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January 17, 2009

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. Given your recent form and everything that's happened the last eight or nine months, do you feel any different approaching this particular slam? Does it feel different to you than a year ago?
ANDY MURRAY: Uhm, I just think my mindset going into matches is much better now because I've been playing consistently well. You know, so I'm going into each match confident, not as many nerves. You know, in the past I've been a little bit erratic with my performances. I feel like now I've sort of become more consistent. That's made a big difference.

Q. How does it feel to now be considered such a danger, such a threat? Is there a change in perception do you feel amongst other players?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. It's best to obviously ask them.
But, you know, for me it's obviously a good thing. You know, I think sort of when you do become a contender for a slam, obviously the seeding and stuff helps with your draws and whatnot. You know, it gives you - it gives me anyway - that little bit of extra confidence. Obviously, the US Open was a great run for me. I learned a lot from that. Hopefully I can keep it going here.

Q. Federer came in the other day and he said he didn't think you should be favorite for the tournament because you hadn't previously won a Grand Slam event.

Q. What's your reaction to that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, I don't have a problem whether I'm a favorite or not. You know, I guess Roger would prefer to be favorite himself. That's absolutely fine.
But, you know, doesn't change my mindset going into the tournament at all.

Q. It doesn't make it harder, not having won before, like Roger and Rafa?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, obviously they've got the most experience out of all the players in the tournament, in the slams, and in the big matches 'cause they played so many against each other in the last few years.
But I think, you know -- well, I'm hoping this year it's going to be a little bit more competitive, you know, there's going to be some new guys coming through, as well, doing well in the big tournaments.
But the US Open was a very good experience for me. And, you know, hopefully if I'm in that situation again this year, I'll be better prepared.

Q. Both Roger and Rafa have spoken the last couple days and today about the timing of this tournament, saying they would prefer a little bit more lead-up time, putting the tournament in February. Do you have a view on that?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, there's a few things with the calendar that I think all the players would like to see happen. I mean, obviously I think, yeah, having the Aussie Open a couple of weeks later, having maybe one of the 500 events in Australia beforehand would make sense.
For me, likewise with the grass court season. I think that would be good if that was, you know, a week or so longer. I think that one or two of the grass court events should be 500 tournaments because it makes it fairer for sort of all the players, and also it makes it a better lead-up to the slams, I think. There's not too much time in between, you know, French Open and Wimbledon either.

Q. What was the reason for not playing any tournaments in Australia?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I think it's obviously a very long way to come over here. You know, I had spent the whole of December, pretty much the whole of December, in Miami. I went back home. Then playing in Doha sort of breaks the travel up a little bit. You know, the jetlag's not been too bad to get over because of that. And also I'm gonna have been here a week. Probably I play my first match on Tuesday, and I arrived on Tuesday morning. I'm hoping that's going to be enough time to acclimatize.

Q. What are the attributes you think are peculiar to winning the Australian Open? What do you think you need to have as a player? Do they differ from the attributes you need at other slams?
ANDY MURRAY: I think you need to come in having had a good off-season and be physically prepared. I think, you know, if you take a bit too much time off and maybe don't train in a warm climate in December, it's tough to play the five-set matches, you know, very well.
The other thing that's different here is, you know, I think you need to be prepared for all the different sort of changes in conditions. Some days it can be very, very windy, some days very hot, the next day it can be pretty cool, and it changes the speed of the court as well. So you need to sort of adapt your game a little bit depending on the weather.
But, you know, that's something that I think, with experience, you get better at.

Q. How would you compare the speed of the balls and the courts here to the US Open? Very similar?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I think the US Open, the ball comes through the court a little bit more. I don't think it bounces quite as high. But, like I said, it changes. When it's hot, the ball does come up very, very high. You know, but the last couple of days, when I've been practicing, you know, it's a bit lower, and the balls get much, much fluffier and heavier. So it kind of slows the court down a little bit.

Q. Do you ever plan to get a driver's license?
ANDY MURRAY: I do plan on getting a driver's license, yeah (smiling). I just got to find the time to do it. I was planning on maybe trying to do it in the States because everyone's told me it's much, much easier to do it over there than learning in London.
But, yeah, hopefully sometime this year.

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