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May 10, 2016

Andy Murray

Rome, Italy

An interview with:


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. About the news that broke yesterday with you and Amélie not working together anymore, just wondering if it's a disappointing situation for you? Were you hoping it would go much longer and better?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, obviously I think the end of last year we tried, you know, tried to make it work. You know, Amélie was in Dubai, did a training block with me and agreed to, you know, try for another year.

Obviously in Australia it started well, but then, yeah, I mean, I was saying to the British guys yesterday that, you know, between the Australian Open and Rome, you know, we only spent 10 days together really which is in Miami, and, you know, that wasn't planned, either. That was something that we changed as well to try and spend a bit more time together through that period. You know, it was just difficult with the amount of time required to do the job and the amount of time we were able to work together.

It was just such a long period of the year, an important period where I was struggling, as well, where we weren't getting to work through that together.

Yes, it's unfortunate but those things happen.

Q. People inevitably attached quite a bit of symbolic significance to it when you hired Amélie. Does the fact that it's come to an end and you haven't ultimately been able to make it work under the present circumstances, is that, do you think, almost like a blow to the idea of women coaching men in tennis?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think it did work. I mean, for two years I think the results that we had were, you know, were good. Maybe, you know, like I said, unless I win a Grand Slam, then maybe ultimately that's how people may judge whether it worked or not, but when she first came into the team, I was really struggling. You know, I was not doing well. You know, my confidence was low and I was going the wrong direction.

Then obviously when she came on board, my results actually really picked up. I mean, for me, the time we spent together was positive. It's just a shame I wasn't able to win one of the major events, because that's what both of us wanted.

But, you know, Roger stopped working with Stefan Edberg at the end of last year because Stefan Edberg wanted to spend more time with his family, didn't want to spend as much time traveling. No one sort of batted an eyelid about that, you know.

So in my opinion it's nothing to do with Amélie being a woman. I think it's the case of, you know, a lot of the ex-players, it takes a lot of time to do the job, you know, well and properly. It's not easy to do that for four, five years in a row.

Q. Just back on the time issue, you said yesterday that you would have been spending quite a lot of time with Amélie from now through to Wimbledon. Were you tempted at all to say, Well, let's see it through to Wimbledon and then maybe think again?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, we spoke about that last week, as well. The problem is that the same thing was going to continue happening, like I said, throughout the year. So after Wimbledon it was going to happen and then after the US Open.

You know, we obviously didn't spend loads of time together post-Australian Open going into Miami, and the time that we would have had like now, I have obviously just come from Madrid, I have had basically one proper practice before the tournament starts here, so you can't get, you know, a lot of work done and then you've got like just a few days before the French Open starts, and you simply need more time than that to make an impact and make a difference, in my opinion, and Amélie's, as well.

You know, we both agreed on that, and that was it. I mean, we certainly could have tried through to the end of Wimbledon, but longer term and medium term the same thing was going to continue happening. It just made more sense to, you know, to stop now.

Q. I wonder what process you're at now with looking for someone to replace Amélie and also what the qualities are you might be looking for. Is it someone that can bring the confidence that she brought or the more sort of technical side of things like Ivan brought you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, Ivan wasn't so much technical. He helped me a lot with the mental side, being able to speak to him about stuff especially in the bigger matches when I had never won a slam before. You know, he had been through the same thing too and come out the other end of it and having a great career.

You know, I haven't really thought too much about a new coach. We spoke on Monday afternoon in Madrid, and then I played every day barring one since then and have come straight here. I haven't given it loads of thought, you know. But it's something that I will speak to my team about over the next few weeks and try and, you know, find something that works.

Again, I want it to work, you know, long term, so I will take that into consideration, as well.

Q. Are you still based in London?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, just outside London.

Q. Do you have an opinion about the mayor being elected last weekend?
ANDY MURRAY: Not really.

Q. Not really?

Q. I wonder how much you're aware of the world ranking position. Do you attach any importance to getting back to No. 2 in time for the French?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know exactly what the -- I know I went down to 3, but I think I'm tied on points with Roger. I think that's right.

And then, yeah, I know he made the final here. I don't know exactly what I have to do to guarantee being No. 2, but yeah, I mean, it obviously helps a bit at the slams. It's not essential. It's not the most important thing, you know, but it can help a little bit in the slams.

So it would be nice if I could get to 2 again, but if not, then -- yeah, it's not something I'm going to into this week worrying too much about.

Q. Last year you came here straight from winning Madrid and you were pretty wiped out physically. How are you feeling by comparison this year?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I feel fine. You know, obviously took a break and after Monte-Carlo, you know, had five, six days off where I didn't really do anything. I mean, I have spoken about it a lot this year, but I do think those periods are more important this year than most because of how condensed the schedule is over the next few months. I'm glad I did that, and, yeah, a couple of days obviously to try and adjust to these conditions and recover a little bit from last week, as well.

But, yeah, I feel better than I did at this stage last year. That's for sure.

Q. What are the actual mechanics of you searching and looking for a new coach? Do you get on your phone and do you start texting people and e-mailing people, or do you leave it to Matt and Ugo to do that, or do you just go and sit in the players lounge and talk to people?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, if it's -- first what I do is obviously, you know, I speak to my team a little bit about it, and then, you know, some of the people I have worked with in the past I have known myself so I have had them in my phone. Sometimes, you know, agents contact each other and see if there is an interest there, and then you end up calling each other and chatting.

And then, you know, always, you know, you want to try it out first, as well. Because you can speak to someone as much as you like, and then when you get on the court, if there is no sort of connection there and you're not communicating well, you know, you can't just sort of agree to do it full time over the phone. You need to spend some time on the court together and, you know, talking about the game in person first as well.

But, yeah, it really depends on who it is, whether you know them already or -- you know, with Ivan, for example, I didn't know him, and, you know, a bit of that came through Darren Cahill. So I was working a bit with him at the time through the adidas program. You know, we had spoken about him potentially. Darren I think knew him already and got in touch, and Ivan had said for me to call him. Then I buzzed him and that's how it worked with him.

Q. From outside it seems there is not a lot of people able to take the coaching job with top players. Is that the case, that it seems so hard to find somebody for the long run?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it's -- yeah, I mean, it is difficult. I think that's why, for me, having, you know, Jamie Delgado with me who is able to commit 35, 40 weeks of the year is very important. It's not -- like you said, it isn't easy to find that, especially if you're going for the ex-players that have spent, you know, 15, 20 years of their life on the road for 30, 35 weeks a year. They don't always want to do it.

You know, a lot of the examples like that, Moya with Raonic or Chang with Nishikori, they aren't at every single event I think because they don't want to do it. They just don't want to do it all over again.

I do think it's important to have someone in your team that is willing to commit for that amount of time and have that consistency throughout the whole of the year is very important. So I'm glad I've got that now, which I didn't last year with Jonas and Amélie. You know, they were splitting the time. So I'm happy I have that consistency now and, you know, maybe try and find someone to add to that now.

Q. You talked about how you and Amélie rebuilt your confidence at the beginning of your partnership. Just wondering if you could give us insight. Was that working technically on the court? Was it sort of chatting about direction and your strengths?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think, you know, the end of that year was a difficult end to the year, because it was -- you know, there was a lot of questions asked of me at the end of that year after how the O2 finished and also of her, really. I don't think many people had any confidence really in that partnership after how that year ended.

But I think when it was decided that we were going to go for it together, I think it gave both of us a lift, really. I think when I showed the confidence in her, you know, she was really passionate and pumped and really wanted to, you know, to make it work. And me the same when she also stuck by me after what was -- and all of my team, really, the ones that are still with me when they stuck by me at that stage. It was like, right, okay, you know, we're going to show everyone like we're a strong team and came back after that and, you know, played maybe my -- well, I think it was maybe my best Australian Open. I played extremely well there and came back well from how I finished that year.

It took a lot of hard work on the court and a lot of chatting and talking through things about the things I needed to work on, being very open about my weaknesses. Because it was clear at the end of that year after my match with Roger that there was a lot of them, even though I was winning matches, that at other levels I wasn't at that level and certainly was nowhere close to doing it.

So it took a lot of hard work to get back to a level where I'm competing with the best players again.

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