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October 11, 2011

Andy Murray


THE MODERATOR: First question, please.

Q. Obviously you arrive here on the back of some tremendous form. Do you put it down to anything specific?
ANDY MURRAY: No, just been working hard. Yeah, went into this stretch with the right mindset. You know, after the US Open finished, sat down, kind of made some goals between now and the end of the year, gave myself that extra little motivation, that extra little push for the last few tournaments.

Q. Rafa came in a bit ago and said the proposed meetings probably weren't going to happen here he said because the time is not right and you need to find out more stuff. Do you go along with that theory?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I don't really want to go into much detail. Nothing really to say. The last time I did, it was turned into a massive like hoopla.
There's nothing to say. The players haven't met. The players will try and meet. When we do, you know, then I think it's really between the ATP and the ITF to try and come to an agreement. And until something's kind of done in writing or there's been any discussions, there's not really any point in saying anything because it just starts speculation.
There's no truth behind a lot of the things that are getting said. The players I think are maybe coming across as being spoilt when I don't think that is the case. That's all. That's it.

Q. You were reported as coming out with the word 'strike.' Was that exaggerated then?
ANDY MURRAY: Me and not any of the players I know want to strike. But when you're asked a question, 'Is there a possibility the players will strike,' and you say, 'Yeah, it's a possibility,' I don't expect that to be such a massive -- it's so far away from being at that level. The players haven't even sat down and spoke. So it's kind of a bit disappointing from my side.
I think the tour is in a great place just now. But it's basically just a matter of like two or three weeks in the year that really I think need to change. And it's not really a huge thing, but it's been made into like the biggest disaster in tennis. I don't think it needs to be.

Q. Do you have any idea when such a meeting could take place?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I don't really want to talk about it. It's the players' business just now of what they want done. It's not anyone else's business.
Until we sit down and discuss it and speak to the ATP and the ITF - which, again, hasn't happened - and the players don't even know what they want 'cause not everyone's sat down and discussed it, there's no point.
We'll try and set something up before the end of the year. Whether it happens or not, it's quite a tough thing to do 'cause there's a lot of players to coordinate and sometimes guys don't go to the same tournaments. Tennis players aren't always the easiest people to get hold of when they're not at tournaments.

Q. When you and Rafa said the long season needs to be cut shorter, can you talk about in your mind which part of the season needs to have a change? We're concerned the Asian season may be influenced by this.
ANDY MURRAY: I just think next year there's a couple more weeks in the off-season, which is great. Then it's just a matter of one or two less mandatory events during the year. That's it. Doesn't really need to be a huge change in the calendar or huge change within tennis or the rankings or anything like that. It's just very small things that seem are so difficult to get done. I think sometimes the players find it difficult to understand why that is.

Q. Rafa talked about how he thought in Tokyo you played the best he's ever seen you play against him. On the other hand, that third set in particular he couldn't even hold serve. I was wondering what you saw in his game that might have been different? That's kind of unusual for him.
ANDY MURRAY: I don't think anything was that different in his game. He started the match very well. He broke me right at the beginning. After that, I played some great tennis.
It's happened the other way around when I played against him before: he's played great and I didn't quite play my best. It happens sometimes when you're playing right at the top of a sport. A few percent difference here or there. If I go up by 10%, he's not quite on his game...
I mean, what happened in the third set, it probably never happened to him before, and I'll probably never play a set of tennis again like that on the tour. I think I lost four or five points. That's probably not going to happen to me again. It's just one of those sets where I hardly missed a ball.
I wish it happened every day, but the reality is it's not going to be like that.

Q. Do you think one of the reasons why you're in such good form at the moment is because you played a bit less earlier in the year?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn't really play less than the year before. I just didn't win very much. So maybe it's to do with that. But I still played quite a lot of matches this year. I think I played now probably the same as Roger.
But I feel better. I've been doing things more professionally this year. I've been looking after my body better. I've taken necessary breaks. Like before I went over to Bangkok, I didn't start hitting balls again until the Saturday, and the tournament was starting on the Monday.
So I've just been trying to pace myself a bit better, and that's definitely helped.

Q. Apologize for going back to the talks saga. It was such a great tournament last year. Do you think the notable absences this year somehow give you all suggestions about talks extra resonance?
ANDY MURRAY: I don't know. I mean, Roger's said he was -- I think he said he was fatigued, tired. Novak had a bad back. And, yeah, I don't know, it's happened a couple of times over here. I think it happened when the Masters Cup was here, 2005 maybe, where quite a few players didn't show up. I think Roger had a bad injury as well just before coming here.
So, you know, that's just kind of the nature of an individual sport. You never know. Like just because maybe sometimes it's not a top player in the world that might miss out, it might be three or four guys that are 20 or 30 in the world, if you get injured as an individual, then you can't show up, whereas with a team, if you're missing one player, the team can still go out and play. So I think it's kind of showing up a little bit more in tennis.
I think if there was a few extra weeks off, then that would help, a few less tournaments. But still the majority of the best players are here.

Q. I don't think it will make many headlines in China. Leon has been promoted at the LTA, performance director. Can you comment on that?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, surprising for sure. Pretty big role he's got now. I don't know exactly what his role will be in terms of the women's side. I don't know exactly what he'll be expected to do. I know he doesn't have much experience on the women's side, so I'm sure he'll have to make sure he employs the right people around him and get a good team in place that can help him.

Q. Andy Roddick yesterday was making some comparisons between the proportion of prize money that you get compared to, say, sports like golf and the NBA in the States, saying it was much smaller. I was wondering whether you have similar concerns, thinking from a British perspective how much the players on the tour compare to footballers?
ANDY MURRAY: I think going into earnings is silly because we make a lot of money and we're very lucky to be earning the money we do. I'm hoping most of the players love playing tennis, as well.
The one comparison I'd like to make, this is on a completely separate note, comparing golf and tennis, is that in tennis the ball situation is that we change balls every single week. If you asked a golfer to do that and change balls every single week, they'd be hitting balls 20 yards too far, you know, hitting shots all over the place I think.
The balls that we played with the last three weeks, every one of them is just completely different. I think that's something that I would like to see changed, to have more consistency in the balls. It's like playing a different game almost.
In terms of the earnings, I'm happy with the direction tennis is going. I think every year they're increasing the prize money. All the tournaments are trying to kind of keep up and compete with each other. So I think it's in a good place. Golf, players are incredibly fortunate, as well.

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