THE MODERATOR: Andy today becomes the 18th player in the Open Era to win 700 or more singles matches on the ATP Tour and the fourth active player to accomplish the feat.
Q. On that team, 700 wins. Sort of to put you on the spot, in terms of numbers, in your career, what one or two numbers are most satisfying to you?
ANDY MURRAY: Well, I mean, probably getting to No. 1 in the world. I mean, just purely in terms of a number, that would be — I mean, it would be a big highlight in my career, to get there.
Yeah, I wouldn’t say, like, during my career I was focused necessarily on match wins, sort of numbers and things like that. However, as I’ve sort of got older, you’re coming towards the end of your career, there’s certain milestones, something, that would be something nice to achieve. Obviously not many players have managed to do that. Obviously with all the difficulties of the last few years and everything, I was on course to get there quite a few years ago. It’s been tough.
Yeah, reaching that number is a really, really good achievement. It’s not been easy getting there from, you know, Greg was telling me I got to 600 in Cincinnati in 2016. Five and a half years to get the last hundred, so it’s taken awhile.
Yeah, I do look at that stuff now. Like I do look at the other players that are around me, around those numbers. Gives me some motivation and encouragement to try to get higher and win more matches.
Q. What does it actually mean to you, that number of 700? On court you said, Let’s go to 800 now. The emotion of something like that…
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, look, it does mean a lot to me because I know how difficult it’s been, certainly the last few years. When you look at the players that have done it, most of the players that are up there and have won that many matches are certainly the best players of the last sort of 30, 40 years.
Yeah, like to be in amongst that is nice. Like I said, I’ve looked and I’ve seen the players that are between 700 and 800, and there’s some amazing players that I watched when I was growing up as a kid, some that I’m aware are the best players that ever played the game.
I know that they probably weren’t thinking about that when they were playing, but yeah, I would love to try and get there. I guess when you look at a number like that and you see it’s comparable to some of those guys, yeah, it makes you feel proud of your achievements and the matches that you’ve won in your career in what’s been an incredibly difficult era, so yeah.
Q. We get asked all the time in our job about greatest of all time debates and what goes into that. What do you take into account of that when you are, maybe more from a fan side of the sport, trying to measure achievement in this sport? What sort of weighting do you put onto various achievements?
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, people have simplified it I think because of all of those guys are so close and they’ve been playing in the same era. They’ve always won tons of Masters Series, tons of matches, all been great on every surface.
The easiest way I think for people to do it is just to go by the number of slam wins. But then, yeah, when you obviously look back over history, there’s certain players didn’t really play the Australian Open for a period of time. Some of them, like a Rod Laver, for example, missed a huge chunk of his career where he was not competing in the majors and things like that.
It’s obviously difficult to compare exactly. But I think most people that follow the history of the sport and stuff would probably have the three guys just now right up there at the top.
Yeah, like I said, because they’ve all won tons of matches. And I think certainly in other sports I’ve heard people talk about longevity and things like that, but also those guys have that as well.
The slams is what it’s sort of come down to. But I do think when you compare other players’ careers, maybe there’s other numbers to look at, as well.
Q. You just said being No. 1 is the highlight of your career in terms of numbers. If you pick one or two turning points, important things you did in your career?
ANDY MURRAY: I didn’t hear the last little bit.
Q. What is your important turning point in your career?
ANDY MURRAY: I mean, 2012 Wimbledon, probably, the period between that and the Olympic Games was really, really important for me.
Yeah, I was chatting just the other day with one of the guys that I’m working with about this. Roger won his first slam, he won against Philippoussis in the final. Rafa beat Puerta in the final. Novak bit Tsonga. None of those guys had won majors before either.
When I was competing to win slams, I played Roger a couple of times. I played Novak, who maybe I didn’t know at the time, but what he’s gone on to achieve. Obviously really tough finals against guys that won majors beforehand.
When I lost that Wimbledon final in 2012 against Roger, there was still pressure building, questions getting asked about me and whether I could win a Grand Slam, whether that was possible.
I was asking myself those questions, as well (smiling). I was working really hard to get there, and was not managing to quite get over the line.
Yeah, after that match against Roger in the 2012 Wimbledon final, I was obviously very upset for a few days after that, kind of accepted I guess that it might not happen, may not win a major. But what I could control was the effort and everything that I was putting into trying to keep going, keep improving.
Winning that sort of Olympics four weeks later in the final against Roger on the same court in the fashion that I did was a big, big step for me and my career, I think.
Q. Your countryman Cam Norrie said even more impressive than the number is your attitude, the fight you’ve had, considering all you’ve been through with your body. Could you talk about that inner fight a little bit.
ANDY MURRAY: Yeah, I mean, like I said many times, it has been a really difficult four, five years. Even, like, in the last year or so, when I did come back and start playing in 2019, I was actually playing some quite good tennis. Like I felt quite good about my game. Got injured again and missed a bunch of time. Obviously had COVID, had some other niggles, injuries. It’s not really until last sort of five, six months when I’ve got consistency of like getting to compete regularly.
To be honest, I’ve not been playing well. So, like, there’s obviously been the physical battle, but also mental battle as well, of trying to find my game, trying to be patient and not get too frustrated and too down on myself, which has been tough these last four or five months.
But, yeah, I think like even today, there were points in the match where I did play pretty well, like I played some good tennis. But there’s also times in the match where it was poor. I really need to try and find that consistency. That’s something that’s taken awhile to come. It’s going to take some time on the practice court to work on. I’m looking forward to working on that with Ivan after the Miami tournament, I’ll train in Orlando there with him.
Yeah, it’s been hard. The physical battle has been tough. Mentally it’s been challenging, as well.
Q. You seem like you’re a perfectionist in a lot of ways in the approach to tennis. Of all the 700 wins, what do you think is the closest to perfection?
ANDY MURRAY: That’s a good question. I mean, we get asked about that, like the best matches that you’ve played, or how many matches in a year do you feel like you played great tennis. There’s actually very few. Like in my best years when I was playing 70, 80 matches a year, probably four or five matches where you felt great and played like really good tennis.
But probably, I mean, the final of the Olympics in 2012 for me was probably one of the best matches that I played in terms of like the occasion and everything. I thought that would probably be the one I would pick as my sort of best performance.
But there’s, like, other ones. Like to everyone in here, they might not seem like a big deal. I remember I played Jarkko Nieminen in Canada when I was young. It was like 2007 maybe, something like that. I thought I played a brilliant match. It was in the second round. Yeah, just some matches like that where everything clicks and everything’s perfect, yeah.
Q. I don’t know the ages of your kids. You’re different than most of the fathers that their friends would have at school. How much of an appreciation do they have you’re a little bit different or better known?
ANDY MURRAY: I think they’re aware. My oldest one is aware. Now she’s six. She knows that — like sometimes she called my ‘Andy Murray’ which I find incredibly awkward (laughter). I’m like, No, I’m daddy. I’m not Andy Murray, I’m daddy. She does it now to wind me up. She does it especially when she’s around her friends and stuff.
There’s an awareness there. They’re not bothered by that or whatever. Sometimes, yeah, I feel a bit uncomfortable as well. Like if I’m with then, someone asks for a photograph or a picture, whatever, when I’m with them, I don’t know, it makes them feel uncomfortable a little bit.
But, yeah, they’re not bothered by it. To be honest, I don’t think they’re that aware.
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