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June 19, 2017

Andy Murray

London, England

Q. How difficult is it going to be to win this title yet again?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously it will be hard. The field this year is really strong, as it is most years. I think since we reduced the size of the draw and obviously it went up to 500 level, it's definitely improved, so yeah, it's going to be tough.

Q. Can you just tell us what you have been doing since you got back from Paris?
ANDY MURRAY: So I took Saturday and Sunday off. Then I had a couple of light practices on Monday/Tuesday, just to get used to the grass. Didn't do much moving. Just hit a few balls. Then trained hard Wednesday/Thursday. One day was at Wimbledon. One day here. Had a day off on Friday and then practiced Saturday/Sunday back on-site here. Then obviously come in again tomorrow and hit.

It's so much better having this week now in between. It makes a huge difference. Just a bit more time to adapt to the courts and, you know, let your body get used to playing on grass again.

Q. Because of what you did in Paris and as the buildup to this and also because it's one of your favorite tournaments, has it been a more comfortable buildup than it was to the French Open?
ANDY MURRAY: Obviously I'm playing better now than I was before the French in practice. I mean, I have been hitting the ball a lot better than I was before the start of the tournament there. But, you know, there's still a lot of things that, you know, I thought could be better in Paris.

I was a lot closer to where I want to be but still far from how I want to be playing. So that's why I got back in the practice courts quite soon to work on some things. Obviously this surface is a little bit more, you know, natural for me, which helps, but, you know, I have had to practice a lot this week.

Q. What are the particulars you've been trying to improve on since Paris?
ANDY MURRAY: Serving definitely could have improved. I mean, that's something that the last few months has not been so good. It was better in Paris, but again, you know, if you want to win the big competitions, you sort of can't get away with things not being as, you know, at a great level. You know, to win the slams and the major tournaments, you have to be doing everything well. That was something that I struggled with a little bit during the clay, so I worked a little bit on that. Obviously the grass helps with it being quicker. You get a lot more free points there.

Yeah, I felt I could have moved a bit better in Paris than what I did, but again, completely different surface here. Very different way of moving and playing the points. So I have worked a bit on my movement, as well.

Q. Before Paris, you were talking about you were maybe more anxious about your form. Are you now much more relaxed about it?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I'm happier with where my game is at. I didn't know how I was going to play in Paris. Certainly the practice week beforehand was not, you know, was not perfect.

I was practicing a lot and doing a lot of the right things. It just wasn't feeling good. Obviously missed a couple of days there, as well, with the illness, too. I was a bit anxious before the tournament started. I'm happy with where my game is at, but always going into a new season, different surface, new period of the season and a different surface, you know, there's always nerves there. You know, see how you're going to adapt.

I feel, I think, more comfortable. Not just because of how the French went but because of the time between -- you know, it's like getting 10, 11 days after the French Open. It makes a really, really big difference compared with just having -- literally, sometimes it was like one or two days. I mean, it was ridiculous, looking back at it, really.

Q. Could that work against you, though? Last year you played the final of the French Open and you had less preparation time and had such success. Could that extra preparation time give others an advantage because it's so natural to you playing on grass?
ANDY MURRAY: I think it will help all of the players. I think the quality of tennis during the grass season, especially at this event, should be better. I think it could potentially hurt some of the tournaments the week after the French, but a lot of the guys that were playing that week are ones that maybe lost early at the French. So they had also had a week to prepare. I think for the guys that go a long way at the French Open to then have only had one or two days, it's not good for the body. There is a big injury risk there.

So, no, I think for me personally, I think it improves the level of tennis throughout the grass court season. I think it will help everyone.

Q. John McEnroe gave an interview today and spoke about you. He said he's always been top four but it's a distant fourth. Those three guys are better than him. Given where you've been ranked the past six, seven months, do you think that's a fair comment?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think for pretty much all of my career, yeah, that would have been the case. You know, I have always been behind them in the rankings. If you look at the titles and everything that those guys have won, I mean, I can't compare myself to them. I mean, there is maybe one or two things I have done that they wouldn't have, but, you know, for the most part, yeah, I would have been fourth if you look at a whole career.

But it's not true of the last year, because I'm ranked No. 1 in the world. I have been better than them for the last, well, last 12 months. That's how the rankings system works. It took me a long time to get there, so it's not true of the last year.

But in terms of the careers as a whole, then yeah. If I could swap careers with those guys, obviously I would because they have won a lot more than me.

Q. (Question off microphone.)
ANDY MURRAY: Well, it is. I mean, it's really hard, yeah. It's always tough to stay at the top of my sport. I mean, I hope I stay at the top of the game for, you know, five, six, seven years, but I think just because Roger has done it doesn't mean that that's going to happen to everyone, every player that plays all of a sudden. That's not going to be the case.

So, you know, realistically, you know, I want to make the most of the last few years of my career. If that's two years or four years or six years, doesn't matter. But the point I'm trying to get across is I want to make the most of these last few years if I can, and if my body, you know, is good and I stay fit and healthy. I still enjoy the training, I enjoy the traveling, I love what I do. That's not the issue.

But, you know, you never know where you're going to be in a couple years physically. Right now I feel good. But, yeah, I'll have to see where I am. It's all hypothetical. I don't know how I will feel tomorrow, never mind in three years.

Q. What is the determining factor there? Is it a hunger to win more titles or how much you're enjoying the tennis? You say you have goals to complete. Is it just your continuing love of the game?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. The thing is, for some reason -- and it was a little bit the case with Roger for a few years is that for some reason within the press he was getting questioned all the time about when is he going to retire, when is he going to stop?

And, like, why? Why can't he do what he loves doing? If that's what he loves doing, does it matter? It maybe matters to everyone else that he's ranked 8 or 9, but is he bothered about that? If he loves what he's doing, then keep doing it as long as you want.

I think that's the most important thing. Like I said, right now I'm ranked No. 1 in the world but I'm talking about stopping playing. It's just a strange position to be in. But so long as I'm fit and healthy and enjoying playing, you know, I'll do it as long as I can. I don't want to stop in two years. I want to keep playing. Like, I really, really want to play for a long time. But, you know, who knows where I'm going to be in a few years?

Q. (Question off microphone.)
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, when I was having the problems with my back, I wasn't enjoying it. I wasn't enjoying playing because I was hurting all the time when I was on the court and it was making me unhappy. Like if every time you went to write a story you were getting shooting pains down your back and into your leg, you know, you'd be, like, after five, six, seven months, you know, it's frustrating.

But obviously things -- like, there are niggles and you have little injuries and things hurt from time to time, but that was -- I didn't enjoy that period of my career because my quality of life wasn't the same. But right now, little things hurt but it's not the same as that.

So, you know, if I have a chronic injury that's causing me pain on a daily basis and every time I step on the tennis court it's hurting me, you know, that's something that would stop me from enjoying it.

Q. Do you think people underplay the importance of an Olympic medal?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, yeah. Well, for me, doesn't matter what anyone else thinks, but I'm very proud of the Olympic medals and they mean a lot to me. Within tennis a lot of people go, Oh, that guy was a better player because he won more Grand Slams than that one, or, That woman was better because she won more Grand Slams.

You know, if that's the case, then what's the point of all of us being here today? Why is everyone here covering this event? Like, there is other tournaments outside of the slams, as well. Most of the players enjoy competing in them. This tournament, over my career, has been, you know, well, for sure, my best tournament. I love playing here. But, you know, it depends. Everyone's criteria for judging a player will be different. If it is purely on Grand Slams, then my Olympic medals mean nothing to that person, but they mean a lot to me.

Q. (Question about next Olympics.)
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I would hope to still be playing for the next Olympics. I would like to. Yeah, I don't think that that would be like how I would judge, I don't know, when or if I'm going to stop, based on just trying to make it to the next Olympics. I would want to go to the Olympics if I still felt like I could be competitive or win.

And who knows? I might not even -- you know, I might not even be in the, you know, the Olympics ranking-wise or there might be more British guys ahead of me, you know, at that time. Who knows?

But yeah, like I said, I'll just play whilst I'm still enjoying it, and I do just now, and I hope that is the case for a lot of years.

Q. You were saying you want to play while you enjoy it. Do you think in 10, 15 years' time when you stop playing competitively you will still go out and play a bit of tennis? I remember asking Tim Henman about this, and he said he went out and practiced and trained something coming up, but otherwise, I got the impression he didn't particularly go out to play tennis just because he enjoyed it. I'm wondering what you think you may be like at that stage?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I don't know. I have no idea. I mean, I think it depends what I would do with my career after playing. If I was to coach, for example, then yeah, I would probably still hit some balls.

I mean, I don't really like the idea of sort of still playing like, I don't know, like, I don't know, Wimbledon seniors doubles, like that stuff. I'm not as interested in doing that. Like I would rather coach than do like a seniors tour of tennis.

But, yeah, I don't know. I have no idea if I'd miss hitting balls or not. The thing is, I mean, that's basically what I have done for my whole life, so it has -- you know, right now there is a purpose towards me doing it. When I go out, like, I'm really trying to get better, trying to learn stuff and improve. There is a point to me doing it.

And I think for some people when they don't have that, that need to go out and work, they just put their racquets away and they don't miss hitting at all. So I can see why that happens, too.

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