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August 18, 2009

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: Questions, please.

Q. How was your drive the Escalade from Montreal to Cincinnati, and why didn't you fly?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I just wanted to drive. Me and fitness trainer, Jez wanted to drive. We were gonna do the whole way, but you can't take a car from Canada to the States and leave it.
So we got driven to Buffalo, and then drove from there to here. But it was fine. We get in about 8:30 last night.

Q. Being the defending champ, does that change your preparation at all for this tournament?
ANDY MURRAY: No, not really, I mean, because the points have already come off the computers. There's no sort of pressure in that sort of department to defend anything.
Obviously want to try and do well. Played well here last year and had a couple of -- well, some of my biggest wins here. I beat Federer here for the first time and beat Tim Henman and stuff.
So I had some big wins when I was younger, so try and play well again.

Q. Tennis improvement usually comes in increments, and you're now No. 2. How close do you feel close to No. 1? And two, winning a major at that moment?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think -- it's not that far. It's a matter of a couple of the matches. You know, if I had had a slightly better run at the Australian Open or instead of losing a tight one to Roddick in the semis at Wimbledon, who knows. I know it's a long way from losing the semifinals to winning, but that would have made a huge difference.
I would be very close to Roger in the rankings if I had won those two matches from the semis onwards. That's really the only difference, is getting slam between being No. 1 and 2 I think. Because the consistency in the other tournaments has been pretty similar.

Q. Does it feel like it's gonna be a three-man race to be No. 1 from here on out?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know, because there's no race. I don't know exactly what points everyone and stuff are on and whatnot.
But, I mean, in terms of the points, I think we're quite far a head of Djokovic. But just a couple good big tournaments from him, and all of a sudden it's very close again.
So you never know.

Q. Would you say you're at a point in your career where, if you're being honest with yourself, anything short of winning slam might be a disappointment going into a major?
ANDY MURRAY: No, I don't think so. You know, Federer played -- I think he won slam, his 17th slam when he played. I think I've only played 15 slams, and Roger is probably the greatest player of all-time.
I think at 22 I'm still pretty young. You know, I'd love to win slam. That's obviously one of my biggest goals.
But to say that I would be disappointed to not win one with the level of competition that's around just now is a little bit disrespectful to the players, I think, because you've got some of best players ever playing right now.

Q. When you guys were driving in, did you stop to eat anywhere? Did anybody recognize you if you did?
ANDY MURRAY: No, we stopped a few times. I actually got recognized by the border control when we were coming over into the States, which was nice. We got through there pretty quickly.
But, yeah, we stopped at Subway, stopped for gas a couple of times. Yeah, we stopped five or six times on the way there, but it was -- found it a pretty easy journey.

Q. How long did it take you?
ANDY MURRAY: About 13, 13 and a half. But like I said, we stopped a bit too much. We could have done it quicker if we tried.

Q. This is effectively a five-day tournament for the top seeds. You'll be playing every day from tomorrow if you go on to defend your title. The forecast isn't particularly great looking forward to the end of the week. Is that any kind of concern, the schedule, the tightness of potentially with the US Open around the corner?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, you could -- the US Open you can play your first round split over the first three days on Wednesday, so you could, in theory, have nine days in between matches.
And because I took the five-week break after Wimbledon, I would hope I would still be reasonably fresh. I think it's more mentally than physically that's important, because physically I think I'll be strong enough to compete in the slam.
You need to go in there mentally fresh. It's a long stressful couple of week if want to do well. But, yeah, not that fussed about having to play five matches. It can get hot here, but I guess it's the same for everyone.

Q. Have other players asked you about your coaching arrangement and sort of what works and what doesn't about having a team rather than just one?
ANDY MURRAY: No, the thing is, I spend probably about 40 weeks a year with Miles, you know, so -- and I have done that for the last couple of years and it's worked really well.
But I just like sort of when we go home for a few days, it's more just having that sort of freshness that's important. I haven't spoken to any of the other players about that because it's an individual sport and everyone likes different things.
For me, I just find if you travel with a coach the whole time, I just find it too stressful. It's too long a season to do that, I think. You know, you just spend so much time together. It's important to have some distance as well.
You know, working with Alex from time to time keeps things fresh, and rotating the fitness trainers that I'm working with, I think, makes a big difference.

Q. You don't have your license yet, do you?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I do. I passed my test after Wimbledon.

Q. So you were able to drive?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't drive, no.

Q. Because the wrong side of road?
ANDY MURRAY: No, no. You can't get insured on cars here unless -- to rent a car until you're 25, I think.

Q. And you just wanted to take a road trip? Most people given the choice to fly 800 miles or drive would usually fly?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, well we fly -- I don't know many people that fly as much as the tennis players. I mean, by the end of year you get pretty sick of it. It's nice to be in one space, in one place for a few months or a month at a time.
So when you got the chance to drive, I think it's quite a nice thing to do because we spend most of our time in the airports.

Q. As crazy as things are for you in London, is it nice to come to a place like this where you can go out to dinner and not have to worry about getting through your meal without autograph requests and that kind of thing?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, I like staying in London, too. It's nice to be at home with friends and family. You know, I've always enjoyed playing here, whether it be for that reason or just I don't know. I like the courts, the crowds. All the tournaments, they put on great tournaments over here.
So, I don't know. The signing autographs and stuff doesn't really make any difference to where whether I like a place or not.

Q. Speaking of the current coaching situation, could you share a little bit about your time with Brad Gilbert and what he really saw in your game and what you implemented from your time with him that you're still continuing to excel at at this time?
ANDY MURRAY: Like I said earlier, it's nothing really to do just with Brad or whatever. I just find -- because I traveled one-on-one with Brad a lot. Even in my time off, I went over to the States and I stayed at his house quite a lot to train. He's obviously got an incredible amount of knowledge about players and tactics and how to win and finding ways to come through.
Like I said, I just found it too stressful. Before Brad, it was the same with my coach beforehand, Mark Petchey. I wanted to change it. I wanted to travel with more people just to keep it more fresh.
But as a coach, he's tactically, I'm sure, one of the best.

Q. You're okay with this season of Entourage?
ANDY MURRAY: I haven't actually watched that much of it. I saw the first episode before we came over to -- before I left Miami. So when we went to Montreal, I think there's been two episodes since then. I saw part of the second one, but it's tough to find them on the Internet now. You need to really watch them live. So, yeah, haven't seen that much of it, but it's a great show.

End of FastScripts

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