she's gone public with negative thoughts about Am√©lie?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† No.¬† She's done it a few times before with me.¬† It doesn't surprise me.
Q.¬† Would you have hired a female coach if your mother hadn't been such a good influence on you as a coach herself?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I don't know, to be honest.¬† Again, I haven't thought too much about that.¬† But when I did look at some female coaches, then obviously having, yeah, my mom, I knew the qualities that she had when I worked with her, and even still.
But, yeah, I can't really answer that question.¬† But I would hope that wouldn't really have been the case.
But I think, you know, when you're growing up as a young player and you don't see that happening, it's maybe not something that crosses your mind.¬† But then as you start to get a little bit older, you know, and realize that actually it's kind of your decision and you need to find the right person for you, then it becomes irrelevant.
But I just know from growing up, there were very, very few female coaches at junior level.¬† And also when you get through into the senior ranks there's very few.
But my mom will tell you this is history.¬† One of the coaches that I also loved when I was growing up that I traveled with was Olga Morazova.¬† I actually saw her in the car park here the other day.¬† I always found her great fun to be around.¬† I learned a lot from her when I was a kid, too.
A lot of the female coaches that I have been around.¬† Although there's not been many of them, I've always enjoyed working with them.
Q.¬† You say that one of the good points is that Am√©lie listen very well.¬† Does that mean you need to talk a lot about your feelings and sensations?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† Yeah, I mean, yeah.¬† Most athletes do.¬† It's important to feel like you're being listened to, because in an individual sport you're the one that's on the court.¬† The coach can't influence things from the stand.¬† You need to be able to explain how you're feeling at certain stages in matches, why you make certain decisions, why you do certain things when you're on the court.
Then I think if the coach listens, it makes their job a lot easier to explain things to you and to get through to you.
I think it's an important trait for coaches that want to work with a number of players.¬† If you don't listen, you're only going to be able to work with certain players, certain athletes.¬† But if you listen, I think there's more chance you can work with a variety of people.
Q.¬† You hit a bit with Lleyton Hewitt in recent weeks.¬† Have you dared to broach the subject of what happened to him on his Wimbledon defense?¬† Is that part of the nerves that help you keep your nerves as you go into tomorrow's match?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† The only person I've spoken to about it is Am√©lie.¬† I didn't speak to Hewitt about it.¬† But, yeah, I'm aware when I walk out on the court tomorrow I'm going to be nervous.¬† I know there's going to be pressure.
Yeah, that's why today when I woke up there's butterflies there.¬† You're one day away from starting the tournament.
But I hope that I'm able to deal with it well.¬† We'll find out tomorrow.¬† I don't know how I'm going to deal with it because it's something I've never had to do before.¬† But we'll find out about 1:30 tomorrow.
Q.¬† For nine years, four guys have dominated the majors.¬† What are your thoughts on whether we're finally seeing cracks where a lot of other guys might get a chance to start winning majors?¬† What do you think the future is for the big four, yourself included?
ANDY MURRAY:¬† I don't know.¬† I think it will probably be better to judge at the end of this year maybe.¬† But, I mean, still obviously Stan won in Australia.
The finals of the French was Novak and Rafa.
Finals of US Open was Novak and Rafa.
Wimbledon was me and Novak.
To be honest, I don't know.¬† I just think maybe wait until the end of the year to see.
But it's normal, you know.¬† As players get older, guys are going to catch up.¬† The older you get, it's harder to improve.¬† The younger guys that are coming through are going to keep getting better.¬† They'll keep getting stronger physically.¬† They'll keep learning.
Yeah, it's only a matter of time really.¬† But how long it's going to take, you don't know.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports