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January 17, 2015

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Slightly different circumstances to last year coming in here. Talk about how the preparation has gone, how you're feeling coming into Melbourne.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously last year was tough because I prepared fairly well, but mentally it's quite tough sort of going into your first slam and playing long five-set matches. You don't necessarily know how your body's going to respond, so mentally you're kind of worrying a bit and you'd be apprehensive. That's not the case this year, which is good. And, yeah, my preparation and training over in Miami and then in Dubai went very well. Practice this week's been good. So, yeah, looking forward to getting started.

Q. James Ward has been waxing lyrical about what you two were working on over the winter. How fit are you feeling? How much of a benefit do you think that's going to be for you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel in good shape. I trained well in December. Changed some of the things I was doing in my training, which was fun. You know, it was fresh ideas. That was good. Yeah, I worked hard in the off-season. Yeah, my body feels good.

Q. Who do you see as your biggest threat in this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, there's a lot of top players here. I mean, obviously Stan's the defending champion, will be confident with that. A new experience, as well. It will be interesting to see how he handles that. But he's obviously finished the end of last year with the Davis Cup and winning Chennai last week. So I'm sure he'll be confident. And then, yeah, all of the obvious suspects, same names. Then if you add some of the younger guys that have been coming through the last year or so, you know, with Nishikori, Dimitrov, Raonic, these guys. Also you don't know, a lot of guys can make big improvements in the off-season if they have five or six weeks' training to work on things and get physically stronger. So it will be an interesting tournament. The Australian Open normally throws up a few surprises. It will be fun to watch.

Q. You've had a lot of success here, very consistent. What is it about the tournament that suits you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I do like the conditions here. I mean, obviously hard courts is the surface I feel very comfortable on. I like the balls they use here. A little bit slower than the ones at the US Open, and I like that. And then, yeah, I mean, normally, you know, if you put in good work in the off-season and work hard, you're going to get good rewards at the beginning of the year. I feel like the effort and work that I put in in December has helped me here.

Q. Is it easy to get used to the changes that have happened in your team during the off-season, being without Danny? Is it feeling weird for you or...
ANDY MURRAY: No, it hasn't been weird. It's been, in my opinion, positive. When things aren't working well, there's not a positive atmosphere, it's not good for anybody. So when that changes and everyone's working together, that makes things better. So the last two months for me so far have been very, very good.

Q. Kyle has just qualified. He spent a little bit of time with you in Florida before going off to Bollettieri's.

Q. Obviously you must be very happy for him. Talk about his progression.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, saw the last couple games of the match. I just saw his coach just now outside. Yeah, I trained with him in Miami for about eight or nine days. Yeah, he was good. He has a good attitude. He's very calm, always got his feet on the ground. He's definitely improved. For me the last five, six months he's made some big improvements. The beginning of last year, the first five or six months of last year, he was a little bit stuck. But the end of last year he definitely made some improvements. He played better when we trained in Miami. Yeah, obviously qualifying for his first slam, you saw the way he reacted at the end. It means a lot to him. Yeah, it's great. It's a big step in the right direction for him.

Q. I know players always say they don't look at the draw. Your draw from the fourth round onwards, fingers crossed, is looking pretty nasty. Have you upset somebody that sorts out these things? What do you think of the likes of Dimitrov, Federer, Nadal, Djokovic possible on the road to the top?
ANDY MURRAY: Whether I look at it or not, you just told me (laughter).

Q. My pleasure.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well, obviously very tough draw. Very difficult draw. It's very hard to comment on it. If you have to play all of those players, obviously it's going to be extremely difficult to come through that. I'm aware of that. That's fine. But, yeah, often in these events, you know, there is upsets. And then, yeah, you just have to wait and see who you're playing in each round because it doesn't always work out as simply as that. You know, I'm sure Rafa just now, if you said to him, Give me a semifinal spot, he'd be very happy with that coming off a tough injury. But, yeah, it will be interesting to see how it goes. But definitely with the names you mentioned, it's very challenging.

Q. You play a qualifier first up. Is it more difficult facing a qualifier than just a top-ranked opponent, because they've had the three matches coming in, used to the conditions, have winning momentum behind them? Is sometimes it a bit more tough?
ANDY MURRAY: It depends, to be honest. Obviously having the matches is obviously a bonus that helps, having played in the conditions. You know, you come in obviously confident. Yeah, often if you play a high seed, not much to lose. But also if you play on a big court, that can sometimes be something that a qualifier hasn't experienced before, and that's different, that's for sure. But it can work both ways. Sometimes played qualifiers that have come out and played extremely well because they're used to conditions, are going for it, play with nothing to lose. And sometimes, because of the crowd and playing on a big court, it's a bit different, and it's tough. So you never know.

Q. Three British men in the draw.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's great. I mean, obviously Liam Broady as well got to the last round, too. I don't know if Heather won.

Q. She won.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so that's great. Johnny Marray and my brother won the doubles last week. So it's been a good start to the year. Yeah, hope Laura can get fit soon and start playing again on the tour and doing well. Yeah, it would be nice to have a very good year for all the British players. But, yeah, very pleased for Kyle. It's good to see that Liam is doing very well, too. They both work very hard. When you see someone or people putting in the effort, it's nice to see them get the rewards. So it's good that both of them are heading in the right direction.

Q. What do you think of the young Aussie talent?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, a lot of very good young men. I don't know on the women's side. I haven't seen as much of the young women. But I know on the men's side, it's very, very strong. There's obviously Kyrgios and Kokkinakis, guys like Jordan Thompson, very good as well. They have a bunch of guys ranked between 100 and 200 in the world. Also the guy that Kyle Edmund played today I think is also pretty young from Australia, too. Yeah, they have a lot of talent, a lot of potential. I think the Aussies are going to have a good time the next 10 or so years watching all of them play.
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