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January 1, 2017

Andy Murray

Doha, Qatar

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Happy New Year. First of all, just wondered why you chose to come to Doha this year? Why did you change your schedule from previous years? I know you've played here before, but why this year? Any specific reason, one specific reason?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, not one reason in particular. I played here in the past and I liked it and played well. You know, in the past year, one of the advantages of it is that it splits the journey up to Australia a little bit.

You know, with my family as well, schedules over the Christmas period changed slightly, too.

Yeah, I mean, this has worked well for a lot of the guys in the past that have gone on to do well in Australia. You can obviously fly district pretty much to Melbourne from here, too. It's very convenient, I think especially for the players from Europe to sort of go halfway. Yeah, that's why.

Q. Who's your biggest threat at the Australian Open to your No. 1 spot?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I would say Novak. Obviously his record in Australia has been incredible. He's won six times is it? Five? So five, six times.

Yeah, he's had an amazing record there over the years and obvious won a number of finals against me, too. So I would expect him to play very well there.

In terms of the No. 1 ranking, Novak would be -- I had a great sort of four, five months at the end of last year and I still only got to No. 1 by one match basically at the end the year.

So I know it will be very tough to stay there.

Q. You played a couple of matches in Abu Dhabi, and usually it's the kind of tournament that you say you try out certain things, try to see how things went for you after the off-season. What are your thoughts on your match against Goffin and Raonic? Do you feel ready to compete on the tour?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I do think it's always tough to judge sometimes, because the quality of the tennis is good but there is not like the pressure sort of in the outcome of, I don't know, decisions you make on the court. Sometimes your shot selection maybe in those matches isn't quite as good.

Sometimes guys are playing a little bit -- I don't know, taking a little bit more risks sometimes. It's not always that easy to judge.

But in terms of like my ball striking and stuff, I was hitting the ball pretty clean. I was happy with that. I think I could still move a little bit better. That's obviously quite a big part of my game. Normally the more matches I play the better that feels.

So that's obviously what I'm hoping to get here, hoping to get through some matches, feel better as the week goes on. You know, I'm happy with the way I was hitting the ball for the first few matches of the year there in Abu Dhabi.

Yeah, moving could be a bit better.

Q. Could you talk a little bit about the competition? Rafa is back; Roger is back; the young guys are also looking good and wanting to break through; then the in-between generation is probably is getting impatient.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think obviously be interesting with Roger and Rafa. I mean, Roger has obviously never really had any major injuries throughout his career, so obviously be new for him coming back from this injury.

He loves the game. He's obviously a very gifted athlete. Very talented guy. So I would imagine after a few matches -- maybe it doesn't happen the first month of the year, but if he stays fit and healthy that couple of months into the year, he'll be back to playing some great tennis again.

Rafa last year was a bit unlucky. He was starting to play really well again I think during the clay court season before he got his wrist injury. Yeah, be interesting to see how he comes back.

And then the younger guys, yeah, there are a lot of talented guys. A lot of them are big guys as well; very powerful games. So they're very dangerous. They will be improving obviously the older they get, and the more experience, the harder they're working as well.

Be a tough few years coming up.

Q. You had mentioned in Abu Dhabi that it's a good thing the Australian Open is coming up and it's a big goal for you. If you just compare how much motivation you have for the Australian Open compared to maybe trying to win the French Open, do you think Australia, since you made the final that many times and didn't get that last set, do you have maybe extra motivation for Melbourne or for you a slam is a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't know really. To be honest, I mean, obviously I played very well in Australia before. Just hadn't quite got there in the finals. So it's a tournament that I would've loved to have won.

Whereas at the French it's one that I never -- until the last couple years didn't see myself sort of winning. I think that would be a greater accomplishment for me, to win that event, just because it's a surface that doesn't come naturally to me.

I've struggled on it for large parts of my career, not just with the tactical/technical side, but physically with my back the clay was giving me a lot of problems a few years ago.

So I think it would be a greater accomplishment to win the French Open because it's just a surface that I never felt comfortable on when I was younger.

Q. Can you tell us what's the most important reason you play Davis Cup and how important is a personal record in a team situation, team sport?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, Davis Cup, the best thing about it for me is the home and away aspect and the atmosphere that you play. The final of the Davis Cup, I didn't see loads of it, but what I did see, the atmosphere was incredible in Croatia. I've played in some great atmospheres at home and away throughout my career.

You don't get that everywhere else. Like when you play in tournaments on the tour, it's not necessarily that every crowd is neutral, but sort of -- I don't know, like equal. They want to see great tennis. Whereas when they go to Davis Cup they want to see their country win. It's a very different atmosphere.

Then, yeah, personal or individual records in Davis Cup are extremely important, because there are not too many matches you can influence -- well, two of the five points with obviously your singles, and in the doubles, if you play that as well, you can have a say in winning or losing the entire match.

Very important, yeah.

FastScripts Transcript by ASAP Sports

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