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January 11, 2022

Andy Murray

Sydney, New South Wales, Australia

Press Conference

A. MURRAY/V. Durasovic

6-3, 6-1

THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Welcome. It surprised me, I think this is your first time playing here in Sydney?

ANDY MURRAY: First time, yeah.

Q. What's kept you away?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, unfortunately, I mean, I was supposed to play in the ATP Cup here a couple of years ago and unfortunately got injured. Then, yeah, just the timing of it, I have rarely played, in the last sort of 10, 12 years, the week before a slam.

Yeah, often the first week of the year I played well. I won the tournament in Doha a few times. Also in Brisbane, as well. Then I played Hopman Cup some years, as well. So I had always had enough matches really, but this year that's obviously not the case, and, yeah, nice to be here.

Q. You must have felt pretty satisfied with your performance tonight on the Ken Rosewall Arena.

ANDY MURRAY: I thought I did pretty well. Yeah, it's a nice court to play on. It kind of feels like you're playing indoors, so, you know, everything is kind of perfect conditions to play.

Yeah, timed the ball pretty well. Obviously knew Durasovic, having played him in Stockholm a few weeks ago. He's obviously been here the last sort of couple of weeks because of ATP Cup, played a few matches on the court, and obviously qualified. So, you know, wanted to come out and get off to a quick start and managed to do that.

Q. After all the years that you have been on the tour and all that you have been through with your career, do you have a different mindset when you start a new season, or is it just like a bit of a rollover?

ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I guess, like, for me this year coming to Australia feels kind of a bit special, because I just got told that that was the first match I had won here in like over a thousand days. I have had a lot of issues and gone through a lot to get back here, and was really disappointed to miss it last year with getting COVID but was also feeling totally fine when the tournament was going on and I was competing elsewhere.

Yeah, obviously wanted to come here this year and perform well. Got here nice and early to prep. Yeah, this feels like the start of an important year for me.

Q. Have you set goals for 2022?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, I have spoken a bit about them the last couple of weeks. I mean, I have some sort of smaller goals and some sort of bigger ones.

I want, like a short-term one is to try and get to 700 match wins on tour, which I'm hoping I'll be able to do this year, and, you know, I want to try and get to 50 tournament wins. I want to try and have a deep run in one of the majors, as well. Hopefully more than one, but, you know, that's what I want to do. So, yeah, we'll see how it goes.

Q. Next up is Nikoloz Basilashvili. What are your thoughts going into that match?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so, I mean, he's a huge hitter of the ball. Hits the ball very clean from both sides and takes a lot of risk.

I only played him once before, which was at Wimbledon in the first round last year. My coach that's with me this week is pretty familiar with him. He coached him for a couple of years and stuff, so hopefully he will be able to give me a little bit of help there.

Yeah, he's not an easy guy to play against, because he can hit winners from all over the court and will take a lot of risk. Not easy to prepare for that.

Q. I guess he's a little bit unpredictable, as well. You don't know what you're going to get from him?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think that can be the case, yeah. At times his results have been a little bit that way, you know, but he's also played some, you know, some great tennis, as well, at times.

So, you know, I need to prepare for that, for him to play his best, and hope that he doesn't play a great match, because when he does, he's not easy to beat.

Q. I'm just wondering, now that the dust has settled, what your take is on the Novak Djokovic thing.

ANDY MURRAY: What's my take on it? I mean, obviously, you know, it's positive that he's not in detention anymore. You know, obviously he won in court, so, you know, that's a positive thing for him. Hopefully will be able to concentrate on the tennis now.

You know, I think there is still a few questions that need to be answered around, you know, the isolation and stuff, which I'm sure we'll hear from him in the next few days, but yeah, I mean, I'm obviously here to try and play and win tournaments.

You know, like I said, it's the first match that I have played here or won here in over three years, and, yeah, this is where the situations like this are frustrating for players because I want to come off and talk about my tennis and what's happening there, not talking about situations like that.

So I'm hoping that we can move on from it now. You know, like I said, he won in court, which is good. Looks like he's going to be able to play and compete in the Australian Open, which, you know, we do want the best players there, but like I said, I think there is still a few questions to be answered. Until that happens, tough to give a definitive opinion on everything. But like I said, positive that he's out and practicing.

Q. Would you like to see him come out and clarify some of those things? Like you say, it's overshadowed yourself and other guys and people competing this week and into next week.

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, no, I'm sure he will. I'm sure you guys, it's up to obviously the press and stuff to ask about that, and obviously, you know, for Novak to clarify.

So, yeah, let's wait to see what he says on that.

Q. Curious how it's been for Jan so far and just what you have kind of learned about him and how you're feeling in this kind of new partnership?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, so obviously still getting to know each other a little bit. You know, he's into the detail and stuff, and, you know, very disciplined, which is, yeah, a good thing obviously.

Yeah, in some of the matches I played, certainly in Abu Dhabi, I got a few, you know, very good nuggets, I guess, of info against some guys that, you know, I played a few times and maybe didn't know before, so that was really good.

Yeah, obviously what both of us want is obviously results. You know, I don't know obviously how long I'll be able to compete for. I know that injuries can happen at this stage in your career and having been through what I have been through the last few years, so, you know, I want sort of instant results and, yeah, that's what I'm looking for.

Q. You played Viktor just two months ago. I was just wondering if you noticed any differences in his game? And also, do you find it more difficult preparing for a match against someone ranked 345 than someone who is ranked around top 100 in terms of motivation and those kind of things?

ANDY MURRAY: Well, certainly, like when I played him the first time, it's difficult to prepare, because obviously I hadn't seen him play on tour before. You know, sort of I guess the matches and stuff and the video footage, there is not loads of it out there to get an idea.

And then also, you know, sometimes and I felt this a lot with my own game, as well, is like you can watch things on video, but then when you get out there on the court, it's actually quite different. Obviously some things that work at a certain level don't work at the highest level, so you kind of have to feel that a bit when you're on the court.

So I had a much better idea having played him just a couple of months ago what to expect out there, and that match certainly helped me. So, yeah, it can be difficult to prepare if you don't know the opponent particularly well, but, you know, this time there is a lot more info on him because I played him. And also, he played the three matches at the ATP Cup last week in this venue, which we were able to get hold of and have a look, as well.

Yeah, I didn't notice a huge change in his game, but I wouldn't expect that really in a couple of months.

Q. I'm curious, with all the positive cases that were in Abu Dhabi, did you get really nervous when you started finding out that people you trained with and played with and stuff like that were testing positive? And just how fast the Omicron has spread, how nervous is it to make sure that you are going to be able to play?

ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I was obviously expecting that I was going to get it when all of the positive cases happened, and then obviously when my coach got it, as well, I was expecting it.

I actually got really sick. I didn't play or train for 10 days after Abu Dhabi. Yeah, it wasn't COVID-related. I had a really bad cold, and my children had it and wife and mother-in-law. Like, everyone in our house got it, and I was, yeah, really quite ill.

But, yeah, fortunately -- well, I don't know. Yeah, it wasn't COVID, but yeah, this year was also a little bit different, as well, because if you had got it after Abu Dhabi, you know you would have done your seven days and then been able to travel. So this sort of was more nerves like arriving here with the flight and, you know, testing on day 5 and was worried about that.

Like the first few days I arrived, I was, like, yeah, I was just like eating on my own, just eating in the room, just trying to stay away from people as much as possible.

So, yeah, I was probably more nervous once I got here than I was, because I knew that if I did catch it, at least I'd still be able to compete.

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