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June 21, 2008
THE MODERATOR: Questions for Andy.
Q. Feeling well?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, since I spoke to you last, I got a couple of decent day's practice in. It was a little bit cold out there. But, yeah, no, no problems.
Q. Did you practice out there today?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I practiced for about an hour with Bjorkman, just over at the courts at Aorangi.
Last couple of days, I played on the match courts and they were quicker than last year. So, yeah, I'm liking that. It's much better.
Q. Have you practiced on Centre Court, Andy?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I haven't. No, I only practiced on court 4, court 11, and court 17. I mean, they all vary a little bit. I mean, always the ones on this side, the Aorangi side, everyone says tend to be a bit quicker. The ones just over the other side of Centre Court are a little bit slower.
Yeah, I mean, all the courts have been a bit different.
Q. How do they compare with Queen's?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, they're very, very green. The grass is pretty long right now. Supposedly over the weekend they cut the grass a bit more.
But I feel like they're faster than Queen's from what I've seen so far.
Q. Must have been a bit wet and slippery out there today. Have you done anything about your shoes?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I changed shoes (smiling).
Q. In what way?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I changed. I'm using Nike shoes. Yeah, I was using adidas at Queen's and previous years.
Q. Are they...
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know exactly what it is. The spikes do come like a little bit, you know, higher up on the shoe. The adidas ones it's just purely on the base, but the Nike ones kind of come on the sides a little bit, as well, which helps.
Q. How does that work with sponsorship?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't have a shoe sponsor. Fred Perry don't make tennis shoes, so it was not really a problem for me.
Q. What do you think about the draw?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, it's interesting. I mean, Santoro is one of my favorite players to watch. He's got so much variety. He can play so many different shots. He's very different to pretty much every other player on the tour.
So, yeah, I mean, obviously a tough match, but one that I think I can definitely win if I play well.
Q. He said one of his last ambitions on the tour was to play Centre Court. I guess he's going to get his way, is he?
ANDY MURRAY: I wouldn't know. I guess. I mean, last year or two years ago I think I played every match on Centre Court. Guess there's a pretty good shot of it.
But, yeah, I'll definitely be on one of the big two, I would have thought.
Q. Now that you're, I suppose you just can't wait for it to begin. After last year, so much talk about it, just itching to go now, I suppose, this week.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, obviously getting closer. Yeah, getting more excited. Yeah, you just want to -- yeah, you do want to get out there after a while.
Obviously, it's been over a week now since I played at Queen's. A lot of practicing, done a lot of good work in the gym. Yeah, you just start to taper down a bit over the weekend.
Yeah, I mean, you're just looking forward to the match and trying to make sure you stay fresh. Yeah, last year was tough, you know, but I'm looking forward to playing this year.
Q. Have you played Santoro before?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I played him once in Paris last year. I won 6-2, 6-3, I think, 6-3, 6-2. Yeah, I mean, it's one of those matches where he's a tricky guy to play against. You need to stay focused the whole time, because he tries everything, you know, and can play shots that none of the other players can play. So you need to try and stay switched on the whole match.
Q. What are your thoughts on what Nadal has shown on grass after his performance last year, and including in the final against Roger?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, he's one of the best grass court players in the world. I mean, behind Federer, his results over the last two, three years have been -- yeah, I mean, no one else's results, I don't really think, really compare to his.
He's made two finals, obviously. One in Queen's, and I think quarters in Queen's the year before. Yeah, he deserves to be the second favorite and the second seed. I mean, I watched the second set of his match against Djokovic in Queen's, and he played great tennis.
Q. Do you look at Roger as being vulnerable in any way, in a way that he hasn't been in past Wimbledons?
ANDY MURRAY: No. I mean, I don't really think it's down to him. I still think he's playing great. I think the other players have got better and have got close to him, which is obviously natural.
'Cause, you know, the last few years, the other guys, Nadal, Djokovic, Gasquet, myself, have all been obviously very young, and we're still improving. I think now, you know, all of those guys are obviously starting to get better and better and are getting closer to their peak. Naturally, you know, it's going to be tougher for Federer to win tournaments.
I still believe he's the favorite to win Wimbledon.
Q. How confident are you that this can be your best result in a slam?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I feel really good going in. I mean, I think the most important thing is to not look too far ahead. I do think I can do really well here.
You know, you got to take it one match at a time. You know, with the rain, you know, all the things that can happen here, you just need to try and stay really focused. You know, you could play, you know, two or three five-set matches in three, four days. You need to be prepared to do that if you want to do well at Wimbledon.
I do think I'm in the best physical shape that I've been in going into a slam. You know, I just need to make sure the tennis is there.
Q. What have you done differently to get into that physical shape?
ANDY MURRAY: Travel with a fitness trainer every tournament this year so that I could, you know, keep on top of everything. Had a physio traveling with me, too.
So, you know, obviously if you're on the road on your own the whole time without any of those guys it's difficult to know exactly what you're supposed to be doing, you know, on your days off, things just to maintain your fitness. That's really what I've done better this year.
Q. How will you block out the expectations of the nation, which obviously is going to be on you this two weeks?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, I've said, you know, leading into the tournament, it's obviously hard. But once you get on the court, it's the last thing that you're thinking about. You know, obviously I want to win the matches that I'm playing, and you get awesome support when you're out there.
It's just, you know, the buildup to it is difficult. But it's never been a problem for me in the past, you know, managing the expectations, because I have high expectations of myself anyway.
Q. How different is the mental challenge with Tim Henman no longer here and you being the focus of the nation as far as the competitors?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, it's not different for me personally at all. I think, you know, I get asked questions about it all the time, and it's not -- I don't feel any different to the last few years in terms of, you know, Tim or Greg not being here.
I just think everyone sort of expects it to feel different. But, I mean, it doesn't really, so it's not really affecting me.
Q. How do you explain there are so few British players in the draw?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, a lot of reasons. I'm not going to go into too much detail.
But, yeah, I mean, I don't know exactly. They got a lot of juniors now in the top hundred in the world, the ITF rankings, but so few of them manage to make that jump from the juniors to the seniors.
You know, I think, you know, a lot of it's down to work ethic. That's the only thing that I can see as being different. We have all the facilities. You got some of the best coaches in the world. I think the blame has to go to the players, not anyone else.
Q. What would you classify as the biggest obstacle to you winning a Grand Slam or getting into a final? Consistency over a fortnight? The opposition? Keeping fit? Combination of the lot of those?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I think it's consistency over the fortnight. You know, I showed by my results against a lot of the top guys that, you know, I can definitely win against 'em. But, yeah, it's obviously different to do it for seven matches in a row.
You know, playing in a slam's completely different to the other tournaments because, you know, of the days off, you know, and managing your time on those days off and knowing exactly the best thing to do.
I think the older you get and the more experience you get of playing in slams, you learn what you like to do and what works best. All of those things kind of add up.
But in terms of actually on the court, yeah, it's about being consistent, you know, through the whole fortnight and making sure that you're -- I mean, you don't want to be playing your best tennis at the start of the tournament, I guess, but you want to make sure you're playing at a high level so you don't get taken into too many tough matches early on.
Q. I was wondering, obviously there's a lot of pressure on you, a tournament like this. How do you best unwind when you walk away from Wimbledon? What do you do?
ANDY MURRAY: This afternoon I'm going to go walk my dog, play some pool. I played golf a couple of days ago. But, yeah, nothing too special. Yeah, just try and not watch too much TV and worry too much about what's getting said about me.
Q. Will you walk the dog or will the dog walk you?
ANDY MURRAY: It's young just now, so I'm trying to walk it. It doesn't listen to me too much unfortunately (smiling).
Q. Given the talent that you have, are you happy with where you are with your career now, given your age? Are you happy with the progress you've made to date?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah. I mean, like anyone, I guess I'd like to be doing a bit better. But I think in terms of, you know, how everything went last year and the way I've come back from, you know, a pretty serious injury, I think I'm in a pretty good position right now, you know, with the next couple of months coming up. Obviously, I didn't play because of my wrist and got pretty much no points to defend, so I'm hoping to push my ranking up even higher.
Yeah, I think I've done well for a 21-year-old. I mean, obviously Nadal and Federer -- sorry, Nadal and Djokovic have been great over the last few years. You know, I haven't been at their standards. But, you know, I think in the next few years that's what I've got to be aiming at, and I believe I can do that.
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