Next week, however, the Scot will have a chance to achieve
something no tennis player has ever done -- win four different
titles in the city of London.
Murray's impressive prize collection already includes a Wimbledon
Challenge Cup, a London 2012 Olympic gold medal and three Queen's
Club trophies. Should he become the first Briton to win the elite
season-ending ATP World Tour Finals, he will own a unique set of
titles captured on British soil.
As he prepares to finish off his season on a high, the twice grand
slam champion sat down with Reuters to discuss how "it's been three
or four years" since he "felt so well", about his recent run of form
when he won three titles in five weeks and his opinion on who is the
best dancer in the Murray family.
REUTERS: How does the past month and a half, when you have had to
save 10 match points in finals before winning three titles in five
weeks compare to the past two seasons when you won grand slam
MURRAY: "It's been different. Different goals and targets. With my
ranking having dropped a bit and obviously I hadn't won a tournament
for a while... the last four of five weeks have been very good for
"The way the finals have been won, I saved (five) match points in
two of them and also in the third one (David) Ferrer was serving for
the match (in Vienna). So they have been very, very tight close
matches so it's been nice to get a few wins."
REUTERS: You have now been working with twice grand slam champion
Amelie Mauresmo for almost five months, what has been her influence
in your recent title runs?
MURRAY: "Amelie was only there in Valencia whereas Dani (Vallverdu)
has been with me (throughout) so we have to give him credit as well.
When you start a new coaching relationship, it takes time before you
see the results, it doesn't happen in one week.
"Hopefully at the beginning of next year we'll start to see the
improvements I will have made from practicing, working with Amelie
REUTERS: Do you consider yourself as something of a trend setter
because you hire a former grand slam champion as coach and others
follow suit. You appoint a woman as coach and the Spanish tennis
federation follows suit by appointing a female Davis Cup captain?
MURRAY: "The relationships have to be successful and when it's a
successful relationship, people will look at it and see that maybe
that would work.
"Obviously with (my previous coach) Ivan (Lendl), that obviously
worked out well in terms of results so I'm sure some players would
have looked at that. With Amelie, it'll take time but it's been a
"We'll see if that changes in the future and if there's more female
coaches on the men's and women's side because there is very few on
the women's side as well.
"For me I am more than happy to work with a man or a woman providing
there is a relationship there between the two of you when you speak
about tennis, that there's an understanding.
"Similar understanding about the game. The things you need to work
on, that's very important. And the only way you can gauge that is
the way you communicate with that person."
REUTERS: The ATP World Tour Finals is the only significant
tournament on British soil you have yet to win, how much would it
mean to you to complete the Ď2012 London Olympics-Wimbledon-ATP
World Tour Finalsí treble while the tournament is still being staged
MURRAY: "It would definitely mean a lot but itís important to stay
focused and play one match at a time.
"It is the top eight players in the world, so there are no easy
"I know what it takes to win at the highest level so I will just
make sure I prepare myself in the best possible way to give myself
the best chance of success, but I am playing well and enjoying it
REUTERS: How do you feel about playing at the O2 for the first time
since winning Wimbledon in July 2013 considering you had to miss the
tournament last year following your back surgery?
MURRAY: "It was disappointing not playing last year when I had to
withdraw because of my back. Itís been a tough year, but I feel like
I am back fully fit now, and have had a great last six weeks and I
can't wait to return to the O2.
"You're obviously playing against the best players in the world,
which is always a challenge.
"One of the main reasons I enjoy it so much is that it always has a
great atmosphere. They get a huge number of fans during the week.
Their support is always second to none and they do a great job in
getting behind me.
[to top of second column]
"Itíll be incredibly special playing in front of a home crowd again,
I couldnít think of a better way to end the season."
REUTERS: Did you miss playing at the tournament last year and what
did you do during the week of the Finals?
MURRAY: "I was keeping myself pretty busy with all my rehab with my
back last year at the time. I watched bits of matches. I wouldn't
sit down and watch a match from start to finish but I did watch it."
REUTERS: Did you miss being there?
MURRAY: "It wasn't so much that event that I was missing playing.
There was a number of tournaments I missed at the end of last year
after the U.S. Open and you do appreciate how much you enjoy the
sport and how much you enjoy playing when you are unable to do it.
That was tough last year."
THINKING OUTSIDE THE BOX
REUTERS: How does your run since the U.S. Open set you up for the
Finals and 2015?
MURRAY: "It's good as I've obviously played a lot of matches, it's
just more whether I'm tired or not (after playing for six successive
"I don't know how I'm going to feel in a week's time but providing I
do all the right stuff to prepare, if I get enough rest, and
recovery... I've played enough matches, I've played enough tennis to
give it a good go there."
REUTERS: You had been warned that it could take up to 12 months to
fully recover from the type of back surgery you had in September
2013, do you feel 100 percent fit now?
MURRAY: "I started to feel good around May/June time, like around
the French Open. Then I felt pretty good at Wimbledon as well. But I
wasn't able to do all of the work away from the court that I needed
to do to be physically as strong as I would like to be. So that was
"But in terms of my back, my back felt good at that period. After
Wimbledon I was able to train 100 percent again and I'm starting to
see the effects of that now."
REUTERS: The way you physically feel now, when was the last time you
felt like this?
MURRAY: "It's tough to say exactly but it was a long time ago. My
back was giving me trouble for about two years before I had the
surgery, it's been another year since... so I would say it's been
three or four years since I felt so well."
REUTERS: Since you are such a trend setter in tennis, are there any
other leftfield decisions people can expect from you in the near
MURRAY: "I don't try to do things that are leftfield. You would
think that working with previous great tennis players would be
helpful, in my view it wasn't thinking outside the box.
"It's just sometimes people are maybe worried to ask to see if they
want to do it. Because it's a lot of time, and traveling. It's a big
commitment to coach on the tour and not many people who've played
for 10-12 years want to go straight back and want to do it.
"I'm just going to keep doing what I'm doing and hopefully make good
decisions and help my career as much as I can."
REUTERS: Who's the better dancer in the family, you or your mum
(Judy -- the British Fed Cup captain who has been competing in the
reality show Strictly Come Dancing)?
MURRAY: (smiling) "Judging by some of her performances, I'd say I'm
probably better! But she's been improving. I haven't seen loads of
it because I've been traveling but she seems to be enjoying
REUTERS: Some people have been saying that the longer she stays in
the show, the better it is for your tennis fortunes since you have
done so well these past few weeks when she hasn't been able to
support you from the stands?
MURRAY: "Ha, but she was there when I won the U.S. Open, when I won
Wimbledon and when I won the Olympics, so I'm not sure that has much
affect on what goes on the tennis court to be honest."
(Reporting by Pritha Sarkar, editing by Toby Davis)
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