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May 22, 2015

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Could you talk us through your training over the last week.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I basically went back from Rome and took basically three full days off, traveled here late Sunday, had a very light practice on Monday, and then basically -- is it Friday today? Yeah, it's been a couple of tricky days with the weather. It was very cold and wet the first couple of days we were here. And windy. It was quite tricky training conditions. Last few days it's been perfect. I played, you know, a lot of points and sets. We are staying actually right next to one of the practice facilities, so I have been able to do some drills and stuff with Amélie and work on a few things over there. So that's been good.

Q. 10-0 on clay for you this season. Two titles. Would you say you're in the form of your life on clay at the minute?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's probably the best I have played on clay, for sure. I mean, I never really felt particularly comfortable on the surface. I mean, sometimes by the time I got to the French Open I started to feel good, but, yeah, I mean, obviously winning tournaments and beating, you know, good players helps with the confidence. I just feel like I have an idea of what I'm doing on the court sometimes. In the past I have not really known what was happening on the court and felt like I was struggling with my movement. Even though, you know, people I was working with and stuff and people watching matches would say, oh, you look like you're moving really well, but I felt like I wasn't. Whereas this year it doesn't feel like that. I feel like I'm moving well. I feel a lot freer on the court. Body feels good. That's positive.

Q. You had that big win, and a pretty one-sided win over Rafa, and he's also lost this year on clay twice. We know his record here: one loss in 10 years. How much do you think it matters in terms of how we assess his level right now what's happening to him this year when you consider this is a different court, different balls, different environment? Or do you think it does matter that he's struggled so far on clay by his standards?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think it changes things. I think Novak for me goes into a tournament as the favorite now, but, you know, on that court Rafa is, you know, his record is ridiculous. It's completely possible that he gets out there and feels great, you know, especially if he gets himself into the tournament and wins his first few matches. I mean, he's going to feel better and better. Yeah, he obviously loves the conditions here, although the courts this week have been extremely slow. You know, if it gets warmer and starts to speed up, I think obviously he loves the conditions here. You know, it would be stupid to write him off or suggest that he can't win the event or won't win the event. Definitely possible that he could do that.

Q. Do you think it makes much of a difference if someone, Novak, plays Rafa earlier, like semifinal or quarterfinal? Does it make a difference, or is Rafa on this court just the same regardless of the round?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't really know, to be honest. I mean, they have played I think in the semis a few times here, and also in the final. I mean, to be honest, I don't really know who that would benefit right now, because I still think that, you know, if you're Novak going into that match, if they play in the quarters, then I think that's still the biggest hurdle to get over. So he's still going to put a lot of pressure on himself in that match, obviously. So I don't really know, to be honest, you know, what difference it makes to those guys.

Q. What do you think of your own draw, Andy? Not so bad.
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I think it really depends how you look at it. I'm in the same part of the draw, same half of the draw as Rafa and Novak, so that's hard. Ferrer is someone I have never beaten on clay before. He's he seeded in my quarter. That's tough. And then, you know, Isner I think is the other seed there. And Kyrgios, who obviously has had some huge wins in slams. You know, Isner has played pretty well on the clay this year. He's had some good results. You know, Goffin is in there, who is a very tough opponent, too. I mean, it's certainly not an easy draw, that's for sure. But many times I have played in slams where draws appeared extremely difficult, and, you know, a couple of losses and all of a sudden everyone tells me it's an easy draw. You just have to play the matches in front of you and see what happens.

Q. You were out practicing on court this morning with Amélie. It's your first French Open with her. How helpful is it having her with you at this time? She might be helpful with some local knowledge as well, maybe?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. Aside from the tennis, she's helped with a few good restaurant choices near the hotel, which has been good. But, yeah, for me, that's one of the benefits of working with a player that's just played in the slams and done well in the slams is that, you know, they are also aware of the pressures and stuff that come with, you know, trying to win an event like this. Amélie obviously put a lot of pressure on herself there which probably wasn't beneficial for her performances, and, you know, can obviously give me advice and input based on her experiences of playing in these tournaments. So it's good to have experienced ex players around I think at these times of year.

Q. To come back to the draw, it seems you have looked at your whole draw, but I know many players don't want to know about their draw. Do you always look at the whole possible opponents and why do you think some players don't want to know?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't normally really look at a draw, but, I mean, I got asked about my draw. If I had said nothing about it I would have got told very quickly what my draw was. (Smiling.) I have realized that it's pointless trying to keep it a secret. So, yeah, I'm experienced enough now to know that just for the players -- I mean, obviously for you guys it's fun to speculate about potential matchups and stuff, but for the players it's like just concentrate on your own match. Like I say, upsets happen in these events all of the time and you just get on with it. I will just play the first match and take it from there.

Q. Your game and also how you talk about it always seems to me anyway very tactical; that you're always thinking about opponents, thinking about how to mix things up and surprise them. Do you agree with that? Do you think that that's always a positive or is it ever a detriment? Is it better sometimes to turn off the thinking process during the match?
ANDY MURRAY: That's a good question. The less you think is better on the tennis court. Very easy to overcomplicate things. You know, I have been playing tennis for 24 years now of my life, so my body and my mind kind of know how to play the game and understand what shots to hit at certain times. I think sometimes if you start to overthink, you know, that can be a problem. So that's kind of getting that balance right between thinking at the appropriate times. Like when you have the change of ends you have a bit of time to think about what's going on, what tactics are working, what isn't working and, you know, based on the scoreline what you're going to do in the next couple of games. But I think like between points and during points, if you're like thinking way too much, it can be an issue.

Q. There has been a lot of hype for Nick Kyrgios; less so for Thanasi Kokkinakis, who you obviously hit with yesterday or the day before. Can you talk about what you like about his game and also his future prospects now and beyond?
ANDY MURRAY: I like him as a person first. I think he's very nice guy; good fun to be around. He just seems like he enjoys the game. He works hard in practice, so for me to train with him is good, because he works hard and is good fun and he's very good at tennis. So it's a tough practice for me. Yeah, he has a big forehand. For a big guy he moves well. Every time I practice with him, he's better than the time before. You know, he's always improving. Yeah, I hope he does well because I like him and I'm sure he will have a good career.

Q. You're always meticulous in your preparation and look into every sort of little thing that might affect your performance. I see your choice of attire for the next fortnight is going to be predominantly a black shirt or very dark gray shirt. Given the fact that it can be very, very hot here, is that a wise choice, or are there properties in your new Under Armour kit that the heat doesn't affect?
ANDY MURRAY: I have a white option as well if it is very hot. But also the material is like mesh material, so it's extremely light and is very airy. So I'm hoping that the black doesn't get too hot. I have practiced in it, and, you know, it's pretty cool material that they use. But I do also have a white option just in case it gets too hot.

Q. I mean, if the draw does pan out and you do make the semifinals and the other guys play in the quarters, do you think that might benefit you, that they have had potentially a such as physical clash in the quarters?
ANDY MURRAY: I would love to be in that position to have made the semis. For me, that's a great result at this event. It could work both ways. I mean, I guess if they play a five-hour marathon, then whoever plays against them in the semis is happy about that. But if either one of them goes on the court and crushes the other one, they can be pretty confident going into the semifinals, as well. Just have to wait and see. But I hope I'm there. There is certainly no guarantees that that will be the case. I will have to play really, really well to get there.
FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports
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