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June 26, 2021

Andy Murray

Wimbledon, London, UK

Press Conference

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How would you describe what the return of Wimbledon means to you personally and also to the UK?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I can only really speak for me personally. I don't really know what it means to the whole of the UK. I think we have, for most people, had more to think and worry about the last 18 months.

For me personally, like, I'm delighted that I can be back competing here again. I'm most excited about being in front of a big crowd and the fans and everything. That's really something that I've missed a lot.

Yeah, I know it's not normal, but it feels somewhat normal now that, yeah, we're a couple days out from Wimbledon, with all the players around and stuff, practicing, everybody doing the media stuff today, knowing that in a couple of days' time we'll be playing not in front of a full crowd but in front of a lot of people.

Yeah, just to me anyway, it feels like we're getting closer to more normality. I'm happy about that.

Q. How has your week been in terms of the preparations? Have you gotten the preparations you wanted to get in? What did you learn from your practice with Roger yesterday?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, preparations have been -- they've been fine. I've had some good practices with top players. I would like to have done more. I would like to have practiced more.

But, yeah, I'm also sort of trying to manage the physical side, as well, which is very important. I want to go into Wimbledon feeling as fresh and as comfortable as possible when I get out there.

Yeah, I would say the time I have spent on court has been good. Getting to play with Roger was really cool for me. They're the sort of things that probably like six, seven years ago I wouldn't have given any thought to it. I would have seen that as just being a practice session pre-major with a top player, and focusing kind of on myself. I think that's something that, yeah, I'm probably appreciating those things more.

Yeah, when I take a step back from that, as a tennis fan, getting to play with Roger Federer two days before Wimbledon, it's really great. I haven't had the opportunity to do that sort of stuff much over the last few years. I enjoyed that.

Q. What do you take from the level of the practice with Roger? I heard it was pretty good. You may even have won, if you can win at a practice match. Also, with your selection for the Olympics, how much of a lift has that given you with these two massive things coming for you now quite quickly?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so they're obviously two huge events for me to look forward to. I just hope, like, the body holds up for them so that I can give a good account of myself.

Yeah, in terms of the practices, the results in practices and stuff are not that important obviously. Yeah, for me the way that I've been performing in my practices with top players, I'm not going out there and getting whacked. I'm competing well with all of the players that I practiced with.

That's the really positive thing for me. That's one of the reasons why I'm sure that if my body holds up that I can do well, can compete with these guys on the biggest stages.

Yeah, results in practice are not important. But I think how you perform in them can give you some knowledge about where you are and how you can still play, things that you can work on as well.

Yeah, it went well.

Q. You have spoken often, again recently, about how much you love playing tennis. I'm just wondering if you could in any way break down the components of that lifelong love, the pull it has on you despite the pain you have endured, the surgeries? In other words, is it a personal test for you? What part of it involves competing before an audience or at a certain venue?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's a great question.

I don't know exactly what it is. I think some of it is deep-rooted. It's just been something that I've done my whole life. So, yeah, letting go of that obviously would be a difficult thing to do.

I also, yeah, miss being on Centre Court, things like that. I miss that. I miss the pressure of that, as well. That's something I'm looking forward to feeling that again.

I think, again, like six, seven years ago, I didn't fear that pressure but it was something that, like, I stressed quite a lot about that. Whereas actually when I reflect on the last few years and stuff, it's actually something I've really missed, playing in front of a big crowd on Centre Court.

Yeah, that's what tennis players and tennis fans want to do. There's been times in my career where, like, I've been anxious about that. Whereas right now, I'm looking forward to feeling that pressure. I'm not anxious about going out there to perform. I just want to go do it.

I think there's a number of things that I love about tennis. I think also, like, the day-to-day routine of things, just like always trying to better yourself a little bit each day is something that I like, too.

There's many things that go into it.

Q. Could you share some memories from when you made your debut here as a teenager in 2005? What advice might you have for Jack Draper who is making his debut here as a teenager against Novak Djokovic?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, great, great experience for him, yeah, to get the opportunity to play Novak on Centre Court Wimbledon. Again, like I was just sort of saying there, now that I've had time to sort of reflect on I guess a bit of my career, maybe some mistakes I would have made, obviously he's going to be feeling nervous, there's going to be pressure on him to go out there and perform.

Yeah, just to try to take it all in and don't fear that moment. Go out, yeah, just go for it, enjoy it. A few years ago, they're the sort of matches he obviously would have been wanting to play. Now it's come around and he gets that opportunity.

It's fantastic for him. It will be a great learning experience, as well, to see where his game is at and everything. Yeah, I hope he does well.

Then, yeah, for me, 2005, I remember being nervous, but I don't know, I was just playing purely on instinct at that time. There was no consequences. It didn't feel like if I lost a point or lost a match, a set or whatever, I was just going out there and winging it a little bit, doing what I'd always loved. Thankfully I went out there and I performed really well.

Also it was a time for me, and Jack, maybe it's a bit different because of the situation that kind of the world is in right now, but for me, sitting in this room, answering to a full room of journalists, I'd never done that before. I had lots of attention on me. I had paparazzi follow me back to my house. I was on the front page of all the newspapers. It was a huge change for me as well. Something, yeah, I was not very well-prepared for, maybe not that well-protected from at that time, as well.

Yeah, it was a great experience overall, but there's definitely some things that I would have liked to have done differently myself, but also maybe people around me could have helped a little bit, as well.

Q. You've spoken about not taking anything for granted, appreciating things more because of everything you've been through. Is it a tricky balance between having that mentality while also still trying not to put too much pressure on playing just one match, a feeling of maybe I won't be able to do this again, I won't be coming to this tournament again and things like that? It must put pressure as well. How do you manage both mentalities?

ANDY MURRAY: I've actually found the hardest thing actually has been more, like, the preparation for tournaments. I think Roger mentioned it a little bit after his match in Halle. For example, at Queen's, I'm not saying Queen's is not -- it's an important for me and a tournament I've loved playing at. You're also 10, 12 days out from Wimbledon, which is the biggest tournament for me to play in, one that I've been really excited about.

The mentality and the preparation, I've had lots of issues in the last few years, lots of injury problems, how hard should I push on the couple of days and the buildup to the match at Queen's, how much should I practice and prepare. A bit of you is, like, if I get hurt this week and then I have to miss Wimbledon, I'm desperate to play here, like with what happened at the Australian Open, for example. I don't want something like that to happen again.

So, yeah, that's the thing I found hardest in terms from a mentality perspective. When I get on the court and play, I think it will be pretty different. I'll just go out there and I'll compete for every point. If my body hurts afterwards, fine. It's more the buildup that's the hard part, knowing how much to push, having the mentality to really go for it in training.

Q. About your opponent on Monday, Nikoloz Basilashvili. He's been accused of domestic abuse against his wife, is being investigated in Georgia. Have you had any views on that and the process, whether it should be changed? Other sports where they're under investigation, they wouldn't be able to take part. Do you have anything to say about that?

ANDY MURRAY: I spoke about this a couple months ago when I was asked about him and also with Zverev. Yeah, for me there should be, yeah, protocols and a process in place when allegations like this are made, which I don't know exactly what those processes are exactly. From what I've heard, they're not great.

Yeah, that's something that the ATP, the governing bodies, the ITF, the slams should be looking, yeah, to implement in my opinion.

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